According to Brandon Hensley, vice president of marketing & sales of ISA, the 2011 International Sign Expo is on track to become one of the largest in recent years. "We are anticipating a minimum of 18,000 attendees—this will be up from 17,000 last year. Currently we are trending 44 percent ahead on our early registrations compared to last year at this time—so we could be way over the 18,000," said Hensley.
Sign Expo 2011, scheduled for April 28-30 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV, will feature 550 exhibitors, about a 10 percent increase over 2010. The exhibit hall, featuring the sign industry’s latest products, will be the largest since 2008.
"We are anticipating a sold out event with over 195,000 net square feet. We only have 6,000 nsf to sell to be sold out," said Hensley. "Last year we staged the expo with 170,000 nsf so we will be 15 percent larger than last year. This does not include the co-location with IRgA and the exhibitors and space that they will occupy in the adjacent exhibit hall. "
“All signs point to an improved outlook for the industry,” said Lori Anderson, president and CEO, ISA. “The larger exhibit spaces means more ways for sign professionals to grow their businesses. Educational events will allow them to stay current on the latest information. ISA International Sign Expo is the place to be for businesses that want to be ready to capitalize in an upward economy.”
Sign Expo 2011 features expanded educational sessions, with 75 courses that will improve knowledge in business management, technical requirements, and industry trends. Educational events run four days, including a Pre-Expo education workshop on April 27. Attendees can register for single courses, or choose multiple courses in specially priced packages.
The exhibit hall has been designed with special events that will build excitement for attendees. The American Wrap Star Competition tests the skills of the country’s best car wrap professionals, and a Harley Davidson Fat Boy will be given away in a sweepstakes drawing. Additionally, ISA’s booth will feature a climbing wall.
The main excitement, though, will come from the new products. Make sure to get a low-down on all of the new products at ISA in the special ISA Showstoppers section of the April issue of Wide-Format Imaging. At the ISA Sign Expo, the New Product Showcase and Green Product Showcase will introduce these new products in two-minute pitches, with attendees voting on the best product in each category.
“Three months before the show, we already have 12 percent more floor space committed than we had at last year’s Expo,” said Hensley. “We have made numerous changes to the exhibit hall floor that will make this a better experience for attendees.”
The Opening General Session will kick off the Expo, with retired General Stanley McChrystal offering lessons in leadership. McChrystal was the former commander of international forces in Afghanistan.
Other changes include making the conference brochure iPhone friendly, and eliminating a traditional help desk in favor of help available via text message. “This allows attendees to text a question from anywhere—from the airport, their hotel room, or anywhere in the exhibit hall instead of finding a help desk,” Hensley said.