FESPA (A federation of trade associations and an organiser of exhibitions and conferences for the screen and digital printing industry) will co-host a new event for sign-makers alongside its main exhibition in London next year. European Sign Expo aims to extend FESPA's print remit by reaching out to sign-makers and other display technology disciplines, including digital signage, as well as retailers and corporate communications specialists.
FESPA has partnered with the European Sign Federation to create the show, which will have a separate identity and ticketing, although visitors will be free to pass between the two shows. The exhibition's 5,000sq m footprint will feature the core technologies – such as modular sign systems, channel letters and illumination – used by the sign trade for a variety of applications, including architectural, wayfinding and informational.
Craig Brown, managing director of the Signs Express franchise group, believes this is a positive step for the sign-making community. "This event is the ideal platform for us to encourage our network of 70 sign production centres to visit the show and keep up to speed with industry trends, as well as enable us to facilitate meetings and create further networking opportunities," he comments.
Some 35 percent of the floor space for the show has already been sold, and FESPA reports that it is working with the Shop and Display Equipment Association (SDEA) to appeal to sign-makers and retail managers. The organisers claim that it is the only international exhibition to focus on the sign market, and hopes to attract some 12,500 visitors across the two shows.
"It is a natural progression for FESPA to develop a sign exhibition to serve the European market; sign-makers are already part of FESPA's global community," explains Neil Felton, managing director of FESPA's exhibitions and events. "As the convergence between the sign and print sectors continues, we want to guide graphic producers and their customers on how they can maximise the impact and effectiveness of signage."
Roger Persson, president of the ESF, adds that the development of such an event is 'an important mission' for his organisation. "As a federation, our objectives include providing a central point where the sign-making community can obtain industry information, as well as facilitate the exchange of ideas and experiences," he states. "We believe an exhibition is the perfect platform for individuals to be able to do this while also sourcing equipment solutions to improve the performance of their business."