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altVisitors and exhibitors at Sign & Digital UK, Screenprint and Digital Signage Showcase, the annual exhibition for the UK’s sign, graphics and visual communication industry, reported a major success as the show returned to the NEC, Birmingham on 22 – 24th April 2008.

With a third of the 2009 show already booked onsite at this year’s event, and many exhibitors increasing the size of their stands, Sign & Digital UK 2009 promises to be a big hit.

Newly re-branded as Sign & Digital UK, the 2008 show highlighted the equal importance of all the sign and digital technologies, modern and traditional. The re-branding enhances the position of the show as a unique, all encompassing event that once again attracted thousands of visitors.

Rudi Blackett, event director, comments: “The feedback from suppliers and visitors across the industry has been extremely positive from this year’s Sign & Digital UK. Exhibitors reported the biggest number of quality enquiries ever generated, and as the show celebrated its 21st birthday this year, the vital role Sign & Digital UK plays within the industry continues to grow ever more apparent.”

This year’s show attracted many big name visitors from companies such as Augustus Martin, BBC, Bezier, British Airways, C3 Imaging, Debenhams, Gardners, Hawes Signs, Merson Signs, Monster Digital, Pontins, Service Graphics, Sign A Rama, Signs Express and Tesco, to name but a few.

Adrian White, manager, Chelmsford Safety Supplies: “As a first time visitor to the show, I must say that I am thoroughly impressed. A second visit next year is guaranteed!”

Mark Kimber, multimedia communications manager, Pontin’s says: “I have come to look predominantly at the digital signage solutions on offer. I also found the banner stand exhibitors to be of interest, particularly around the 3D graphic design work that we do.”

Carol Kent, signwriter, Kent Traditional Signwriters: “In short I have found Sign & Digital 2008 to be a brilliant show. As a traditional signwriting company, we are now seeing a need for us to expand the services we offer. We will definitely be looking to visit again next year.”

Dave Rowland, manager, The Sign Shop: “I have been visiting the show for about four years now, and am always pleased with the range of suppliers exhibiting. My specific interest is in Digital UV Flatbed printing, which the show has been good for. We have some great leads and I hope to source some good suppliers following the show.”

Meanwhile, some of the industry’s biggest suppliers to the market reported robust trading on the show floor.

Brett Newman from Roland DG comments: “Each year the show continues to be a success for Roland, attracting exactly the type of audience we need to be speaking with. Within the first twenty minutes of the first day we had made a significant sale. This clearly demonstrates why the show is such an important event for Roland, and is the reason that we come back year on year.”

Robert Horne Group’s Terry Cattle says: “We’ve definitely seen more people on the stand this year and taken more leads compared to previous years, in fact, the amount of sales leads have doubled. We’ve also had good hardware sales, having sold around 20 machines from the stand.”

First time exhibitor, Gavin Clark from Global Erecting Signs remarks: “This was our first time exhibiting at the show, and we’ve been extremely happy with the way it has been organised and marketed. We’ve seen a steady flow of people, and have had a fantastic number of leads, as well as the opportunity to increase our customer profile. We have now booked a stand for next year that’s three times as big as this year’s one.”

Expand International, Julian Rowlandson, sales director: “Sign & Digital UK never fails to deliver on our expectations and as such is our key shop window for the year. The quality of the leads generated always delivers a return on our investment.”

Print Finishing Solutions, Mark Dale: “We’ve seen a fantastic crowd this year, with the show attracting exactly the type of visitors we wanted to speak to, and as a result have generated some great leads.”

Ross Perkins, UK Operations Director at Luminous Media / China 2 West comments: “We have had a great show, a good mix of leads and made some fantastic contacts ranging from media buyers to single retail outlets. The event has been a terrific showcase for our range. See you next year!”

As well as a host of exhibitors, visitors to Sign & Digital UK also had access to a wealth of free information through the Corel Workshop, Adobe Theatre, Walsall College Theatre and the newly launched Sign & Digital UK Theatre. The seminar programmes offered visitors the chance to hear a variety of industry experts discussing some of the most relevant issues facing the sector.

Bob Hook, Sales Europe, Hilord Chemical Corporation comments: “The seminars have all looked really busy; one of my colleagues attended the CS3 – New Features seminar within the Adobe Theatre, which he found very informative indeed.”

Sign & Digital UK continued its evolution in 2008, with new features added such as the free internet zone at the ever-popular Sign Makers Bar along with the introduction of the Massage Zone – a big hit with weary visitors and exhibitors alike!

Sign & Digital UK, Screenprint and Digital Signage Showcase will return to the NEC, Birmingham on 28th - 30th April 2009.

Planning for the 2009 show is well underway to ensure the show continues to grow year on year, and remain the most innovative and informative show within the industry.