Sign Istanbul has all the tools and facilities to become a successful show. A good location, a solid history backed by growing economy offers an ideal ground for any event to be successful. And indeed it has been a successful show. But as so many things in life success is also relative. There are forces that work against you all the time and in Sign Istanbul case fierce competition, regional conflicts and an industry in transition are challenges that organizer have to face one way or another.
It seems that Sign Istanbul which was held from 28 November to December 1 in TUYAP fair and Congress has a plan to face the challenges. According to the organizer, Istanbul Fair Organization (IFO) Sign Istanbul is the region’s biggest and most comprehensive international trade show of sign making, digital printing and outdoor advertising technologies and materials. Around 25000 people, 13% of visitors came from outside Turkey.
There was a strong visitor turnout from Balkan countries as well as Middle East and Africa.
Supported by Istanbul Reklam, one of the attractive features of the show was a workshop themed “Ways of Turning Knowledge into Money”.
The Workshop demonstrations included live demonstration of signage applications.
Curtaining of the building and making signboards; sizing of composite panels, cutting and grouting technics, acrylic (Plexiglas) pyramid, Oval 3D letters and background printing with oval and other forms application technics, flipping letter technics with acrylic, samples of making brochure holders, producing decorative stainless lettering, cutting applications on CNC which is little known, key points of vehicle cladding applications, cutting and scraping technics with laser and new technics of LED applications were all part of the workshop right in the center of hall 6. However to be frank there was more focus on vehicle wrapping than any other application.
There were bits and pieces of signage applications but I expected more activity.
Plenty of machines in Action
One of the unique feature of sign Istanbul is the participation of sign makers and suppliers of sign making and LED panels. In other regional shows focus is more on large format printers rather than anything else.
Nevertheless there were plenty of machines in action on the exhibition floor including 189 digital printing machines and 143 CNC routers, lasers and other commercial advertising machines. The total estimated value of those machines based on the information provided by IFO is 75 million Euro.
Zekerriya Aytemur IFO’s assistant general manager is optimistic about the prospect of the show in the future. He said,” we have been organizing Sign Istanbul for last 15 years and we were able to maintain our growth in sync with the general growth of the industry.
We are strategically located in a region so called Eurasia. For people in Balkan countries as well as CIS and Middle East Turkey is an ideal place to visit and to do business. There are many cultural, social and religious affinities between us and the countries that I just mentioned. Iraq is also becoming a very interesting country for us. Last year we had many Iraqi visitors mainly from Kurdistan region.
Erbil has been developing very rapidly and country’s advertising industry is on overdrive.” He also added,” Tarsus Group, one of the leading international business-to-business media group has already s acquired a 75% stake in IFO, which clearly indicates that our strategy for growth was the right one.”
He might be right. But the fact is Sign Istanbul didn’t really have a serious contender to challenge its superior position in the market. This seems to be changing though. The First Edition of Fespa Eurasia was held in October 2013 at the Istanbul’s CNR Expo center. Both exhibitions are targeting the same industry.
The absence of some of the big players including Agfa, Canon and Fujifilm in Sign Istanbul was due to the fact that they already participated in Fespa Eurasia in October. However Aytemur is confident that Sign Istanbul’s strong roots in the market is difficult to beat.” We have a solid position in the market and we have also big planes for the future which includes new trade shows.
Having said that I don’t believe the market has the capacity for two signage shows just months away from each other.
Based on our calculations exhibitors spend in excess of 10 million Turkish Lira to participate in our show.
To take part in both shows they have to spend double the amount and double the efforts. I just don’t see the rationale.”
Good luck to both of them!