UV Blacklight Reactive Fabric Makes a Colorful Splash at Events
What’s trending in the consumer space that can be adapted for trade shows and exhibits? Colorful, blacklit fabrics are being used for all kinds of consumer activations — from DJ shows and concerts to festivals and awards galas. These eye-catching backdrops and canopies allow event organizers to make an impression with a customizable product that is more sustainable and less expensive than some other graphic options, such as foam core, vinyl and other signage materials.
We talked to Glowtronics, a custom dye sublimation printer that got its start in the DJ industry but has since expanded to provide product for a variety of other settings, about how the lightweight fabric and UV blacklight technology can be used for trade shows and other events. Find out how DJX Show collaborated with Glowtronics to create unique backdrops, lounges, entrances and a canopy that stood out and made a big impact for sponsors and the event organizer.
The product has been used around the world at concerts, festivals and other events. Colorful custom designs can be printed on standard or UV blacklight reactive fabrics. The 100 percent polyester material is engineered for safety and durability, and the tight knit increases fabric strength and won’t rip. The lightweight material is quick and easy to set up, typically without a need for labor. The fabric can also be hung so it can be seen above other booths. It can be used for a step and repeat for photo ops or media broadcasts, as well as a backdrop on stage. The fabric can be hung with grommets, flagpole openings and loops.
Need to Know
The fabric, which is fully customizable, is an affordable option that can make a big impact. Customers can rent or buy blacklights to make the colors pop.
“The fabric can be made into a variety of shapes with our automatic laser-cutting machine,” said Glowtronics President and CEO Ronnie McGhee. “Once those parts are cut, they can be sewn together, and the pieces can be interconnected together with carabiners.
Glowtronics carries multiple materials, including Lycra and matte satin, and can ship to organizers in advance of the event.
DJX, produced by Hazan Media Group, used Glowtronics to create a 30-foot by 20-foot sponsor lounge with a bar for its 2022 show at the Etess Arena Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. The fabric was also used for eight step and repeats that were 10 feet wide by 8 feet tall. DJX worked with Glowtronics and their creative team to execute the design.
“The 280 linear feet of materials was sent to the show site in two small boxes, and it took two people about 45 minutes to set up,” said Hazan Media Group President and CEO Shawn Hazan, adding that three backlight cannons were used to light the canopy, with two on the catwalks and one underneath.”
The fabric offered levels of messaging from a distance, according to Hazan.
“You could see it the minute you walked into the arena, and it offered our sponsors that ‘wow’ factor,” Hazan said. “It was an Instagramable moment, and it attracted people over to the area.”
He continued, “To set up the canopy, two guys went up to the catwalk and dropped it. No rigging required or anything that was mechanical.”
For DJX, Glowtronics also created the tunnel at the entrance of the show.
The Bottom Line
For a 10-foot-wide by-8-foot-tall fabric that is four-color, the cost starts at $288, according to McGhee. Custom backdrops are available in any size. In terms of producing the piece, the lead time depends on the size and complexity.
“It typically takes five to seven days to produce,” McGhee said.