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Retractable Banners

First, let me start by saying that this is a review of one of VistaPrints' products, but I am not representing VistaPrint in any way and am not paid by them for this review.  It's just my honest opinion.  

So, in case you haven't already figured out, I ordered our banner from VistaPrint.  Here is what it looks like.  I like it because at one glance you can see who we are, what organization we're with, and a few photos that summarize our work and our location.

I did check out a few other companies, but I found them to be complicated in that you had to send your design on a pdf to them.  Well, that's great if you are a professional with a degree in design, but I'm not.  I was looking for a place that had templates and you could just drag and drop your photo.  VistaPrint gives you both options.  So, after looking around on their site for what I was looking for, I chose the template I liked, dragged in my photos, resized them a bit to fit, and we were done!

The retractable banner comes in a carrying case that zips at the top, has straps for easy carrying, and has a place for an address label so you can take it on the plane as luggage (not sure what you'd have to pay for an odd-size piece of luggage).  

The banner slides right out of the bag.

The little feet on which it stands are part of the display itself.  You just turn them 90 degrees so they will balance the display.

The pole that holds up the back is foldable and fits right into the back of the display. 

 Pull it out, unfold it, fasten it in at the bottom, pull the screen up, fasten it to the top, and voila!  You are done.  I have a hard time fastening it to the top because it is so much taller than me.  So if you are short and don't have a tall spouse along with you, just grab a tall person walking by and ask them to help you.

The only downside is that it is hard to release it from the top when you are ready to take it down.  I think John has figured out the trick now.  Again, you've got to have somebody taller than me to get it down.  

Do the whole process in reverse, slide it back in its bag, and off you go to your next presentation.

If you are interested, on VistaPrint's home page, you will click on "Signs & Posters" at the top, then click on "retractable banners".  You might also find something that interests you under "banners".  Once on "retractable banners", I chose "economy" (because, you know, missionaries don't have much money!).  That one was $110.00, but you'll find that they usually give you a promotional code at check-out and it ends up being significantly less than that.  I paid $65.99 and then shipping and taxes for a total of $78.42.  But I can't guarantee that you'll pay less than $110.00.  

My only complaint with VistaPrint is that you're not really sure what kind of stand you are getting.  They have several designs, and I just wasn't 100% sure what the stand itself was going to look like.  Thankfully we have been very pleased with it.

On our display table, we try to put out a lot of things that kids can learn from by touching and playing with.  They are allowed to beat on the drum, play the xylophone, pretend to pour tea, see what it would be like to write on a wooden slate, try to read the Zarma Bible, and touch the money.  Interacting with kids after a service is one of my favorite things.

We also try to make it colorful so people are attracted to it.  We used to put out a lot of literature, but people don't really pick up that kind of thing and it just clutters up the table.  A few fun items is so much better than having too much stuff out.  Keep it simple!