The Small and Compact SIGN2COM
It was with a curious mind that I went to the SIGN2COM trade fair on this beautiful sunny September day. I decided to just spend a quick half-day in Kortrijk, as I thought the visit could be worth it.
The concept and first impressions
Arrived at Kortrijk XPO, I noticed the signage to the event was pretty clear (it had to be otherwise it would have been embarrassing). As I registered in advance it was pretty easy to enter and one could tell that for a local fair the exhibitors did go all the way to impress visitors. Some of the stands reflected a good know-how, nice use of materials, and impressive digital displays.
The layout of the event was also pretty clear. The best way to describe the event is that despite it being in one hall, the amount of exhibitors was high and the total space was used in a very efficient way.
The fact there was free catering is also worth mentioning. Not that it is a pre-condition to attend an event, but more because it shows how the organizer manages to create a nice atmosphere for both visitors and exhibitors who can then extend their networking and discussions at those dedicated areas.
A different communication tone perhaps?
In my preview, I expressed my concerns about the communication of the event that was a bit too optimistic. To make sure you don’t jump to the wrong conclusion here, let me be clear! I am not disappointed of my visit. But I must say it was better sold on the website than it was in reality. So the tone of the communication could have been different. But I did learn one or two things by talking to exhibitors and the different branch associations; and some of the displays were inspiring.
A few exhibitors
- Finger/Prints: had a chat with someone who recently launched his company offering touch screen applications. You might say there are a lot of players emerging out there at the moment. But the most interesting thing I thought was that the general manager shared with me a view: you do see screens in some Belgian stores, but these are usually just video screens. Real interactive screens are not so widely spread in Belgium for the moment. So at least this company tries to bring a change to the current situation.
- The branch associations: I actually met two organizations, which was a bit confusing with SI’BON Netwerk and the Belgian Sign Organization. The first one is a commercial organization that organizes trainings, seminars, and events for the industry. The second one is a recognized association. Existing for quite a few years already. The good point is that I heard the same echo from both: there is a complementarity between them, and they are going to sit at the table to see how to collaborate with each other.
It was a good visit, but this event felt like it was one for specialist of the industry more than a general event for marketeers, campaign managers etc. Perhaps with a little seminar or presentation this event could kick it up a notch?
But all in all, if you are in this industry, this event is definitely worth a visit with its clear overview and a good organization.