Sign India New Delhi 2022 held

Raises question on the safety of in-person exhibitions

Sign India
A wood laser engraver on display at Sign India 2022. Photo IPP

The New Delhi edition of Sign India 2022 was held from 15 – 17 April at Pragati Maidan in the capital. The exhibition is mainly directed at indoor as well as outdoor signage and wide format printing for advertising and solutions for digital signage. Signage industry service providers and equipment and consumable suppliers participated in the expo.

Caldron Graphics which is the official dealer for HP Latex wide format printers was present with demarcated sections for HP and its own range of signage applications. The HP Latex 700W and HP Latex 335 printers were displayed in the HP section of the stand while the Caldron area showcased Caldron CJ 4008 with the Seiko 508 GS-12 PL printhead. Other Caldron printers shown were the QI-1605 with Epson DX5,DX7/XP600/13200 printheads; the Caldron CS1325A CNC router engraver; the Caldron CS9060/CS 1390 acrylic/wood laser engraver; and the Caldron FY-1600 DA auto hydraulic roll-to-roll laminator. Caldron also exhibited its range of signage inks – solvent ink CG 06 plus, solvent ink CG 06, and solvent ink CG 25.

Sign India
Rajat Mitra, director Caldron Graphics and official dealer for HP Latex series with the HP Latex 700W at the HP stand at Sign India 2022 show in New Delhi. Photo IPP

JX Enterprise displayed its JXE GZC 3202 SG Plus and JXE AC1800 UV, entry-level 1.8-meter roll-to-roll UV printer for outdoor, indoor, and illumination signage. Unique International exhibited its Excitech range of CNC engraving router while CDI (Colors Digital India) showcased the CRJ 0408 S12i/1024i 4/8 heads printing equipment. Benson Polymers exhibited its range of bonding solutions for the signage industry which included Polyfix instant glue, and Polyfix kit.

Apsom Infotex, which is the authorized dealer of Roland and Colorjet in India, was present at the exhibition. Apsom is currently promoting Colorjet’s complete portfolio along with Roland SG2-540, SG2-640, SG2-300 large format inkjet printer/cutter; Roland Versa Express RF-640 wide format printer; and Versa UV LEF2- 300D/300/200 benchtop UV flatbed printers. The Apsom stall, however, did not have any printing equipment on display. Digital Vision showcased its Vision Jet inks for Konica, Xaar, Seiko, Spectra, and Proton eco-solvent inks, LED UV and mercury lamp inks, and pigment and dye inks.

sign india

Konica Minolta India, Lisco Systems, VN Technology, CMT (Chanlong Manufacturing & Trading), Daksh Enterprises, Asian Cards, Sign Tech India, GB Tech, SS Infotech, Britomatics India, Sun Sign & Technologies, Akshar Sign Technologies, SS Industries, D-Kit Media, Umpire Technologies, and SDT (Somya Digital Technologies).

A fire broke out at the exhibition on the first day of the event (15 April) and the entire Hall 11 of Pragati Maidan, where the exhibition was taking place, had to be evacuated. This unfortunate accident spread dismay among the exhibitors participating in the event as they lost hours of precious exhibition time. The hall was opened to the public only after 3 pm in the evening. This adds another safety question to in-person events and exhibitions.

Even though there is an uptick in fresh Covid-19 cases in the capital with the city reporting 366 cases on 15 April and 461 fresh infections on 16 April, there was a lack of Covid-19 precautions practiced at the exhibition. There was a huge crowd at the registration counters showing little regard for social distancing, and the majority of the attendees were without masks. We could only locate a single sanitizer dispenser at the show. This again raises the question about superspreader events and the safety of exhibitors and visitors at in-person events – even as a threat of a new wave of Covid-19 looms ahead.

Poor footfalls blamed on lack of promotion

Our team interacted with several exhibitors who lamented the lack of advertising and promotion from the organizers of Sign India, BusinessLive Trade Fairs. The exhibitors complained that while other exhibition and trade fair organizers heavily advertised their shows through leaflets in local newspapers, fleet advertisements on eRickshaws, and autorickshaws, apart from billboard displays at strategic locations, there was minimum to negligible promotion efforts by the organizers. Some also complained of the lack of promotion on LinkedIn and relevant social media. As a result of the fire incident on the first day, and the general lack of promotion, the event saw limited footfalls.

The Chennai edition of the Sign India trade fair is set to take place from 17 – 19 June 2022 at the Chennai Trade Centre in Nandambakkam.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital 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.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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