With its roots in the world of trade media, SignLink Live’s organising and creative team understand the value of inspiring, educating, and entertaining its visitors.
To this end it will run a comprehensive programme of special features that attracts visitors to the exhibition over the three days and leaves them feeling they have been part of not just a valuable experience in terms of improving their business prospects, but also makes them feel part of ‘sign-making culture’ and a community of like-minded UK entrepreneurs.
THE PROFIT FACTORY
A key factor that distinguishes SignLink Live from other European exhibitions with a similar sector focus is its dedication to educating and inspiring its visitors in regards to new business diversification avenues outside wide-format print technology. In its first year, it will launch The Profit Factory, providing four ‘shops’ that will give visitors insight into businesses in a box that required a low capital investment, but are capable of producing high-margin products and services.
What defines a sign-maker today has changed very significantly from even a decade ago. No longer are they demarcated into vertical markets that cater for a clear set of products and services. Rather, thousands have diversified to offer a wide range of products, with single businesses capable of offering everything from merchandising to t-shirt printing.
An area of potential growth for sign-makers large and small, they can come and get hands on business coaching and training on how to break into this market.
A technology that has long been a solid ‘business in a box’ for entrepreneurial sign-makers, they will be able to come and find out about the very latest technology and how to harness its potential.
Promo Print Alley
Today there is a brand new wave of ‘3D object printing’ and technology that can see sign-makers diversify into offering everything from seasonal branded gift boxes through to corporate gifts and even personalised mobile phone covers.
The Curiosity Shop
A new wave of demand from sign buyers is centring on the need for products that can create ambience and atmosphere. Be it for a restaurant chain or fashion store, at this weird and wonderful store they can find out how to offer bespoke signage and creative solutions to cater for their client’s needs.
THE SWAP SHOP
Of all the many bright, colourful, and creative areas in our wide-ranging industry, it is hard to beat a quality creative enhancement using speciality vinyl. Be it decoration on a high-powered motor-sports car, wrapping a mountain bike, or even wrapping the tables of a new coffee shop to go with its marketing theme, the time and creativity that goes into these projects is admirable. And being able to ‘swap out’ a bland image for a new effect has never been easier.
The Swap Shop will be run by specialist industry supplier Grafityp, and there are certainly plenty of options it will be playing with, from carbon fibre and colour change films; metallic and colourwave options; brushed metal, cast satin and matt metallics, even a stardust series. Grafityp also offers the Deco range of films, which includes options like leather finishes, flock velvet, and a variety of other designs.
FOR THE LOVE OF NEON
Looking backwards over time’s shoulder, some sources of informed opinion suggest that there have been a number of epoch-making revolutions in the sign industry. The first revolution though, arguably, happened shortly after the first neon tube was bent, pumped and powered.
Painted, lit boards suddenly had competition and the era well and truly hit its stride. For The Love of Neon is a special area of SignLink Live dedicated to this fantastic sign-making discipline, raising awareness of its current practitioners, and of its continued value to the UK sign-making industry.
The making of signs is one of the world’s oldest forms of communication. Whether it was blown ink to form hand prints on a cave wall, or the first use of street names carved into walls in the Roman empire, the sign industry today builds on an amazing cultural heritage.
And today the artisans of our trade continue to ply their business, practising skills that were once common place before the advent of digital printing and CNC vinyl cutting technology.
The Craftsman’s Corner is a celebration of these techniques and a showcase for businesses that continue to offer them as a service right up to the modern day. Importantly, the goal of SignLink Live with this special area is not just to create a cultural curiosity, but to raise awareness of the beauty and impact of traditionally produced signs for the modern industry. Craftsman’s Corner will thus provide ongoing live demonstrations of gold leaf signage, hand sign writing, bas-relief carving, and traditional screen printing.
One of the fastest growth sectors of the UK sign industry is for products that are environmentally-friendly. Whether it is signs made from recycled material, using ultra-low power consumption LEDs or incorporating solar powered energy sources into a billboard or totem sign, there is increasing
demand from sign buyers large and small for solutions that are low impact on the environment and on the pocket.
Green Horizons is a special area of SignLink Live dedicated to signage solutions that have low environmental impact.
THE SIGN-MAKER'S SINK HOLE
The saying ‘people buy from people’ is very true, and being able to sit down in a relaxed atmosphere without having to leave the hall is a fantastic asset to have.
At The Sign-maker’s Sink Hole pub you can take a load off, have some good food, sink a pint or two of course, and network with industry colleagues or customers new and old.
SOFTWARE TRAINING AND BUSINESS SEMINARS
Over the course of the three day show, the Business Seminar Theatre will play host to a range of experts that will provide key insights into how sign-making professionals can strengthen their current business and look to its future.
The speakers will also focus on the importance of diversification and help visitors understand ‘Blockbuster’ syndrome. In short, once a mighty king of the video rental industry, what Blockbuster forgot was that their product was not a film in a box and some upsold chocolate peanuts, but actually a relaxed and entertaining night at home in front of the TV. By focusing on the means of delivery, rather than product, they collapsed in spectacular fashion in the face of internet film streaming.
Today sign-makers need to make the same transition of realising their ‘product’ is not just a built-up letter, flex face sign, or wayfinding totem, but translating a customer’s objectives into physical communication with their target market.
The Software Theatre at SignLink Live promises to demonstrate the latest in the ever-increasing sophistication of computer packages that have transformed the industry.
From Adobe Indesign, to CAD/CAM systems, and a range of MIS software, there is a wide selection of packages to choose from that could improve a sign-maker’s efficiency or output quality.
Some are more expensive, some are more compatible, and some are more easy to use. The question is, which one is best, or, rather, is right for an individual business? Some of the big hitters of the sign-making software world will be speaking at the theatre, covering not only the artwork packages, but also photography, and illustration.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
A FABRICATION SHOW
There has not been a show on this scale dedicated to sign fabrication and its supply chain for a long-time, and it will be great to be immersed in an exhibition dedicated soley to this sector.
- David Allen, Allen Signs
FOR THE INDUSTRY
I have always stated that Link Exhibitions, would put on a very good exhibition, wherever it was.
I think it will continue for many years to come.
- Neil Stevenson, Grafityp
UNDER ONE ROOF
The concept and focus of the show on core sign-making products and services means it will give me the chance to source a huge number of new potential suppliers under one roof.
- Mark Bartlett, Sign Box
KEEPING IN TOUCH
Subscribe to our mailing list: