It’s hard to go to almost any outdoor event and not see retractable banner stands being used somewhere. The problem is, they are almost always indoor banner stands that are being used outdoors, even though this will void the warranty on most displays as they were not designed to be used outside. In reality, taking an indoor stand outdoors isn’t going to hurt it, but some of them could be damaged from moisture if it were to rain, and none of them can withstand any amount of wind, and that’s the real problem.
A little common sense will tell you that if you set up a big sail outdoors, it’s not going to stay standing when the wind blows. If that same set up can move a boat on the water, imagine what it can do if the sail isn’t attached to something. Some people figure this out and put weights on the base of the stand to keep it from blowing over, but the support poles, and the way those poles connect to the base are then going to take all that force and break, since they weren’t designed for that purpose either.
That’s why we carry outdoor retractable banner stands, so people who need to use them outdoors will have a product that is designed for that purpose and will hold up to that kind of use. The problem is that until a few years ago, the Expand MediaScreen 2 Outdoor stand was the only one available, and it’s a very expensive display. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great product that is well made and has a lifetime warranty, and we’ve sold a lot of these over the years, but typically only to larger organizations that can afford the cost, such as Sea World or the NSA. The fact that we had one to offer didn’t mean much to the average buyer because they couldn’t afford them, so they continued to purchase indoor stands and take them outside anyway.
About a year ago, we introduced the Wave. It was designed along the same lines as the Expand stand with a spring loaded pole and detachable feet. The benefit to this design is that it’s easily portable, as it packs down into a small space with very little effort. It can also double as an indoor stand when used without the detachable feet, which is something many people like to do. With the price being less than half of the Expand model, we felt it was ideal for people who primarily needed an outdoor stand, and also for those who wanted an indoor stand that could occasionally go outside. It sold extremely well, a little too well initially as we had a hard time keeping them in stock, but it seemed better suited to the people who mainly wanted an outdoor display, as it was still more expensive than most indoor displays.
That led us to introduce the Wave Lite. At nearly half the cost of the Wave, the Wave Lite is priced similarly to many double sided indoor banner stands, but with it’s spring loaded pole and detachable feet, it can also go outside, although it won’t hold up to as much wind as the Wave, hence the Lite in the name. This model seem ideal for the people who want a stand that can survive some wind, be used indoors without looking like a clunky outdoor stand, and be easy to transport and set up, and it’s been very popular for those reasons.
Once we had the Wave Lite, we realized that the Wave would really only appeal to heavy duty outdoor users. People who needed something really durable for extended outdoor use, or else they would just get the Wave Lite. These are the people who really needed the Expand display with it’s lifetime warranty and heavy duty construction, but couldn’t afford it. So, we went back to the drawing board to figure out how to make the Wave even better so it would appeal even more to that market. The result of that effort is the Wave Pro.
We made the banner just slightly smaller to reduce the stress on the stand, from 33.4″ wide to 31.5″ wide, and gave it two poles instead of one for greater stability. We made the springs in the poles a separate piece so that if either the spring or the pole should ever break, it would be easier and less expensive to replace. As much as we like snap rails for attaching at the top of the banner, the kind of stress that can be exerted in the wind required something more secure. So, we added a metal strip that sticks to the banner and inserts into the top rail, then set screws in the top rail tighten on that metal strip for a very secure attachment. We made both the base of the stand and the detachable feet out of even heavier materials, and added an additional thumb screw attachment on the bottom of each foot for additional security. We also made it so the feet can be positioned anywhere along with width of the base. This is to accommodate unusual footing or uneven ground where moving the feet can help make the stand more stable. We’re also now including ground spikes to secure the feet when it’s used on soft surfaces such as dirt, grass or snow, which were optional before. Lastly, instead of having the stand and legs pack into separate bags, they now all pack into one semi-rigid case with wheels, to make it easier to transport.
With all of these improvements, we are finally able to offer the Wave Pro with a lifetime warranty, so it really is an excellent alternative for those customers who need a heavy duty outdoor display that will last, and will also look good if used indoors, while not blowing their budget.
We’re really excited about it’s potential so be sure to check it out if you’re in the market for a display with these features.