Sign & Digital Graphics

November '12

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Page 16 of 106

In the News NOV EMBE R 201 2 The NBM Show 2012 Wrap Up A nother season of The NBM Show graphics industry trade shows is over and what a year it was. The show's 2012 season began down South in Dallas, went up North to Indianapolis, out West to Long Beach and then finished back East in Philadelphia. It was another geographical temperature-taking of the United States economy. The diagnosis? It's getting better all the time. As in other years, The NBM Show events during 2012 featured leading manufacturers and suppliers to the graphics industry exhibiting a wide range of supplies, services and equipment. The NBM Show, now in its 25th year, has reflected the graphics indus- try throughout its existence. It's been the kind of straightforward "what you see is what you get" learning event that has responded to market demands and an always shifting economy; or as one attendee at the Indianapolis show said, "This was my favorite part—to be able to learn a little for just going to the show. It is a great idea to give people information so they can make more informed decisions about their business." Another attendee to the Long Beach show added, "For well over a decade the NBM show has been my number one source for advancing my sign business and for getting the absolute best buys on new equipment." And another said he appreciates "Great information, and folks just shar- ing important information, knowledge and skill—from 'Old School' to 'New School'." The Birth of the "Crossover" Show Over time, The NBM Show has changed to meet the needs of a chang- ing industry. Indeed, from "Old School" to "New School" and everything in between. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, National Business Media (NBM) produced standalone graphics shows that were focused on the company's major graphics publications—Sign Business, Awards & Engraving, and Printwear. As lines blurred between those markets and manufacturers real- ized that graphics was the common thread that tied those markets together. 14 • November 2012 • SIGN & DIGITAL GRAPHICS It began to make sense—both in terms of cost effectiveness for exhibitors and in terms of time management for attendees—to co-locate each of the shows, thus creating the idea of a "crossover" show. As the idea took root more and more attend- ees expressed a keen interest in learning more about crossover markets. They soon realized that those markets represented a sig- nificant new opportunity to reach out to existing customers with the ability to service related needs. It also represented a signifi- cant opportunity to reach out to new customers. Of course, a huge wave of new technology began later in the 1980s as the new crossover marketing ideas gained acceptance. Then suddenly, graphic artists the world over traded a pencil and drafting table for a computer monitor and a mouse. Much of that new technology was first introduced to graphics providers at shows like those produced by NBM. And over time those shows became the loca- tions where even newer versions of the technologies were introduced. Education, Education, Education Trade show dynamics is a constantly evolving pro- cess that has education at its core. It involves educa- tion about equipment and materials on one hand, and education about sales and marketing on the other. And, because as they say, "It's not so much what you know as who you know," the dynamics of meeting people (networking) is also a significant part of the tradeshow experience. All this came together during the 2012 NBM Show season. Fostering "symbiotic relationships" between buyers and sellers, the tradeshow environ- ment increases everyone's ability to gather materials, manufacture products, sell products, be competitive and ultimately, to satisfy the needs of a demanding marketplace. In the end, this activity contributes sub- stantially to a robust and sustainable economy. It's a beautiful thing. The NBM Show will continue in 2013, when the show travels to the Arlington Convention Center, in Arlington, Texas, March 7-9. For more information, additional cities and dates, visit

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