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Previewing ISA Expo 2009

(February 2009) posted on Thu Feb 26, 2009

News, knowledge, and networking in Si(g)n City.

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Knowledge happens
With its Discovery Seminar Series of workshops, panels, and forums, ISA says it offers more signage-specific educational sessions than any other industry event. And, of course, it offers digital-printing sessions as well. The sessions are helpfully labeled basic, intermediate, and advanced, and can be purchased à la carte on the registration site. Programming tracks include:

* Graphic Arts & Designs: two sessions-"How to Integrate Vehicle Wrap Design Technologies into a Sign Shop," presented by Mark Rugen (, and "Maximize Productivity and Creativity in CorelDRAW Graphics Suite for Digital Output," presented by Craig Mertens (Digital Art Solutions)

* Digital Imaging: four sessions, including "Digital Imaging Design for a Competitive Advantage," presented by Marty Guinee (Miratec Systems); and "The 21st Century Color Matcher," presented by Bruce Ridge (Nazdar Consulting Services)

* Sales & Marketing: four sessions, including "Low-Cost, Low-Effort Marketing Strategies for Your Competitive Advantage," presented by Carol Keljo (Security Signs); and "Increase Your Business: Sell to Business Value, Not Features and Benefits," presented by John Maxwell (Blue Engine)

* Hands-on: two sessions-"Vinyl Application Basics," presented by Jim Hingst (R Tape Corporation ), and "Fundamentals of Mounting and Laminating," presented by Luigi Cristicini (Drytac)

* Management: eight sessions, such as "The Import Process: Practical and Legal Considerations," presented by Mary Jo Muoio (Barthco International & National Custom Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association of America) and Alan Klestadt (Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP); and "Keep More Money in Your Business: Give Less Money to the IRS and Insurance Companies," presented by Lance Wallach, a tax-reduction specialist

Other tracks include Environmental Issues, Legislative, Digital Electronic Signage, New Innovation & Tools, and Forum: Women. You can find a complete list of course offerings at

Networking happens
If you’ve been to a trade show before, you know that one of the most valuable elements of the trip is the networking you can accomplish. Technology comes and goes, and topics for discussion are always changing, but the contacts made on the show floor and the relationships built during social activities can last much longer than just a week or weekend. ISA offers several social opportunities for attendees, including a golf tournament and reception.

The Western States Sign Council and ISA sponsor this year’s annual golf tournament, which will take place on Wednesday, April 15, at The Legacy Golf Club in Henderson ( There are 144 openings for players, and PGA-level skills are not required. The tournament will be scramble format with a 1 P.M. shotgun start. A $150 player fee covers green fees, cart, unlimited range balls, a box lunch, and an awards party.

From 4:30 to 6 P.M. on Friday, April 17, ISA will host its annual division meeting and reception on the second floor of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. At the reception, local/custom sign company executives can meet with representatives from major US national sign companies to discuss installation needs in different areas of the country. ISA is billing this event as a great opportunity for custom sign company and national sign company executives to meet, network, and find installers in whatever areas of the country they conduct business.

Even if by Saturday you feel like you’re all chatted out, make the effort to swing by the Sign Expo’s closing party from 4 to 6:30 P.M. It’s a good opportunity to catch people you didn’t have a chance to meet earlier or to continue conversations in a less frantic environment.

Also of note for international attendees: ISA provides an International Networking Lounge where you can find translators in Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, and French.

Making it happen
If you’re registered for the show (or still need to do so) and haven’t already planned out your agenda, you can visit MySignExpo (, an interactive portal created to help attendees prepare for the show by allowing you to target and contact the specific vendors you need and choose the educational sessions that are most beneficial to you. By making use of all these tools and opportunities at your disposal, you can ensure that you get the maximum return on the money you invest in this trip. While you’re there, stop by our booth (3528) and introduce yourself. Safe travels to Vegas!