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Growth and Opportunity: ISA Sign Expo 2011

(March 2011) posted on Wed Mar 09, 2011

Back in Vegas, the event is on track to be its largest since 2008.

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By Britney Grimmelsman

The 65th annual Sign Expo hosted by the International Sign Association (ISA) will take over the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, April 28-30. As this article is written, ISA looks to surpass the crowd numbers of last year, with early registration being up by 47 percent and there is already a 12-percent increase in committed exhibitor space, with more than 1900 exhibit booths on the show floor.

With the ISA show on track to be its largest since 2008, will the event be a harbinger of better times for the graphics and signage marketplace?

“All signs point to an improved outlook for the industry,” says Lori Anderson, ISA president and CEO. “When speaking with our supplier and distributor community, they are sharing stories of growth and opportunity that we were not hearing a year ago. The optimism currently being expressed is also noted in the recent increase in [our organization’s] membership numbers.”

What’s new?
Perhaps the biggest news for this year’s ISA Expo event is that, for the first time, ISA will co-locate its Sign Expo with the International Reprographic Association (IRgA) convention and tradeshow. The world’s leading trade association for the reprographics and blueprinting industry, the IRgA ( represents businesses involved in large- and small-format imaging as well as file transfer technologies and document distribution and management. The co-location will provide an expanded platform for ISA and IRgA attendees and exhibitors to network, attend expert-led educational sessions, and visit a more robust tradeshow floor all in one location and at a reduced cost, the ISA reports.

“ISA always strives to develop opportunities that create a win-win scenario for everyone,” says Anderson. “ISA has spent this year looking for ways to help unify the visual communication industry. It was only natural that IRgA and ISA work together to help increase value to our members, attendees, and exhibiting community.”

And, says Steve Bova, the IRgA’s executive director: “The IRgA is excited to offer its attendees and vendors an opportunity for two shows with one trip. Vendors will be able to leverage their sales efforts by networking with reprographers at the IRgA event. Reprographers will be able to attend the International Sign Expo and discover more about the world of color and new revenue opportunities. While the ISA and IRgA events will be separate, we are all part of one big industry. Connecting in this manner makes sense.”