Success Stories: - ISA Sign Expo 2015

THE
WINNING
STORY
FEBRUARY 2015 VOL 15
THE INSIDE SCOOP ON THE TOOLS, TECHNOLOGY AND
PEOPLE WHO CAN HELP MAKE YOUR BUSINESS SUCCEED
EVERYTHING FOR YOUR
BUSINESS UNDER ONE ROOF
APRIL 8–11
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
MANDALAY BAY CONVENTION CENTER
REGISTER: SIGNEXPO.ORG/WINNER
Success Stories:
Meet colleagues who took chances
that paid off for their business
WHY INDUSTRY INSIDERS ARE
FLOCKING TO ISA SIGN EXPO 2015
S I G N $
YOU SHOULD
BE HERE
There’s one place to find the innovations,
connections and opportunities you need to be
competitive in the sign industry: ISA Sign Expo 2015.
If you want to succeed, be there in April.
COME TO PLAY. COME TO WIN.
Education & Networking: April 8–11 • Trade Show: April 9–11 • Mandalay Bay Convention Center • Las Vegas, Nevada
SIGNEXPO.ORG/WINNER
ISA SIGN EXPO THE WINNING STORY 3
Dear Colleague,
Every year, sign and visual communications companies are changing, thanks to ISA
Sign Expo. That’s because it’s the only annual event that brings the entire sign and
visual communications industry together under one roof — and offers the education
and product innovation to match. This year, we’re expecting it to be one of the largest
ISA Sign Expo shows ever with 21,000 industry professionals and 550 exhibitors from
around the world.
Global professionals come to ISA Sign Expo for valuable information they can apply
immediately to help their businesses play — and win — in an increasingly competitive
critical
insights
FOR YOUR
BUSINESS
marketplace. And once they return home, they’re writing the success stories that are
driving our industry to the next level.
As we prepare for ISA Sign Expo 2015, we thought you’d be motivated by some of these
success stories. On the following pages, you’ll not only learn what we have planned for
you in Las Vegas this April — you’ll also get to see how ISA Sign Expo has helped people
like you boost revenue, discover new lines of business and redefine their careers.
Join us in April and get exposure to the tools, connections and education you need to take
your business to the next level.
Pages 4–5
New Products to
Raise Revenues
Lori Anderson
President & CEO, International Sign Association
Join the conversation: @isasignexpo #signexpo
Pages 6–7
ISA Sign Expo —
Build a Better Business
in Four Days
Pages 8–9
An Educated Workforce
Increases Profits
LETTER FROM THE
president
Pages 10–11
Connections
That Matter…
industry insiders
are flocking to this
FOUR DAY BUSINESS-BOOSTING EVENT
FIND OUT
WHAT THEY’RE
COMING TO SEE.
550 EXHIBITORS
INNOVATION
21,000 ATTENDEES
COLLEAGUES
I
t’s almost 6:30 a.m. on a Thursday, and
while tens of thousands of convention
attendees are upstairs sleeping off
last night’s networking or dreaming of
their next deal, Rick Scrimger of Roland
is double-checking every detail of
his exhibit booth on the trade show floor
below. He’s one of 550 exhibitors showing
what’s new and next in the sign and
visual communications industry at
ISA Sign Expo. Although Rick is from
nearby Irvine, Calif., he’s sharing the floor
with exhibitors from around the world.
Together, they form the epicenter of a trade
event that celebrates every facet of the sign
and visual communications industry.
By the time the show floor opens at ISA
Sign Expo, the energy is so high. The trade
show floor is full of lights, sounds and the
buzz of anticipation. As the only trade show
designed to encompass the entire industry,
ISA Sign Expo offers something for everyone.
They are here to see how exhibitors can help
them create new revenue streams, build
their businesses and attract new customers.
Twelve years ago, Christina Galgan was one
of them. Read on to find out more.
S I G N $
ISA SIGN EXPO THE WINNING STORY 5
THEAreFLOOR
IS
OPEN
You Ready to Buy?
THURSDAY, APRIL 9 I 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
FRIDAY, APRIL 10 I 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
SATURDAY, APRIL 11 I 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Good Signage Offers a Healthy Dose of Customer Engagement
C
hristina Galgan knew which
corporate goal she wanted to meet
almost immediately after joining
drugstore chain Walgreens.
“We needed a subject matter expert on
exterior signage,” she said. “I was eager to
discover things on my own.”
She found the ISA website and asked her
company’s government relations team if they
knew anything about ISA. Since Walgreens
and ISA had worked together on a sign
code issue, they offered an enthusiastic
endorsement. So Christina made plans to
attend her first ISA International Sign Expo.
“I arrived in a purely discovery mindset to
learn more. That’s when I was hooked.”
She’s attended ISA Sign Expo every year
since — and there she has discovered the
products and resources that have pushed
Walgreens ahead of the curve in store design,
customer engagement and environmental
stewardship.
When Walgreens opened its first net zero
store — one that generates at least as much
energy as it consumes — Christina went to
ISA Sign Expo specifically to source signage
solutions that might contribute to the store’s
environmental sustainability goals.
“My goal was to explore as many efficient
and reusable solutions as possible,” she said.
“That was a challenge I brought to exhibitors
— starting with the green products displays
and, ultimately, discussing new products
that I wasn’t yet aware of.”
Being able to meet with vendors in person
has helped Christina stay ahead of industry
trends. “That’s what I find most beneficial,”
she says. “It’s one thing to have different
vendors come to you to explain a new
product line. But the vendors who have what
you need might be ones you’re not currently
working with. At ISA Sign Expo, you can see
everything in just a few days. There’s no way
you could set up that many appointments.”
At the top of that list are graphic materials
that might be used in window displays.
“We’re looking for anything that might
spark a new idea on how we approach
window graphics. And those new ideas are
one of the most valuable aspects of ISA Sign
Expo,” she said.
“Everybody is looking for ways to connect
with customers in this multichannel world.
Our physical brick-and-mortar stores
are where our brand comes alive. How
do we make that store experience that drives
customers to our doors? It may mean a
need to update the store’s look and feel.
What better place to find the products that
can represent your brand than by going to
ISA Sign Expo?” “ISA Sign Expo is only
a few days, but it helps
me do my job better
the rest of the year.”
Now as the company’s design services
manager, Christina focuses on the overall
look and feel of the retailer’s 8,200-plus
stores. As her responsibilities have grown,
ISA continues to be her go-to source for
the latest products and technologies. “I’m
looking for things that will allow us to be
more flexible with our branding in the
future,” she says.
REGISTER: SIGNEXPO.ORG/WINNER
CHRISTINA GALGAN
6 ISA SIGN EXPO THE WINNING STORY smooth
sailing
IN FOUR DAYS
from novice to
M
ichael Hage had always been
eager to own his own business.
And — despite his lack of industry
knowledge — when he discovered a sign
company for sale, he knew he’d found the right
fit. But how could he get the business up and
running quickly, without any background?
Soon after acquiring All Signs Inc. in Gulfport,
Miss., Michael took the previous owner’s
advice and headed to ISA Sign Expo 2004 —
that’s right, 10 years ago.
“It was intimidating not knowing anything
about the industry,” he said.
But ISA Sign Expo quickly changed that. There,
he took educational courses to understand
basic techniques, and also looked for solutions
on the trade show floor. “My biggest challenge
at the time was creating an appropriate business
model, but through attending sessions at ISA
Sign Expo, I was able to gain valuable insight.”
He also attended the show to learn about
adding in-house digital printing to his business.
Michael already knew he wanted to expand his
business by adding digital printing capabilities.
The ISA Sign Expo show floor allowed him the
opportunity to explore virtually every make
and model of digital printer available at the
time. And while he didn’t purchase at the show,
the connection he made with a vendor led to
the delivery of a digital printer a few months
later.
Creating an appropriate business model and
digital printing weren’t the only things he
took away from ISA Sign Expo. Michael was
also exposed to a wealth of opportunities he
wasn’t even aware of. Thanks to products he
discovered at the show, he was able to quickly
add laser engraving to his company’s list of inhouse capabilities.
MICHAEL HAGE
“We’re all about trying
new things and getting
the best product to the
customer. ISA Sign Expo
is where we get that
knowledge.”
Now, a decade in, with business thriving,
Michael continues to look to ISA Sign Expo
to solve his most pressing business problems.
“Gulfport, Miss., is a competitive market,” he
says. “Knowledge is what sets my business
apart.”
The contacts Michael made that first year
translated nearly instantly to tangible growth
and success for his business. “And it just
snowballed from there,” he said.
It’s no surprise he hasn’t missed a show yet. G R O W T H
every stop is an
OPPORTUNITY.
ONE
The ISA Sign Expo trade show floor is bursting
with buying opportunities. But it’s also packed
with networking and learning opportunities
— for attendees and exhibitors alike. From the
moment you arrive to the time you leave,
every stop offers you a chance to take your
business to the next level.
START WITH THE DYNAMIC DIGITAL PARK.
Booth 335
THE destination if you’re looking for the latest
dynamic digital signage solutions.
Whether you’re a custom sign company looking to add value to
your business or a technology provider interested in finding new
partners for your products, the Dynamic Digital Park boasts
critical learning and networking opportunities you won’t find at
any other industry event.
TWO
Don’t miss the FREE education sessions by Dynamic
Digital Park exhibitors, right on the show floor.
EXPERIENCE HANDS-ON SOLUTIONS
IN PRINT.
Print Application Center
Booth 1100
THREE
MIX BUSINESS WITH PLEASURE.
Visit the Print Application Center for live demos,
hands-on solutions using unique applications, and
education sessions by industry experts.
In partnership with
September 28 - October 1, 2014
McCormick Place | Chicago, IL USA
Lounge & Learn
Booth 5579
Enjoy FREE 30-minute education sessions covering current issues and product information within
the sign and visual communications industry,
participate in Q+A discussions with ISA Sign Expo
education speakers, attend a book signing with
David Kepron, Creative Director at Brand
Experience Studio, Little Diversified Architectural
Consulting, and much more.
FOUR
DON’T MISS LAST CALL.
LAST HOUR HAPPY HOURS
Thursday, April 9, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday, April 10, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 11, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Enjoy a FREE beer on ISA while you trade stories about the
day with other attendees and exhibitors. Bars will be set up
throughout the trade show floor — all are invited to attend.
Show badge required to enter floor; must be 21 to drink.
the
information
you need to
Leaders from every aspect of the sign and visual communications industry
serve as the instructors for ISA Sign Expo education sessions. Drawing on years
of experience in the field, these subject matter experts share their best practices
so you can improve your business.
ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN
ISA-08 Urban Identity and Wayfinding — Case
Studies of Philadelphia and Chicago
ISA-13 Panel — Digital Technology in Retail
Spaces
ISA-18 Panel — Airport Signage: Planning,
Innovation and Implementation
ISA-20 Personalization and Sign Strategies in
Retail Environments
ISA-32 Communication and Navigation in the
Urban Environment
C-LEVEL
ISA-10 Building a More Design-Centric Sign
Company
ISA-16 The Value Independent Sign
Representatives Bring to the Sign Industry
ISA-24 Understanding the Value of the Sign
Industry
ISA-26 Mastering the Mix: Understanding
& Managing Four Generations in the
Workplace
ISA-33 How to Recruit & Hire the Right People
ISA-35 Partnering with National Sign Companies
— Dos and Don’ts
PRODUCTION, FABRICATION & INSTALLATION
ISA-21 How Inflatables Can Provide Your
Sign Shop with Additional Business
Opportunities
ISA-22 Textile Printing for Profit
ISA-29 Gaining the Sustainable Edge in
Illuminated Signage
ISA-30 Maximizing Production for Your Digital
Printing Business
SUCCEED
DYNAMIC DIGITAL SIGNAGE
GAME CHANGER
ISA-01 The 7 Key Elements for the Whole Picture
of Dynamic Digital Signage
ISA-02 Selling Dynamic Digital Signage in “Sign
Language”
ISA-03 Combining Static & Dynamic in Retail
Point of Purchase
ISA-04 Spreading the Word in Hotel Lobbies and
Common Areas
ISA-05 Dynamic Digital Signage Shows the Way
with Wayfinding
ISA-06 Dynamic Digital Signage as a
Communication Tool
ISA-07 Using Dynamic Digital Signs in Quick Serve Restaurants & Menu Boards
ISA-15 Direct View LED Signs — Case Studies
and Opportunities with On-Premise
Digital Signage
ISA-28 The Profit in Dynamic Digital Signage for
the Sign Shop
ISA-36 Content Creation for Digital Signage
ISA-17 The Brand Performance Place: Where
Minds, Merchandise and Media Connect
David Kepron, AIA, LEED BD+C ,
Creative Director at Brand Experience
Studio, Little Diversified Architectural
Consulting
ISA-31 Make Some Noise: Open the Throttle and
Dominate Your Marketplace
Ken Schmidt, Former Director of
Communications for Harley-Davidson
Motor Company
Join us for Dynamic Digital Signage
Education Day, Wednesday, April 8
A full day of education sessions devoted to
Dynamic Digital Signage. Find out how
digital signage is revolutionizing the signage
marketplace and how you can add value to
your sign shop with new product offerings
and new business partners.
Sponsored by
PROJECT MANAGEMENT
ISA-14 Project Management Challenges and
How to Rise Above Them
ISA-19 Panel — Your Best Project Management
Lessons Learned
RESEARCH, REGULATORY & BEST PRACTICES
ISA-11 How to Interpret Codes That Influence
Sign Design and Installation
ISA-12 The 2015 Electrical Codes & Standards
Forum: Promoting Product Safety and
Sign Company Success
ISA-23 Using the Latest Industry Research to
Protect and Grow Your Business
ISA-27 Inspect This! Passing a Visit from OSHA
and Avoiding Massive Penalties
SALES
ISA-09 Rethinking Sales Management
ISA-25 Nobody Wants to Buy What You’re
Selling!
ISA-34 Estimating for Profit — Moving from
“Best Guess” to “Best Practice”
Register for the trade show and education on or before February 27 and save!
ISA SIGN EXPO THE WINNING STORY 9
Insights for All: Learning Opportunities
Abound at ISA Sign Expo
R
Educate your entire team at one low cost using
ISA’s Company Package. This package includes
unlimited ISA Sign Expo sessions for your entire staff!
ISA ELITE
Professionals under the age of 30 are
encouraged to apply for the new ISA
Elite program. Participants will receive
FREE entry into the trade show floor
and a Genius Education Package,
allowing them to attend any education
session for FREE, and to attend a special
breakfast with key leaders in the industry.
Learn more and apply at
signexpo.org/elite
recognizing future leaders
HOSTED BUYER DELEGATION
Are you an architect, designer, retailer
or downtown developer with fewer than
seven years in the profession? Apply for
our Hosted Buyer Delegation, which offers
a totally immersive experience at the show
— free.
Fifty emerging professionals will be
accepted into the program. Learn more
information or apply for the program now
at signexpo.org/hostedbuyer.
ichard Poyant grew up in the family
sign business started by his grandfather in
1938. He began there as a teenager,
sweeping floors and washing trucks. During high
school and college, he learned the ropes of service
and installation. After earning an MBA, he returned
to the business and is now president. If anyone
should be well-versed in all aspects of the sign
industry, it would be Richard.
Yet, Richard finds the education offered at ISA
Sign Expo to be one of the most beneficial aspects.
“Seventy percent of my time is spent in sessions and
roundtable events,” he said. “There are so many
interesting opportunities available, I really have to
prioritize.”
Those priorities include a full range of courses,
including sales and project management, safety,
estimating and sales. ISA Sign Expo offers education
on the show floor, too, where participants can see
hands-on demonstrations. This year, a new Lounge
& Learn area joins the lineup, where education is
more tightly focused with an emphasis on questionand-answer periods.
The benefits extend well beyond the connections.
Based on what he learned during the education
sessions, he modified procedures at Poyant Signs,
which handles all aspects of signage: design, build,
installation and maintenance. The result: improved
efficiency and service for his customers.
Because he has experienced the value of education
at ISA Sign Expo himself, he now takes advantage
of the company package to expand the experience
to his staff.
“The exposure to the
education offered at
ISA Sign Expo brings to
the forefront the delivery
of training available
through ISA.”
No matter the format, Richard does not attend
the classes simply to expand his own knowledge.
He has seen direct and tangible benefits in his
sign company, both in learning new ideas and
in connecting with the industry’s top experts who
were presenting.
“That has led to us providing the opportunity and
encouraging our staff by allowing time during the
work day to take advantage of the training.”
In 2014, Richard attended several of the new project
management track sessions that had just joined the
ISA Sign Expo education lineup. During one session,
he made a connection with the presenter who was
the general manager of a Wisconsin sign company.
Intrigued by that company’s approach to project
management, he took his senior management
team to Wisconsin to learn more. They toured
the shop and spent “a day and a half sharing ideas
and processes that proved to be very helpful to
both companies.”
While Richard’s staff enjoys the many diverse
educational opportunities offered by ISA, he sees
no bigger benefit than the in-person training offered
at ISA Sign Expo.
That was not the only valuable association made.
He has linked with other presenters to learn more
about the business processes they shared during
their presentations. It has led to discussions of
possible collaborations in the future.
RICHARD POYANT
In addition to the numerous events offered at
ISA Sign Expo, ISA Sign Academy offers training
throughout the year through online learning and
webinars.
“One of the biggest value-adds of experiencing
training and education at ISA Sign Expo is
being in a room with other folks who share their
experiences with the group and the training
leader,” he said. “Being in the same industry makes
it very relatable and reinforces the learning process.
You can’t experience that impact in any other
learning environment.” EDUCATE YOUR STAFF: SIGNEXPO.ORG/WINNER
10 ISA SIGN EXPO THE WINNING STORY networkBUSINESS
designing a
W
hen it comes to getting ahead
in business, it’s all about
who you know. Just ask any
one of the 21,000 sign and visual communications industry professionals attending
ISA Sign Expo. It’s the only industry show
that offers programming, education and
product exhibits for every facet of the
business. It has also gained a reputation for
being the best place to make the valuable
connections that translate into business
opportunities and partnerships all year long.
Just ask Bud Lawson.
building a
As design director at Sign Designs
of Modesto, Calif., Bud is concerned
with the entire lifecycle of a sign — from
design and fabrication to installation
and maintenance. And he’s always looking
for the best products to help his designs
come to life. That’s one reason he attends
ISA Sign Expo.
The sign business is increasingly complex —
which makes it important to know who to
call when you need more information. That’s
another reason Bud attends ISA Sign Expo.
Every year, he’s able to make valuable
connections with suppliers, distributors
and manufacturers who can answer
technical questions on the spot — or
when they pop up during the year. “What
is sitting on our truck, ready to go out
and be installed today represents a lot of
parts and pieces we’ve sourced from many
different companies,” he said. “And each
one represents a relationship — many
of which our production manager, sales
team, executives and I have made at
ISA Sign Expo.”
Bud’s role as design director demands a
certain level of knowledge of technical
specifications. He finds that he can make
BUD LAWSON
those connections on and off the ISA
Sign Expo trade show floor. “The more
knowledgeable we are about the new
product line and existing product lines, the
better our company operates and the better
my designs are.”
Whenever Sign Designs bids a project, the
designer is responsible for finding custom
parts. “Knowing what’s out there helps create
opportunities — and it saves time and
money when we can have a product number
and model number ready during the project
scoping process. This knowledge from ISA
Sign Expo has also helped Sign Designs win
new contracts.”
It can also help resolve any problems that
may occur. Each week, company leaders
discuss issues affecting fabrication or
installation. Bud logs each of those events
and takes that list to ISA Sign Expo, where
he has the opportunity to network and
discuss alternatives.
Sign Designs works in all types of
signage, which means it’s critical that Bud
and his design team know as much
as possible about the products available —
and build relationships with the people who
make them.
C O N N E C T
ISA Sign Expo offers a variety of opportunities for you to connect with
fellow attendees and exhibitors on and off the trade show floor.
make
PROFITABLE PARTNERSHIPS
ISA Networking Reception for
National and Custom Sign
Companies
It’s the connections
with exhibitors
and the array of
products seen at ISA
International Sign
Expo that keep his
business and his team
growing.
“Walking the show floor and talking
to the exhibitors about their products
gives our team a better feel for how to
render, or when to call out, a specific
product,” said Bud. “We’re always trying
to deliver a good product that supports
our clients’ goals. Building a professional
network that can help build our designers’
knowledge makes them better — and makes
our business better.” a connection
Friday, April 10, 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
If you’re a custom sign company, this
reception is a great opportunity to meet,
network and forge new partnerships.
Representatives from major U.S. national sign
companies and custom sign companies will
come together to network and discuss specific
partnership needs. No separate registration
required; just present your show badge to
enter. Free beer and a cash bar with liquor and
wine will be available; must be 21 to drink.
National sign companies interested in
participating should contact Alicia Auerswald
at [email protected] for more information.
HIT THE LINKS
ISA/Western States Sign
Council Golf Tournament
Wednesday, April 8
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (shotgun start)
Las Vegas National Golf Club
Cost: $125/person
Tee off with a select group of industry peers
at the semi-annual ISA/Western States Sign
Council Golf Tournament and enjoy highquality networking — and friendly competition
— with colleagues from all facets of the
industry. There are only 144 player spots
available, so don’t miss the chance to be
among this year’s elite!
Want more information?
Contact Rob King at [email protected]
or (602) 375-3909.
STRAIGHT TALK WITH
INDUSTRY LEADERS
ISA Town Hall Meeting
Thursday, April 9, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Make your voice heard to ISA leadership at a
Town Hall Meeting — an engaging, interactive
event designed to spotlight the most
important issues facing our industry.
Participate in a dynamic conversation
about the ever-changing business challenges facing members like you…
and how ISA is committed to
meeting them.
NICE TO
MEET YOU
DYNAMIC DIGITAL PARK
Dynamic Digital and Integrated
Design Reception
Thursday, April 9, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Dynamic Digital Park, Booth 335
Invitation Only
Converge on the Dynamic Digital Park —
right on the show floor — to meet
interactive dynamic display integrators,
end-users, suppliers and distributors at this
networking reception.
Request your invitation! Email [email protected]
STAY CONNECTED
Affiliated Associations
Member Party
Thursday, April 9, 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
1923 Bourbon & Burlesque at Mandalay Bay
Invitation Only
Join members of ISA Regional Affiliated
Associations for valuable networking at this
special invitation-only party. Contact your local Affiliated Association to
learn how you can attend — visit
www.signs.org/affiliates.
PRINT IT!
Print Application Center Reception
Friday, April 10, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Print Application Center, Booth 1100
Held right on the show floor in the Print
Application Center, this invitation-only event is
your opportunity to network with professionals
in the print industry.
Request your invitation! Email [email protected]
In partnership with
September 28 - October 1, 2014
McCormick Place | Chicago, IL USA
WORK HARD, PLAY HARD.
Young Professionals Happy Hour
Friday, April 10, 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Join other young industry professionals for
networking and fun at a special happy hour
designed just for you. Wear your show badge
for free drinks and appetizers!
Advance registration not required for happy
hour; trade show registration badge required
to attend; must be 21 to drink. Location to
come — check signexpo.org/networking for
up-to-date information.
Are you ready to
win big for your
business?
READ MORE
S I GN$
NEW ISSUE
INSIDE
REGISTER: SIGNEXPO.ORG/WINNER
Education & Networking: April 8–11 • Trade Show: April 9–11
Mandalay Bay Convention Center • Las Vegas, Nevada
THANK YOU
SPONSORS:
PARTNERS:
September 28 - October 1, 2014
McCormick Place | Chicago, IL USA
Produced by: