Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 33

Industry TRENDS

He also attends ISA International Sign Expo for the ISA Networking
Reception for National and Custom Sign Companies, which offers
an opportunity to connect with national companies who often
look for local installers. "That gets our name out there. Two years
ago, we picked up three clients at that meet-and-greet," he said.
"With us being a smaller company in a niche, getting what we
do in front of national sign companies is a great asset."
Whether at ISA Sign Expo or at an affiliate event, the personal
connection pays off. "Since we work nationwide, there are a lot
of clients that we've met through email and phone conversations.
It is nice to be able to get together with your clients and put a
face with the people that you've interacted with over the year."

Problem-Solving Connections
Matt DiSalvatore, vice president and sales manager for Creative
Signs Inc., joined his family's business, which started primarily
as a small, custom company that revolved around his father Tony's
talent for handpainting. These days, the company has expanded
into electrical signs, and all that comes along with that.
In 2017, Matt joined the ISA Elite, a program that brings together
young professionals for networking and education. The program
has developed into a thriving connection in which each year's
class is warmly welcomed into the fold. All stay in regular contact
through the GroupMe messaging app.
"We're still in contact two years later, on almost a weekly basis,"
Matt said. "If someone is running into an issue, we put it out there
and get great advice. It's almost like having a board of directors
for my business where I can get advice from people doing the
same thing that I am. These are local sign shops like me, going
through the same headaches that I do, so I can pick their brains."

"If someone is running into an issue, we put it
out there and get great advice. It's almost like
having a board of directors for my business
where I can get advice from people doing the
same thing that I am. These are local sign
shops like me, going through the same
headaches that I do, so I can pick their brains."

that supplier before. "They asked what we were looking for.
When we told them, they were able to show us the same router
for several thousand dollars cheaper than our usual supplier.
That wouldn't have happened if the relationship wasn't there
through the Elite program."
He also has asked peers about equipment they've purchased-
and even helped navigate challenges. "We had some trouble
with our channel letter bender that we bought a few years ago.
We were able to troubleshoot an issue with someone else who
has the same bender," he said. A service contract on the boom
truck also came through an Elite relationship. "We're going to be
adding a boom truck and when we do, we'll definitely be looking
at them because their service is so great," Matt said.
Joining the ISA Elite program has deepened his involvement in
ISA and his local affiliated association, Southern States Sign
Association (SSSA).
"I wasn't super involved in Southern States before the ISA Elite
program," he said. "I reached out to Southern States and said,
'I'd like to get more involved.'"
He was quickly brought on board. These days, he's heavily involved
in advocacy work, helping SSSA as chair of the Legislative committee
and serving on the SSSA board. It was through the advocacy work
where he connected with Ken Soday, who had long worked as a
volunteer on advocacy issues. He also is a competitor. "We both
believe there's plenty of business to go around," Matt said. "He's
taken me under his wing. He's the reason I joined the legislative
committee. He brought me in, taught me about permitting and
variances. His shop is much bigger than ours and I've been able
to refer work over to him. Just being able to call him up, even
though he's a competitor, and ask, 'Have you ever run into this
issue in that county?' He's always willing to help out."
The same can be said for most who work in the sign, graphics
and visual communications industry. Whether looking for advice
from someone who has used that product, tackled that sign code
or faced that challenge, the answer is usually there and ISA
membership can provide the link to find it.

Those relationships have paid off too. He made connections with
other Elite members who work for national sign companies and
"now I'm a vendor for them," he said. "That has brought in $20,000
from one company since we met."
He also has met vendors and suppliers, which has been equally
as beneficial. At ISA Sign Expo 2019, he stopped by one supplier's
booth to visit an Elite colleague. His company had never used

Every $1 invested in travel results in $12.50 in return on investment.

| www.signs.org


http://www.signs.org

Signs of the Times - April 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - April 2020

Contents
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - Intro
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - BB1
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - BB2
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - Cover1
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - Cover1a
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - Cover1b
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - Cover2
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 1
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - Contents
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 3
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 4
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 5
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 6
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 7
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 8
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 9
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 10
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 11
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 12
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 13
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 14
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 15
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 16
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 17
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 18
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 19
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 20
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 21
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 22
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 23
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 24
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 25
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 26
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 27
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 28
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 29
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 30
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 31
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 32
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 33
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 34
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 35
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - 36
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Signs of the Times - April 2020 - Cover3
Signs of the Times - April 2020 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_202008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_202007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_202006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_202005
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201802
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201711
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201709
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_bg2017
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201505
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201503
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_bg2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201502
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201412
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201407
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201406
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201404
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_bg2014
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201402
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201401
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201311
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201308
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201307
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201306
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201305
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201303
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_bg2013
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201302
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201301
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201208
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201207
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201206
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201205
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201204
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_bg2012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sott_201202
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