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The Difference Between a Backdrop vs. a Step and Repeat

Whether you’re planning an event or creating promotional print materials, you might not always be familiar with the different terms. One of the most confusing differences is between a backdrop vs. a step and repeat. These types of backdrops are common for red carpet events, business events, and networking conferences.

Still, despite their popularity, there’s a lot of confusion between a backdrop vs. a step and repeat. How do they differ, and when should you consider each? Both of these types of backdrops lend a professional vibe to any event, and they’re an excellent, affordable choice for promoting your business or event. Keep reading to learn more about the key differences.

What Is a Backdrop?

A backdrop is a type of painted cloth typically hung behind a stage or event space. These are a flexible branding option that are common for all types of events. They’re also common in photography, creating a specific background for pictures.

Backdrops come in many different materials. They can be painted canvas, paper, muslin, textured, and so on. They’re also common in theater to set the scene for a production. In the business world, backdrops share company information, branding elements, or promote an event. They’re a sophisticated yet affordable way to promote your event, brand, or so on.

Best for: Low-cost, effective image backgrounds for professional events and art installations. Ideal for photography, these should be a part of any networking event checklist.

What Is a Step and Repeat Banner?

What’s the difference between a backdrop and a step and repeat? A step and repeat banner, also sometimes called a press wall or repeat wall, is a type of backdrop. These are specifically used for publicity, since these banners show a repeating pattern. The most common pattern is a brand’s logos or emblems. 

Whenever you see celebrities standing in front of promotional backdrops, these are almost always step and repeat banners. They’re made using vinyl, fabric, poster paper, or canvas on a hard surface like plywood. These are primarily used to promote brand awareness and share branding elements.

Best for: Promoting your brand at a professional event, like a trade show, celebrity gathering, or charity event.

Why Are Backdrops and Step and Repeat Banners Useful?

With these definitions in mind, why are these such powerful business tools? There are so many print materials you can use for your brand, from postcards to banners. Why are these options important?

There are a lot of reasons these are a good choice:

  1. Free advertising: Backdrops allow you to get your brand logo in front of more eyes. As they say in real estate (and marketing), it’s all about location, location, location. Because photos are often taken in front of these backdrops, you’re likely to see your brand promoted on social media and beyond.

  2. Photography: From a photography standpoint, backdrops are a fabulous tool. They look professional, and they turn photos from boring to eye-catching.

  3. Investment: As an investment in your print marketing, backdrops have a high ROI. This is something you can use again and again, making it well worth the initial cost.

  4. Easy to use: Unlike more complicated banners, it’s easy to set up and install one of these backdrops or step and repeat banners yourself. This saves you time and money.

  5. Professional: Last but not least, these backdrops stand out. They look professional and trustworthy, and that’s good news for your brand.

It’s proven that you only have 7 seconds to make your first impression on a customer or client. A backdrop vs. step and repeat banner is a powerful way to make sure your brand stands out and stays noticeable.

Stand Out When It Matters Most

If you’re attending a trade show or hosting an event for your business, make sure you have all the tools you need to succeed. Print marketing is the best way to stand out and give a professional appearance, but you need to think strategically. When it comes to getting your money’s worth, backdrops and step and repeat banners are the perfect investment.

Placement is everything when it comes to brand awareness. Don’t hide your logo or branding elements in the background. Make sure they’re front and center using a backdrop or step and repeat banner.

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