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Turkey’s One Billion Dollar Signage Industry On Display

Sign Istanbul is considered a proper display of Turkey’s one billion dollar signage industry. According to organizer İFO Fuarcılık A.Ş (a member of the international Tarsus Group) over 300 machines were on display generating sales of US$68 million in four days. The show held from 11-14 September in TUYAP’s new Halls 11, 12 and 14 attracted more than 20,916 industry professionals from 66 countries, which sets a new record in show’s history.  390 companies from 33 countries including leading suppliers from China, Italy, Korea, USA, Germany and Turkey participated at show exhibiting a wide range of products. 150 of these were for digital printing, 46 for textile printing and 104 for CNC and Laser technology applications. According to organizer SIGN Istanbul continues to enjoy strong growth with this year’s event seeing a 20% increase in square meters over the 2013 event and occupying a total indoor area of 25,000 sqm which in turn resulted in a record visitor attendance as last year.

After the show, Mr. Zekeriya Aytemur, Managing Director of IFO said: “Data from surveys conducted during SIGN Istanbul clearly indicated that both exhibitors and visitors were happy with the fair. SIGN Istanbul was visited by 20,916 industry professionals from 66 counties over the four days.” The organizer estimates that the event currently attracts 70% of Turkey’s entire sign making and advertising sector. Mr. Aytemur went on to say “Our goal is to increase this figure and also increase the number of overseas visitors in addition to growing participation from the region’s important textile sector. The high level of exhibitor satisfaction at SIGN İstanbul 2014 has resulted in many not only confirming their participation for 2015 but also requesting larger spaces. Sign Istanbul 2015 will be organized from 10-13 September.”

Visitor attendance was particularly strong from Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Greece, Macedonia, Iraq, Cyprus and United Arab Emirates. This year, 14.5% of the visits were from overseas buyers. 


Organized last year for the first time and repeated this year due to the high level of interest from visitors, “The SIGN Istanbul Workshop”, delivered live demonstrations on how to turn knowledge into revenue. An activity supported by “İstanbul Reklam’’, one of the show’s exhibitors, little known tips in sign making production and vehicle wrapping, LED applications, sign production, stainless printing type production etc. were presented to visitors.

From winter to summer

During an informal press briefing Mr. Aytemur said: “changing the date of the exhibition from winter to summer proved to be successful. It was a radical decision but it led to increase in international visitors specially the first day. We always wanted to move the date but Tuyap’s calendar of events did not allow us. With the construction of new halls this year we found the opportunity to move the Exhibition’s date back to summer.” According to Aytemure almost all the major manufacturers of wide format printers are present at the show. On the other hand the number of textile printers on display was impressive.

Meanwhile the stiff competition with LED signage market in Turkey apparently has triggered a price war and also left an adverse impact on this sector. Comparing to last year there were less LED signage suppliers at the show. All in all the growth of the show is a clear sign of an industry in upswing. Aytemur says the signage is a one billion dollar industry in Turkey. There are 15000 companies involved in printing and advertising industries, 95% of which are small to medium size. There are few big companies that employ around 500 or more employees and work at international level catering to printing and packaging markets in Balkans, Middle East and central Europe.  

Industrial Print Summit

Prior to the opening of Sign Istanbul IFO Fuarcılık, announced the launch of the Industrial Print Summit Istanbul. Focusing specifically on the important role of ‘Industrial Printing’ as a key component in the production processes of hundreds of industries including textiles, leather, ceramics, glass, and furniture, floorings, packaging, automotive and medical. Participants will get an opportunity to view the latest technological developments related to screen printing, pad, digital, flexo, inkjet and 3D printing.  The Industrial Print Summit Istanbul 2015 will be held at WOW Istanbul Convention Center between 6-7 May.

İFO Fuarcılık’s new event will address this vital area of ‘industrial printing’ which is often overlooked but which is used in almost all production industries. At the Industrial Print Summit İstanbul 2015, international experts will discuss customized industrial printing solutions designed for various production industries, the characteristics that differentiate digital printing from analogue printing, fields of use for 3D printing technology and how this technology can be successfully adopted. This conference will be open to registered delegates only.

In addition to the conference delegates, all visitors will have free access to exhibitor solution presentations.

Participants at Industrial Print Summit İstanbul 2015, can attend ‘solution’ presentations from leading industrial print suppliers giving valuable insights into technologies for various sectors in 6 separate sessions to be held during 2 days.

“This is the first time that we are organizing an event related to Industrial pint in the region. In cooperation with label and labeling magazine we have invited top notch experts from Europe and Turkey to offer presentations during the summit. Industrial print is a fast growing sector and there is a huge demand for more information and insight about this area of printing industry, “comments Aytemur.

Our take away

This is a second year that ME Printer is participating in Sign Istanbul. The event is becoming more international. This year there were more textile printers than last year and perhaps any other regional signage show that we have visited. Companies such as Xerox, Ricoh, and Konica Minolta were also present at the show. Ricoh showcased its RICOH Pro L4130/L4160 wide format printer for the first time. Xerox brought its Versant 2100 to the show. HP and others including Mimaki and Roland also showcased a wide range of products, although nothing new. There were many suppliers of films and inks as well as a host of Chinese companies. Judging by the number of visitors and activities during the exhibition the show is successful. Now we have to wait and see sign Istanbul’s arch rival Fespa Eurasia – scheduled to be held in December – is equally successful or not. The competition between these two competing event during next few years will be interesting to watch.

Sign Istanbul By Numbers

Sign Istanbul, the International Advertising Industry and Digital Printing Technologies Fair was organised for the 16th time from 11- 14 September 2014 and proved once again it is the biggest trade event of its kind in the Eurasian region.

390 companies from 33 countries exhibited their products and services occupying a record level of square metres in the new halls 11, 12 and 14 of the TÜYAP Fair and Congress Centre Istanbul. On display were a total of 306 different machines including 156 digital printers, 46 textile and transfer printing machines and, 104 CNC Routers, Lasers and others.

During 4 hectic days of business, the fair was visited by 20,916 people from 66 countries and with 3,009 of these visitors coming from abroad representing 14.39% of the total attendance. The number of companies represented by these visitors was a fantastic 12,380 providing the exhibitors with a uniquely effective opportunity to market and sell their products and services directly to decision makers from Turkey, Eurasia, Balkans, CIS, Middle East, and North Africa.

With and overall growth of 20% in terms of total area occupied by SIGN Istanbul as compared to last year, there was plenty for visitors to view and compare as they planned their future technologies and materials procurement. It was clear from the busy exhibition stands that many new business contacts were made, existing relationships renewed and many deals negotiated and agreed. Confirming the high quality of visitors attending and their interest to learn about the latest products and find the best suppliers, 18% spent 2 or more days at the fair.

The “Sign Đstanbul Workshop” which was launched last year also attracted a great deal of attention from the visitors as it once again delivered practical demonstrations on how to turn knowledge and skills into sales and revenues.

Surveys confirmed the success of the fair with 68% of the exhibitors rating the fair as very good or good, 60% declared that the fair was very productive and as a result 52% have now agreed to participating at SIGN Istanbul 2015.

An important difference this year in comparison to previous events, was the level of professional visitors by activity. The data demonstrated that the number of decision-makers attending increased because the fair was held in September this year rather than the November/December of previous years. The ratio of sign makers increased from 10% to 14% and the ratio of end users mainly from the textile sector increased from 10% to 19%.

Visitor surveys were just as positive with 22% of visitors declaring they made their purchasing decisions during SIGN Istanbul, 10% of the visitors had meetings with new suppliers to source for alternative products and 75% of the visitors stated the fair was very good or good and met their expectations.

Highlighting the importance of its strategic location in Istanbul, a major trading hub for the region, this 16th edition of SIGN Istanbul saw 47% of the 3,009 foreign visitors coming from the Balkans and CIS States, up 10% on the previous event. As a result of the show’s special promotional activities focused on the Middle East, 26% of all foreign visitors came from this region, the same ratio as last year, despite the political turmoil in the region.

The top 10 countries in terms of visitors at Sign Istanbul 2014 were Turkey, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Greece, Macedonia, Iraq, Cyprus, United Arab Emirates, Germany and Georgia respectively.

SIGN Istanbul’s delivered extensive coverage of the Turkish market with some 40% of domestic visitors coming from outside the greater Istanbul area and the Mediterranean and Eastern Anatolia regions being particularly well represented.

This year’s promotional campaign was the most extensive ever and included emails, on-board advertising applications, outdoor LED screens, billboards, enewsletters sent to the visitors database of other overseas fairs, attendance at overseas fairs, SMS reminders, telephone marketing and much more…

Sign Istanbul 2014 was also comprehensively publicised in the leading sectortrade magazines and in the mass media e.g. national newspapers, domestic and foreign magazines, national radio channels, TV news channels, domestic and foreign websites with the highest visitor ratings, portals and social media were all used. SIGN Istanbul hosted editors of 13 foreign magazines with which we cooperate and the Turkish market was presented to them at an onsite press conference ensuring that promotion of the event and the exhibitors participating continues long after the event has finished.

With SIGN Istanbul setting a number of new industry records, it was clear that it once again played a significant role in increasing trading volumes in the sector both domestically and regionally.

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