Signs of the Times - October 2017 - 37
ADVANCE on the career path.
CONNECT with partners.
FIND expansion opportunities.
Sean Hart of Selkirk Signs and Services applied
for the ISA Elite program-which brings
together up-and-coming leaders for education
and networking-so that he could get to
know others with "like-minded ambitions for
their career paths."
With 20,000 attendees, exhibitors and suppliers
have many potential customers to show new
products to. Canon Solutions used ISA Sign
Expo 2017 to introduce a new color 16x40
printer. "There are a lot of people coming
into these shows looking for new technologies
and new ideas," said John Kaufman of Canon.
"This has allowed us to get the message out."
The sign, graphics and visual communications
industry is not only rapidly changing; it also
is expansive. The sign, graphics and visual
communications industry is diverse, from
hand lettering to digital displays, from print
The Elite class meets for the first time at ISA
International Sign Expo and again later in the
year. But that first connection pays off, Hart said.
"We can speak openly about our challenges
and get feedback from each other. It's been
a great opportunity."
Michelle Pedley of Sign Engineering Corp.
also was an ISA Elite member. Her company
had previous participants, so she knew some
of what she was getting into. "I had heard
such excellent stories from the previous
members of the program and how wonderful
of a bond they had created."
She sees a direct correlation between the
program and the ability to grow in her own
career by "creating this platform of friendships
and coworkers. Hopefully we can all find
ways to help each other out in the industry,
creating these lasting relationships where
we can reach out to one another if we have
any questions. When we know someone's
company, maybe that's their strength, and
they can help us out and guide us to make
better decisions, to create partnerships, and
continue to help us grow, hopefully helping
us have very successful companies one day."
Learn more about the ISA Elite program, or
nominate someone for the class of 2018 at
Kaufman believes attendees come looking for
the latest products and having the opportunity
to see the equipment in action is invaluable.
"We run the machines during the presentation
as well, and open up the drawers let them
see inside of it and how the machine works.
So it gives them a great opportunity to see
Ultimately, the goal of any new product is to
"make money," as Bryan Mandarin of Onyx
"We are really trying to invent things that will
make a difference for business owners. For
us, ISA Sign Expo is the greatest opportunity
for us to talk one-on-one with the customers,
seeing how can we improve, what are we
doing great, what they need."
Attendees should leave not only with a new
product, but also with an idea of "how to
improve your business," Mandarin said. "There's
no better way to do that than to look for new
applications, what's changing in tools in the
industry today, how do I improve my margins,
what's out there now that can change my
business. It's so easy to get caught up in
daily business, being so busy to not have an
opportunity to work on your business."
John Poiry of Stars, Stripes and Signs said
attending ISA International Sign Expo is a
way to stay ahead of the shifting business.
"The whole industry is moving to where they
can put things on and peel them off, decals/
stickers, so we are moving our company to be
able to do that. This was a great place to come
and see what's available; there is a lot available."
His company came to ISA International Sign
Expo 2017 looking for more insight into
large format printing and new vinyls. "There
is a vinyl for every application and this is the
place to see it," he said. "I am a hands-on
kind of guy. If I can see it, then the wheels
start turning and I have a lot more questions.
It's about talking to people rather than
watching it on YouTube or reading the blogs.
This is definitely what's needed."
John Crichton of Right Stuff was in expansion
mode as well. "We're here to check out sublimation printing and latex printing," he said.
"There are a lot of beautiful things here. I
would recommend this show to anyone that
is serious about getting really good at the
field of graphic arts, the field of printing, all
the related areas. It's just a magnificent show
and I recommend it to anyone in the industry."
When it comes to growth opportunities, ISA
International Sign Expo 2018 is clearly the
place to be.
$9.50 in new revenue and $2.90 in new profit.
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