Sign India Chennai also rescheduled by Omicron

2022 Chennai edition only after third Covid wave subsides

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Sign India
Apsom Infotex stand at Sign India 2019 in Chennai. Photo IPP

The 2022 Chennai edition of Sign India Expo, which was to take place from 22 – 24 January at the Chennai Trade Centre, in Nandambakkam, has been postponed due to the recent escalation in Covid-19 cases in the city, today, 19 January 2022. The Chennai Trade Centre has been temporarily converted into a Covid treatment center giving the organizers no choice but to put off the exhibition for the time being.

Tamil Nadu recorded a massive spike in Coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours with over 23k fresh Covid-19 infections, and Chennai alone reporting 8,591 cases. The Chennai Book Fair, which was scheduled to be held from 6 January 2022, was earlier postponed due to the uncertainty caused by the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Sign India trade fair is an interface for distributors, converters, manufacturers, consumers, importers, and traders in the advertising and signage market. The event is jointly promoted by India Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO), Government of India, and Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation, Government of Tamil Nadu.

The exhibition has witnessed several new product launches in the past, with exhibitors choosing to showcase their latest products and technologies for indoor as well as outdoor signage. Suppliers of acrylic sheets, offset printing inks, polypropylene sheets, heat transfer systems, laser toners, digital signage printers, and eco-solvent inks are among those who display their wares at the B2B fair.

The Indian signage market has seen robust economic growth in the years preceding the pandemic. According to our sister organization, IPP Star (www.ippstar.org) the signage industry in India is valued at more than US$ 2 billion currently (approximately Rs 14,900 crore), and is expected to grow at a steady CAGR of 10% in the forecast period from 2022-2027. The segment received a setback due to the closing down of travel and hospitality businesses during the nationwide lockdowns following the global Coronavirus outbreak. However, it has also seen a boom from the healthcare market with a rapid increase in outdoor and indoor signage required to display Covid-19 protection measures, and vaccination benefits.

The organizer of Sign India, BusinessLive Trade Fairs, recently announced that the Chennai version of the indoor and outdoor advertising and signage trade show will now take place from 17 – 19 June 2022. The New Delhi edition of Sign India will be held from 15 – 17 April 2022 at Pragati Maidan. Both the New Delhi and Chennai editions of Sign India hope to attract over 20,000 visitors from across the country and overseas.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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