From the hand-on demos and the new hardware and supplies showcased to the growing sense of optimism and enthusiasm on the show floor, the ISA International Sign Expo 2010 certainly showed that there was a budding sense of life for the sign and wide-format industry.
In an industry that focuses on visual communications, there was no place better to be than ISA International Sign Expo 2010 in Orlando, April 7 – 10. Nearly 17,000 attendees from around the globe visited hundreds of exhibitors in more than 160,000 net square feet of exhibit space on an expo show floor that was the largest it has been since 2008. Seventeen percent of exhibitors were new and/or first time exhibitors.
Exhibitors have been pretty unanimous in their post-show reports, declaring that the show was better than originally anticipated—both in terms of booth traffic and the quality of the attendees—which was good to hear and see. In many cases, the show was a good indicator that the economy and the industry were on the rebound.
"We are really pleased with the show. Both attendee and exhibitor participation was excellent, the buzz was extremely positive and our on-site exhibitor registration for the 2011 show was phenomenal," said Lori Anderson, president, ISA.
"ISA 2010 was more positive then what we have seen in the last two years," said Pete Alsten, North American Product Manager, Zund America, Inc.
"We had a tremendous ISA Show," said Dan Barefoot, president, Graphics One. "This year’s ISA was better than expected and there is no doubt the economy is turning favorably in both North and South America."
"ISA 2010 was well-attended and proved to be an excellent show for Agfa, even better than we anticipated. Sales were strong, a good sign that the industry is moving along the recovery path," said Deborah Hutcheson, director of marketing, Agfa Graphics, North America.
"The ISA show overall was good for our company—although it seemed as if the attendance may have been down the number of customers that visited our booth was steady and met our expectations," said Christopher Howard, vice president of sales & marketing, Durst Image Technology US LLC.
"ISA was a very good show for us. We were very busy the entire show and came back with many good leads," said Holly Szychowski, director of marketing communications, Arlon.
"ISA exceeded lofty expectations," said Mike Wozny, product manager, EFI-VUTEk. "Traffic in the EFI booth was very high and the folks that visited were in a buying mood. A good indicator of this is EFI printer (VUTEk & Rastek) unit sales were up more than 10 percent when compared to ISA 2009."
"Overall, the show traffic looked to be slightly down from past ISA shows, but the optimism in the industry far exceeded our expectations. Industry shows last year had a completely different mood--much more subdued. It was clear that there is now optimism that business will pick up and improve in 2010," said Patrick Ryan, general manager, Seiko Instruments USA.
What were the trending topics on the ISA show floor? WFI asked exhibitors for their take on what they observed during ISA International Sign Expo 2010.
"Sustainability continues to be a trend in the industry. We saw a lot of interest in our 3M Wall Decorating Film IJ86E which is an environmentally preferred solution. Another trend we utilized was covering the show through social media outlets. Our fans loved watching the videos we posted and photos we uploaded. It's a great way to share the events with those that are too busy to get out of their shops," said Heidi Anderson, marketing communications, 3M Graphics Market Center.
"The biggest trend was of printing systems that featured higher resolution combined with faster output. It also seemed like there were more UV digital inkjet systems and fewer of the electronic signs than there have been in the past," said Hutcheson from Agfa.