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altThe Sign & Digital UK Seminar theatre returns in 2008, covering a broad range of topics that guarantee to attract a wide variety of visitors. From Chinese imports to ideas on how to make your business greener, the Sign & Digital UK Seminar theatre will once again provide its audience with inspiration and advice.

Being seen as environmentally conscious is a huge issue that most businesses are finding they can no longer afford to ignore. Not only is being ‘green’ good for the environment, it can also have a positive impact on your company image. The issues surrounding the environmental impact of your business are to be well catered for at the Sign & Digital UK theatre.

The theatre will see two companies conducting seminars looking at different aspects and benefits of ‘going green’. Steve Lister, business development manager at Robert Horne Sign & Display is to lead a seminar looking at the issues surrounding greener products, recycling and environmentally responsible policies, while attempting to demystify a complex area of the industry. Meanwhile, Steve Wicks of Greenprint Consultancy will be looking at how businesses are best able to market their environmentally responsible activities, to new and existing customers.

Visitors to the show will also be able to hear from two companies that have travelled from the USA, especially to talk at the show. Sawgrass Technologies is hosting an introduction to the benefits of dye sublimation, which will be led by John Barker, program manager on the acclaimed ‘Project Sublimation’ educational series. Great Garment Graphics on the other hand is a specialist personalisation company, from which Mel Meibers, co-founder of the Great Garment Graphics seminars, will be looking at growing a business with heat printing, through to advanced user techniques when heat printing.

Mel comments: “The imprinted apparel industry is constantly changing and with good artwork and the right output device businesses can meet the personalisation needs of almost any customer. With over two decades of experience behind me, I hope to update and educate attendees to the show on the new equipment available, how to get the most out of the equipment they already own and how they can give their customers the best value for their money. In addition, I want to drive forward inspiration for heat printing applications and techniques.”

In addition, Berni Dack of JB Marketing & Consultancy (JBMC) will talk through the basics of marketing communications, the issues facing every small company and entrepreneur, how to deal with some of these issues on a shoestring budget and how to think co-operatively in order to get the best return on investment.

Berni remarks: “Sign & Digital UK for me has been a ‘must-attend’ event for many years being both a marketer to and now customer of the industry.

“In my seminar series ‘Marketing on a Shoestring’ I aim to combine my knowledge of not only the marketing communications process and the industry, but also my experience as a business owner and entrepreneur myself and bring marketing back to grass roots for this year’s show.

“It’s sometimes easy to forget that the visitors to trade shows are mum and dads, as well as business people, who face normal problems like getting the kids to school, how to grow their business, pay the VAT man and try to promote themselves, never mind actually creating the work! However, the fact that 2008’s show has a varied seminar program including everyday issues like how to market your business is testament that Sign & Digital UK really does understand their demographic and I hope visitors to the seminar will be able to take away something that they can then put into practice themselves.”

Looking at the value of Chinese imports to western markets will be Nick Cunningham, China 2 West managing director and Ross Perkins, China 2 West UK Operations. During the seminar, the China 2 West team will present industry relevant information on the pros and cons of sourcing and manufacturing in China.

Ross Perkins comments: “Most businesses are aware of the enormous capacity and ability that China has to offer, and many recognise that it is possible to source or manufacture a huge range of products from China. However, few achieve it without considerable difficulty.

“With our experience in POS, signage and promotional market sectors, we want to use the theatre as a platform to educate and offer a fresh insight to anyone either looking at China for the first time or as a 'far east veteran'.”

Another exciting announcement at the show will be the unveiling of the newly re-branded Digital & Screen Print Association (DSPA), formerly the Screen Printing Association (SPA). On the 22nd April, come and celebrate the re-launch of the DSPA, the trade association for the UK’s print specialists and manufacturers. This seminar will outline how the organisation intends to build-upon its already invaluable services to further benefit the UK’s specialist imaging industry.

DSPA president, Peter Kiddell, and newly appointed business manager, John Keith, will be on-hand to answer questions and communicate their vision for the future of this essential resource. To support the competitiveness of the UK’s industry, the association will also be hosting two further seminars at this year’s event, on the 23rd April industry guru, Sophie Matthews-Paul, provides an insight into tackling the challenges facing printers using large format digital technology. On the 24th April, John Keith explains how printers can increase profit margins by implementing simple yet effective processes and incorporating value added services.

Fairfield Displays & Lighting will be returning to the show with an educational seminar aimed squarely at those looking to get started in digital screen signage. The market has grown at a phenomenal rate, and so Geoffrey Fairfield, chairman Fairfield Displays & Lighting, will explain how small sign makers with a good knowledge of computers can successfully integrate digital screen signage solutions into their product range, opening up new revenue streams.

Lastly, Nicky Finney, business development manager at the Royal National Institute of Blind People, will be looking at effective wayfinding for the blind and partially sighted. It is estimated that by 2010 over half the UK population will be over 45 years old. These ageing populations will be experiencing a higher prevalence of disabilities such as sight loss, and as an industry we will need to be prepared to meet their needs. In this seminar Nicky will be looking at some of the latest tools and technologies available to help solve this problem, and will also be welcoming suggestions and ideas from the floor.