Sign & Digital UK has once again confirmed its status as the UK’s leading exhibition for the sign making, display solutions and digital printing industry following a mammoth show with more than 6,800 unique visitors, plus 350 who revisited the show on more than one day (awaiting audit) - a 12% increase on 2014’s visitor figures of 6,115.
The three-day event took place at the NEC, Birmingham from 24 to 26 March 2015 and featured a host of exclusive UK, European and world product launches, kit demonstrations, new show features and more than 35 daily seminars and workshops.
With extensive sales and leads made across the three days, exhibitors were eager to secure their stand space for the 2016 event, with more than one third of next year’s floor space already booked up.
Rudi Blackett, portfolio director, said: “This year’s Sign & Digital UK has been excellent, with a huge range of product launches, a wealth of sales across every day of the show and high volumes of good quality visitors.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all our exhibitors, visitors and supporters who have made this year’s show such a success! We look forward to seeing you all again in 2016, on the later dates of 26 to 28 April.”
A selling show
Sales were strong across the three days of the show, with Jetrix making an impressive sale within the first hour on day one. Perfect Colours confirmed sales of more than 20 HP Latex 300 printers. Radecal reported a life of activity for the entire show with over 20 CNC and laser machines sold over the three days. Resolute DTG also confirmed over £100,000 and PrintMAX had sold more than 20 printers before the end of the show.
On the success of the show, Adrian Painter, Director at SMGG, says: “We have experienced unprecedented enquiry levels on stand regarding the new HP PageWide Technology. The show has been great for us. These are very exciting times for our company as we implement our HP PageWide service certification.”
i-Sub's Andy Spreag adds: “It’s been a great show for i-Sub and we’ve made a number of significant hardware sales off stand.”
Colourgen's Melanie Enser continues: “There’s been a more positive feel amongst the visitors to the show this year who clearly have budget to spend. We have seen particular interest in the Mutoh ValueJet 426UF which indicates people are more willing and actively looking to expand their current portfolio.”
Chris Bailey, managing director at QPS, had a good show. He states: “There has been a lot of interest in the Longier machines and we have confirmed interest in demonstrations at our UK demo suite, from which we are confident we will confirm orders. Additionally, Nazdar inks continue to garner much interest. As the main distributor of a UK manufactured brand of premium alternative inks, we have made a number of ink conversations at the show.”
Stuart Cole, national sales manager for industrial products at Hybrid Services, says: “This year our resellers have confirmed significant sales across the Mimaki range. We’ve found a lot of the visitors to our stand have been very well informed and already committed to investing. By visiting the show and seeing the products in the flesh, they’ve found it much easier to make the final investment.”
Vicky Jarman, marketing manager at printMAX adds: “Sign & Digital UK has always been a fantastic opportunity to meet customers both old and new, but also a great time to sell. This year has been no exception, with a fantastic array of customers and opportunities, plus a daily dose of sales enquiries. We look forward to the show every year and will certainly be back again in 2016.”
Shaun Thompson, general manager at GPT, concludes: "GPT's eighth consecutive year at Sign & Digital UK has been one of the most successful in terms of business done at the show. With lots of new machines on show for the first time in the UK from Mimaki and HP, conversations focused on the benefits to be enjoyed by these exciting new printers... The contacts made at Sign & Digital UK will be a real boost to our business and we look forward to seeing many of them again soon.”
Exhibitor product launches
Sign & Digital UK also confirmed its reputation as the exclusive launching pad for the latest technologies and equipment.
Hewlett-Packard gave visitors a sneak preview of HP PageWide Technology, while Roland DG offered an exclusive preview of its transfer finishing solution – the Texart CS-64 calendar press.
Hybrid Services/Mimaki showcased the UK’s first public appearance of the new Mimaki CFL-605RT Compact Flatbed Cutting Plotter. Other Mimaki launches included the CJV150 Series, CJV300 Series, and the UJF-6042 flatbed LED UV printer.
Other first time UK demonstrations included Colourgen’s new Mutoh ValueJet 426UF desktop flatbed LED UV printer and wide-format specialist CMYUK ‘s demonstration of the EFI H1625.
InkTec/Jetrix hosted the European debut of their brand new 3.2m UV roll printer, the Jetrix RX3200, alongside their newest bulk filling system.
MTEX Technologies created a UK first, showing the newly launched MTEX Vision, while Signmaster Systems launched Seiko’s next generation H Series ColorPainter, with a special demonstration from Frank Janschke, Head of Sales at Seiko.
Agfa Graphics showcased its latest addition to the i-Series, the Anapurna M3200i RTR.
Atech launched an impressive seven new products, previously unseen before in the UK, including the Bobis BLA Applicator Table, Elitron Kombo SDC digital cutter, TLS LED lighting systems, Matic Cronos Eco, Pongs Digital Textiles, Alupanel Edge Finishing for Dufaylite and Re-board and the Hollanders Textile Printer.
Soyang Europe unveiled two brand new products, including the exclusive European launch of Seal-Wise, a printable rigid substrate incorporating closed-cell technology and So-Netic, a printable and easily replaceable magnetic wall-covering.
Vivid Laminating Technologies launched its new product line, the Easymount Flow, a finishing table designed specifically to complement its market-leading Easymount Wide Format Laminating Systems.
Blackman & White showcased its new Versa Tech cutter for the first time at a UK exhibition, while Canon unveiled its two latest high-performance wide format colour printers - the Océ ColorWave 700 and the Océ ColorWave 500.
Landor UK Ltd also launched two new additions to the Landor Phototex self-adhesive fabric range, and presented several new liquid protective coatings and primers.
In the software world, Nth Degree’s stand saw considerable interest in its new prototype augmented reality app. While Shuttleworth was demonstrating its new service feature “kitting” which has been designed specifically for the vehicle wrapping market.