Sign & Digital UK turned 30 in grand style
Celebrating its 30th year, Sign & Digital UK closed its doors after three busy days last month. More than 5,300 unique visitors attended the show with 80% of visitors involved in their company’s buying decision, and 81% holding a senior director or managerial position.
The exhibition attracted a high quality of visitor across all three days of the show, and this year’s exhibition - showcasing the theme ‘Applications, Ideas and Advice’ - saw exhibitors responded with some of their most innovative and creative stands to date.
I was particularly impressed by the creativity of the Antalis American diner themed stand which was constructed entirely from materials in Antalis’ range of visual communications media.
The visitor list was quite impressive too. Among the visitors were representatives from well-known companies such as Buxton Press, Carphone Warehouse, Debenhams, Delta Group, Fenwick, Gardners, Graham & Brown, Hollywood Monster, Image Co., JD Sports, Kall Kwik, Macro Art, Manchester Airport, Media Co., Next, Royal Bank of Scotland, Screwfix, Signarama, and Travis Perkins.
This calibre of visitor goes to show that Sign & Digital UK is a buying show where the market comes together to trade. The Sign Trade Services Pavilion - a one stop shop for essential sign making tools and equipment - proved to be immensely popular with visitors and showcased suppliers offering smaller every day sign making items that could be bought over the counter. This harked back to the ‘good-old-days’ of the sign trade and I’d very much like to see more of this type of exhibitor at the show in future.
The 2017 seminar lineup was another popular show attraction, with more than 35 daily seminars and workshops taking place across six theatres. It was fun to be a part of the show this year where I was hosting a panel discussion in the Business Theatre with the title ‘More Money, More Focus, More Customers’ which went over pretty well considering we were opening the show on day one. I actually met a chap in the car park on the way in to the show and when I asked him what he was there to see, he replied “You!” which was kind of cool.
Another highlight for me was on the Epson stand where a car and a wallpaper was designed by 17-year-old student from Longdean School in Hemel Hempstead, whose design was selected in a pre-exhibition competition. It really was an inspirational design and I loved it. The good people at Epson were also pretty chuffed following the announcement made during the show that the company’s SureColor SC-S series printers are now the top selling eco-solvent technology in their class in Western Europe. This is well deserved because the new SC-S series - launched last year - are built to deliver everything you could ask for from a wide format roll-to-roll wide format printer. Epson seemed to just about get everything right from the build quality to the printed output with this range.
Rudi Blackett, event director for Sign & Digital UK says: “Despite the challenging and uncertain business environment we are faced with, it’s been another fantastic year at Sign & Digital UK. Once again we saw the industry coming together to do business and celebrate the innovation and creativity that fuels our sector.
“I would like to say a big thank you to all of the exhibitors, visitors, partners and media supporters who attended in our 30th anniversary year. With re-bookings for 2018 getting off to such a strong start, it demonstrates the huge amount of creativity, innovation and confidence in our sector going forwards and planning is already well underway to bring you an even bigger and better show next year.”
It was a good show and with one third of the floorspace already booked for next year, I think 2018 is already starting to be something to be looked forward to.
Sign & Digital UK returns to the NEC, Birmingham from 24 to 26 April 2018.
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