There’s certainly plenty for us to be excited about as we head into Autumn with our foot firmly on the throttle heading to July.

Many of you may have seen all the planning and events that are coming up specifically for our industry and wondering: “What is in it for me?”

Let’s dive deep into why it would be beneficial for your business, your staff and yourself to attend our Sign Makers Conference, the Print + Sign Expo and our New Zealand Sign Display Awards for 2023. Each event has its own benefits.

Sign makers Conference

Traditionally, the Annual General Meeting kick-starts our conference, setting the vision that the Association will bring to those events over the ensuing days and to the industry for our year ahead.

Following the AGM, the conference will begin in earnest. This year, we will integrate it with the opening of the Print + Sign Expo. As part of the opening, the stands will be judged and prizes awarded.

Among the highlights that delegates really enjoy when attending the conference are the insightful visits to leading industry manufacturing businesses, chosen because they are leading the way with innovative technologies and processes. This year, we have some excellent site visits.

The conference offers an opportunity for you to network and connect with like-minded sign and print business owners. You can also hear from a diverse line up of experts on key challenges that businesses face. The Friday morning Speaker Sessions cover topics that include understanding how social media, AI and chatbots are changing communications; sustainability storytelling; building a reputation on facts and not greenwashing; embedding genuine Māori values into communications – the fine line between appreciation and appropriation; as well as tips and hacks on short film videos and why they are seen as a dominant communication tool on social channels.

Print + Sign Expo

Running alongside the conference for two and a half days, the Print + Sign Expo will encompass many creative and live experiences, with learning stations; wrap challenges for all levels of sign makers; the Electric Kiwi Van Wrap Challenge; interactive on stand demos; and special expo deals.

Come along and engage with the sign, display, and print suppliers from throughout New Zealand and Australia. There is so much to see and to do. It is a must attend event for anyone needing to enhance their business with the best innovations in design, production, and manufacturing. Add in free entry and free parking to the mix and the choice becomes simple. Also, with the next Expo three years away, it is a good idea to grab the opportunity and see it all this year.

New Zealand Sign Awards

The Association’s flagship event is the Awards evening. Enter your finest work created over the past year and get acknowledged nationwide for outstanding craftsmanship in bronze, silver, or gold. With 17 categories, these awards offer something for everyone. 

There are several category changes for 2023, including:

• The Wayfinding and Navigation category has been reinstated.

• Shop Fronts is a new category.

• Traditional Handcrafted Signs and Murals & Illustrations have been combined into one category.

• 3D Modelling and Dimensional Signage have also been combined into one category.

• The Illuminated Signs category now allows for all illuminated signage including dimensional.

• The Corporate Brand – Interpretation and Delivery category criteria has changed; please check the website.

Apprentice of the Year 2023

The past few years have seen more promising talent emerging from the industry. We love having the chance to cherish and celebrate these young guns.

If you know anyone that is worthy and in their last year of apprenticeship or has just completed it, contact us to learn about the nomination process. Apart from the kudos of participating in the Apprentice of the Year, they have the chance to win a $3,000 Computaleta Grant towards their trade.

Notable Awards

Also up for grabs this year are our Notable Awards, which we launched in 2022. These are the Innovative Champion Award, the Mana Influencer Award and the Keith Langstone Highflyer Award.

Our overall Supreme Award, sponsored by Cohesive – our Diamond Sponsor – is the prize for the most outstanding entry and it will be a huge accolade for the winner.

There is something for everyone with this line up of industry events. We always set out to please, so come along and join in on the fun, the entertainment, and achievements for 2023.

For more information please visit the NZSDA website.

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