The Sign Africa Expo, which took place from 21-23 August at the Sandton Convention Centre, was a major success, with companies making major leads and sales. There was also an increase in international visitors who visited the event, including attendees from Angola, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique and Nigeria.

Highlights at the Expo included: 

Sign Africa Expo sponsor Avery Dennison showcased its latest films while fellow sponsor Roland exhibited its new SolJet Pro 4 XR-640, the company’s largest and fastest printer/cutter, as well as the SOLJET XF-640 High-Speed Inkjet Printer.

The Roland/Avery Dennison Speed Wrap 2013 Challenge, with Alex Jay as MC, was extremely popular with visitors. Participants had to race against the clock, having only 25 minutes per vehicle door wrap. Daily prizes included: winner: R6500, second place: R3000, third place: R1500.

Graphix Supply World launched Fujifilm’s Acuity Advance Select HS, making its first appearance in South Africa, as well as the latest technology from Mimaki and the newest inks from Bordeaux Digital Print Ink.

Antalis South Africa showcased the latest solutions from Kodak, including the NexPress Gold HD ink, as well as solutions from Esko and EFI.

Midcomp exhibited the newly-launched HP Latex 3000 printer.

Some exhibitor quotes about the Expo include:

‘Sign Africa has consistently improved its value proposition to those in the industry, encouraged diversity and fostered innovation, creating a vibrant, exciting and challenging environment for us all. This is in line with Roland’s vision as we see the Expo as an ideal platform for us to create an environment where we inspire others with our creative solutions and ignite the market’s imagination,’ – Bob Glenister, CEO Telpro Management, Roland distributor in South Africa.

‘We have several new leads and we are also very happy to have sold the Avanti DS 3200mm dye sub printer to National Flag. The Sign Africa event has helped our company get market penetration and were a perfect place for customer to verify what they buy against the competition. We look forward to the FESPA Africa Expo at Gallagher Estate next year,’ – Frikkie Booysen, Owner, Sheetco.

‘The show was great for Graphix Supply World. Visitors were there to purchase equipment and not just look. We sold all the machines on our stand with orders for more,’ – Darryl Braithwaite, Sales Director, Graphix Supply World. 

‘The Expo is a good platform to make contact with new and existing clients in the signage and graphics industry as well as serving as a good platform for launching new products. Exhibiting forms part of our marketing strategy, which is to be visible to all existing and potential clients. Our logo is now well known in the market as a result of our marketing strategy and the Expo gives clients a chance to identify who and what is behind the brand. Measuring the return on the investment is a long term thing, because you could see enquiries and orders as much as three years later,’ – Vic Anderson, owner, Clip-Tite Display Systems.

‘The Maizey stand was positively received by visitors who commented on the variety of products on offer as well as the distribution capabilities of the Maizey Plastics group. The was an increase in the number of delegates from African countries. It was a very successful show for Maizey Plastics with a good number of solid sales leads,’ – Wessel van der Merwe, Maizey Plastics.

FESPA’S managing director Neil Felton and Michael Ryan, exhibition manager from FESPA, attended the Expo. Next year, visitors can look forward to FESPA Africa, taking place from 2-4 July 2014 at the Gallagher Convention Centre. 

FESPA Africa is a joint venture of FESPA and South African event organisor Practical Publishing, whose Sign Africa and Visual Communications Africa shows will now come together under the FESPA event, to cover all aspects of signage, wide format digital printing, garment decoration and screen printing. 

FESPA Africa will be co-located with Practical Publishing’s established Africa Print exhibition, which is targeted towards commercial printers, though there is significant cross-over between the commercial and wide format print audiences. The combined events will cover 13500 sqm with an estimated 150+ exhibitors, and will set out to attract 6000+ visitors from sub-Saharan Africa and Europe. Please visit for more information.

Judges visited each stand at the expo and judged the stands according to criteria based on design and staff friendliness and professionalism. The stand winners and runners up include: 

Small Stand Floor Space Award

First place tie: Tali Digital and Feelis

Runner up: NUtec Digital Ink

Small Stand Shell Scheme

First place: Custom Structures

Runner up: Mr Plastic

Medium Floorspace

First place: Evonik

Runner up: Digifab

Medium shell scheme

First place: Clip-tite Display Systems

Runner up: Parrot Products

Large Floorspace

First place: Samsung

Runner up: Avery Dennison

Mega Floorspace

First place: Maizey Plastics

Runner up: Sytech Supplies