Big Picture - April 2018 - 10
ISA Sign Expo 2018: Do More With Less
Orlando's Orange County Convention Center played host to more than 20,000
attendees and almost 600 exhibitors across 221,000 square feet at the ISA Sign
Expo March 22-24. The event caters to sign shops as well as wide-format print
service providers - and those who straddle the line between both of those worlds.
And perhaps those who straddle that line are the perfect illustration of what we
heard repeated at the show: How can you do more with what you already have?
Just like the employees of today are expected to accomplish more in a shorter
time frame compared to employees of 15 years ago, we also demand more from the
products we use in our own lives, from our smartphones to our cars. This applies to
software and hardware in the print shop too.
With hybrid printers that can print on a variety of substrates flooding the market
and software that isn't just a RIP, but also manages color consistency and tracks
productivity, the focus seems to be how to do more with less. Can you buy one
product that can do it all? And can you do more with the products that you have to
grow your business?
There's a push by manufacturers to create full-service solutions to offer
products that eliminate steps, increase efficiency, and potentially remove the need
for other equipment.
The idea of doing more with less also applies directly to the sign shop or PSP.
How can you diversify your product offerings to meet your customers' needs and
expand your profits?
Nazdar SourceOne's Glenn Shull, equipment product manager, said people ask
why they print on water bottles and other items. His answer: "Because we can. Print
shops should ask, 'What else can I do with what I have?' Try to be a one-stop shop."
Among the wide-format manufacturers at the Sign Expo, the goal was to show
sign shops and PSPs how they can diversify their business, without a lot of additional time, money, or effort. Applications - including lots of soft signage and interior
décor - were on full display at the majority of booths giving ISA attendees examples of how the available products can be used to expand their businesses.
Innovation also played a part in this year's tradeshow. New concepts on the
show floor included clickable paper from Ricoh, a tour of EFI's massive Nozomi
single-pass printer via virtual reality, and small- and wide-format 3D printers
from Mimaki and Massivit printing all-too-realistic figures to full-scale soccer