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SHOW CaSewww.exhibitionnews.co.uk 15t's not easy for a brand to remain relevant in the market for 25 years, but Sign & Digital UK has managed to do just that. The Birmingham-based show, launched by Miller Freeman in 1987, was acquired by Faversham House Group in 2000 and has been steadily growing over the last decade. First branded Sign UK, the organiser incorporated digital into its branding in 2007 to reflect the changing practices of its industry and has also added an Irish edition to its portfolio.Last year's UK exhibition reported a 22 per cent visitor increase to 6,756 and was buoyed by the launch of the Sign & Digital UK Awards, a new platform to recognise creative achievement across the printing and wide format industries. The 25th edition returns to The NEC from 27 to 29 March with several new and returning features plus a new-look website.Sign & Digital UK event director Rudi Blackett put its success down to the organiser's ability to listen to industry needs and adapt content accordingly. He pointed out the exhibition has a longstanding retention of exhibitors and visitors."As organisers, we have to ensure the show delivers the following three key elements each year: The show has to be the annual showcase for new technologies and product launches, the best place to source, compare and buy products, and have the essential mix of advice, knowledge and networking," Blackett explained. "It's a fast-moving industry so we have to keep pace with developments and focus on what visitors need to drive their businesses forward. It is about keeping at the cutting-edge of developments."To achieve this, Faversham has increased the number of hands-on demo areas, advice clinics and increasingly engaged exhibitors with these features. "In addition, we have concentrated on bringing high quality visitors with buying power to the show," Blackett said. "Visitors need to know the show will benefit their businesses and expect this, so we have focused the show very much as a 'find out how to grow your business' type of event, more than a social event as in the past."It hasn't all been smooth sailing. Faversham was forced to postpone the Irish edition of Sign & Digital in 2010 following that country's economic collapse. However, plans have now been confirmed for the show's return to Dublin in October alongside the Print Ireland event. Marking 25 yearsTo mark its 25th anniversary this year, Sign & Digital UK 2012 will host an historical gallery on the show floor illustrating the history of the signmaking industry. The gallery will cover signmaking products and equipment from the last quarter of a century and include images of industry luminaries and game-changers. Another key feature will be the green trail, highlighting eco-friendly or more ethical products. About 150 exhibitors are expected this year, at least one third new."There are growth areas we are particularly focused on such as textile printing and soft signage, LEDs, green products and finishing systems," Blackett added.Faversham is also exploring other avenues to address emerging industry trends and will launch an exhibition specifically for the commercial print sector at The NEC in September. Digital Print UK will focus on the growing use of digital technologies for printing. Blackett said Digital Print will employ the formula that enables Sign & Digital UK to be a meeting place for the signmaking and wide format industries. "Digital Print UK is focused on a parallel market to the wide format printing market that is a key element of Sign & Digital UK," he said. "We have seen an opportunity to use the successful model that we employ for Sign & Digital UK to develop an annual commercial printing show at The NEC. "These market sectors are coming closer together but we plan to establish Digital Print UK as a separate brand with its own identity." With this combination of old and new, Faversham is confident it has the printing sector signed up for the next 25 years.Sign & Digital UK is celebrating a quarter of a century this year. EN caught up with the exhibition's director to find out how the show continues to hit the right buttonsiSign of the timeS+44 (0) 20 8545 2492 Safe hands for your eventsinfo@eepsafety.com. Safety Officers and Consultants . Event Safety & Evacuation Planning . Risk Assessments & Method Statements . Stand Approvals . H&S Officers . Floor Managers . Security . Stewarding . On-site support staff . Worldwide, Indoor and Outdoor EventsComplementary Digital Print UK to launch in 2012Show re-branded as Sign & Digital UK20072011??Digital expo is launched as a co-located show to Sign UKSign UK launched by Miller FreemanFaversham House Group acquires Sign UKFaversham launches Sign & Digital Ireland19872000 20012003????