The inaugural edition of SignLink Live has attracted widespread praise from exhibitors and visitors alike, after more than 5,300 people visited the show and co-located sister event The Print Show this year.
A total of 5,335 people passed through the doors of the International Centre in Telford from October 11th to 13th for both shows, which took place alongside each other to allow visitors with interests in both the print and sign-making markets to catch up on the latest goings-on in each industry.
SignLink Live was entirely focused on sign-making, with wide-format printing based next door at The Print Show. This set up seemed to go down well with exhibitors, who said visitors were much more focused on the sign-making side of production when in the SignLink Live hall.
Chris Davies, event director for both SignLink Live and The Print Show, says: “The whole idea behind SignLink Live was to offer something that nobody has done before—a show all about sign-making, and only about sign-making. Other events do have an aspect of sign-making, but also feature a lot of wide-format print, and this can get frustrating for exhibitors from a sign-making background, as it can draw visitors’ focus.
“From the feedback we have already had, we achieved exactly what we set out to do; exhibitors were able to speak with the visitors that really mattered to them. People who visited the SignLink Live hall knew exactly what they were going to see, and they were certainly not disappointed.”
A breath of fresh air
One of the most recognisable brands at SignLink Live 2017 was Applelec, which lit up the one corner of the hall with its bright LED sign-making solutions. Carl Eastwood, commercial director of Applelec, spoke positively about the show: “Set up was great, it has been friendly and organised. The show is a breath of fresh air.”
Applelec was showcasing its new LED letter range, Neon Lux, which Eastwood said is efficient, with many different colours available, and is very strong. He adds: “There has been an emerging demand for internal low level signage of this kind. It is ideal for retail, point-of-sale, and corporate branding.”
Also positive about the event was Brand Stand UK, which was in attendance to speak with visitors about its Wave Light product, new for 2018. The ultra-bright LED backlit tension fabric display system has been six months in the making and, according to sales manager Alexander Brice, went down very well with focused visitors at the show.
Brice says: “The quality of visitor is high to SignLink Live; they are switched on and they know the market well. Five years ago, there would not have been as much fabric at the show but it is now definitely an emerging side of the industry.”
Elsewhere, The Sign Group reported a lot of interest in Neon Plus Digital, a new, patent pending addressable neon technology that can create intelligent effects and complicated animations.
Anthony Lowe, manager at The Sign Group, says SignLink Live was the perfect opportunity for the company to pre-launch the product and offer visitors the chance to have a sneak peak at the solution. He says: “Everyone we spoke to was a potential new customer for us, which is great. Although it might be not as busy at times, it is a better quality visitor coming through the doors.”
Good for the industry
SignLink Live allowed companies to get their name and products in front of thousands of potential customers. Mike Vince, general manager at Irpen UK, explains that the event did just this for the Irpen brand, after a successful re-launch just two years ago.
Vince adds: “We are glad we exhibited, and I think the show has been good for the industry.”
Meanwhile, trade sign manufacturer and installer Signfab UK revealed at the end of day two that it had been able to generate more than 130 leads and installation manager, Alan Hill, was looking forward to following these up in the weeks after the event.
Hill adds: “Being here with our competitors, we all know each other, but it works. We are promoting the services that we offer and it has been worth exhibiting.”
Being based in Telford itself, Sign Making Tools only had to make a short trip to the International Centre this year to speak with visitors about its wide range of solutions, which includes knives, storage racks, and squeegees.
Julia Hughes, director at Sign Making Tools, says: “We love meeting and chatting with people at the show. Our tools are built in-house and if we can make it, we do it. We see many people discover more to a range of products than they were aware of.”