Message from Sign Biz, Inc.
President, Teresa M. Young
Another great Sign Biz Annual Convention- an international event
that is fondly dubbed "The Reunion" is now in the record books. From all
reviews the Sign Biz Convention in Orlando was a Reunion to remember,
and a stand-out among conventions to date. For those who attended you know what I mean, but for those that did not make it this year, you missed an outstanding time. From beginning to end the convention ran very smoothly
despite more than 20 sponsors, video contests, vehicle wraps, a party,
Reunion attendees first gathered outside the ISA Expo doors on Friday, April 9th, to kick off the "Walk the Floor with a Mentor" as soon as the exhibit hall doors opened at 9:30 AM.
A large crowd of eager Sign Bizzers awaited the appearance of the three Mentors who would act as their guides: Carter "Houdini" McEver, Peter "the Noggin" Bates, & Jon "Outtake" Hoffman (shown L- R). True to his name, Houdini disappeared a few short hours later ;-)
Besides the noteworthy lanyards and badges, one big surprise was the appearance of new, eco-friendly bags for collecting Expo samples and literature. Branded with the debut Reunion "Badge," there were strangers who attempted to snag one for themselves! These handsome bags were ordered from Member Curt DiFurio, whose decades in promotional products made him the 'go to" expert for this useful tote.
Depending on your area of expertise, there was something for everyone at ISA's Expo. I received reports from some avid Expo fans that they could still learn something from a walk on the floor, even though they had visited the Expo for more than a dozen years. Silver shoes, silver ink, Latex technology, bendable "neon" filament, were just some of the highlights.
Tawnya Starr, President of SignPresence
Saturday, our official opening day, we started off with our top-voted SEO Special Workshop. Bronze Sponsor SignPresence was represented by a very knowledge Tawnya Starr, president of the web development company. In addition, SAi's Social Networks Marketing guru, Stephanie Stamm, gave insight into social networks and how they impact business today. Rounding out the panel was Michael Seibert, a newer Network Member who had already achieved #1 position on Google using the techniques described by Tawnya, and finally, a round up of 30 websites that offered a simpler, more organized business and personal life - at no charge- presented by yours truly.
Newbie Stefanie Dacy noted, "This is a hot topic and something I want to leverage. Tawnya Starr gave very valuable information." Roger Hogstad summed it up, "SEO / Web Marketing/ Internet Secrets made the biggest impact on me. It's a new area that is very important in all of our marketing efforts going forward." Roger is using Facebook extensively! Join the conversation at www.facebook.com/SIGNBIZ See a preview of the SEO Session DVD>>
From there, we moved right into two session choices: Profitability by the Numbers, and Big Bid Business. Network Member Doug Pierce was a contributor on the Profitability panel with Brandon Readlinger of Cyrious and Coach, Paul Williams. "Profitability by the Numbers was exactly what I needed!" wrote one attendee.
Pictured here: Doug Pierce, Network Member and contributor.
Big Business Bids was paneled by John Stevens of HP; Jon Hoffman, Million Dollar Milestone Club Member, a school and institution bid master; Bob Kuhlmann, owner of Sign Magic in Arizona, a $750,000 Milestone Club Member; Gary Grantham, Century Club Member; and Chris Thompson, VP Florida region representing Proveer. The team provided dozens of sites where owners could register for bids, plus how-to for all aspects of bidding. "Information given by HP and Gary Grantham, especially info regarding government sites and registrations - these had the most impact on me," said Hoffman.
There are more than 50 slides with bid sites, plus detailed
instructions and sources, all available with the DVD that Members will
be able to purchase at www.signbizelective.com.
Stay on top of new releases! Subscribe! www.youtube.com/signbiznetwork.
A huge surprise was in store for the Luncheon Keynote address: While Gemini and Sabic were both scheduled to share insights, no one except Sign Biz president, Teresa M. Young, knew that the founder of Gemini, Jim Weinel, was making a special appearance to share a few words. His philanthropy is renowned, and Young made the introductions:
"Everyone in the sign industry knows them, or knows of them. Yesterday, they were honored at ISA's Keynote Luncheon, as recipients of the Kirk L. Brimley Distinguished Service Award, the sign industry's highest honor. And now, I would like to say a few words about those honorees, Mr. and Mrs. Jim and Sharon Weinel… "
Young with Jim Weinel at the Sign Biz Reunion. Through the years, philanthropy has played a pivotal role in the personal and professional lives of Jim and Sharon Weinel. Among their passions is education.
"It was this passion that inspired many of the Weinel's most notable philanthropic contributions…. Perhaps the most notable act of generosity, however, came in 2007, when Jim and Sharon Weinel announced a generous gift to endow the James S. Womack chair of Signage and Visual Marketing at the University of Cincinnati. The two million dollar endowment was presented in the modest style for which the Weinel's are best known…. It was also a gift of love. The Weinel's knew first-hand that sign companies are often family-run or privately owned businesses, like every one here," Young said.
Jim, along with Luncheon Sponsors Fred Oss, President of Gemini, and Jay Millhof National Account Manager Sabic Polymershapes were roundly applauded and after Jim's noteworthy remarks and remarkable story, not all eyes were dry, yet smiles were everywhere.
Another high note was the Milestone congratulations sent out to Jeff Thomas for winning the Century Club Award -- for achieving $100,000 in sales in a single month, for the first time!
Roundtable sessions - more than 20, followed the luncheon, culminating with the second General Session of the day, the "Sales & Marketing Round-Up"
The huge "Sales & Marketing Round-Up" General Session was a high point finishing the first day's education program. It gave attendees the front-line, real-life input needed to fine-tune and improve business sales. Panelists were Linda Levitan, Million-Dollar-Milestone Club Member; Dave Fellman, renowned sales guru and author; Carter McEver, and Steve Scalph, Advisory Board Members. This General Session was one of the highest rated at the Reunion. Members commented: "Fellman was excellent - lots of beneficial ideas to use" ~ Peter Bates. "Sales & Marketing Roundup had the biggest positive impact on me" ~ Steve Scalph.
The icing on the perfect cake of a day was a special video presentation by Friend of the Network Sponsor, Denco Sales, featuring president Ken Von Wald. The humor and tongue-in-cheek address kicked off the evening party to come. To see Ken's masterful change of attire and hard work click here for this feature on our own video channel at: www.youtube.com/signbiznetwork!
Members gathered Saturday night in a room transformed by special effect visuals, the Reunion badge in lights, "So You Think You Can Dance" motif and brand throughout the space, and lots of food and drink, hosted by Sign Biz, Inc. See the photo album at www.facebook.com/SIGNBIZ. Before the crazy dance contest got underway, the evening was kicked off with the Sales Consultant of the Year Award, the SCOYA, in a presentation to a full house. It was a complete surprise, and tears flowed freely, when it was announced that the Sales Consultant of the Year honor went to Bonnie Major (pictured here), from Sign-Age, based in Clearwater, FL. Her extraordinary efforts for five years in sales, and her recent accomplishment of a sale in excess of $200,000 that included no signs whatsoever made her a clear winner, in every respect. Read More>>
Congratulations to everyone who entered the Sign Biz Contests! Sign Biz had the contests running like clockwork. The first of the Two Big Contests, the Vehicle Wrap Awards (VEWAs) gave Members a fantastic close-up PPT show starring the wraps of Doug Pierce, Roger Hogstad, Jeff Kicska, and Kim Rasmussen. What a line up! The winner was determined by the attendees on Sunday, with Doug Pierce winning the VEWA for his great company van wrap! Read more >>
The video contest was amazing - to see the variety of ways that video is used to promote a sign company, and the creativity demonstrated, had the audience glued to the big screen, so to speak. Each of six videos got ample play time in front of the crowd, who then voted for their favorites. It came down to a tie between the pre-NFL game spot submitted by Roger "the Hugger" Hogstad, and the high-impact advertising spot submitted by Peter "the Noggin" Bates. In the end, both parties graciously agreed to split the award and the money. To see all of the entries for yourself, go to our channel on YouTube: www.youtube.com/signbiznetwork.
Lori Anderson, President & CEO, International Sign Association
For the third General Session, on Sunday morning, we had Lori Anderson hosting a participative and extremely powerful "Public Speaking" workshop, featuring many of the attendees in star roles. Eye- opening techniques were used and we could see the actual effects of these tools, being performed under situations that many of us find ourselves in. It was extremely well received, and the DVD workshop will be out soon for Members at www.signbizelective.com. "Lori Anderson's presentation was AWESOME," remarked Steve Scalph.
Peter Bates adds, "A very great presentation - will
At the same time, for Graphic Artists and those seeking design skills, Mark Rugen, (pictured here) a favorite year after year, gave his fresh and professional "Three Hour Tour" of the latest Flexi software. Always in demand, his workshop will be available on a 2-DVD set this quarter, and pre-orders are coming in already.
And finally, the most talked-about material from the Reunion came from the "Get Out Of The Box - New Profit Centers" workshop on Sunday. There has never been a workshop sponsor that garnered so much attention on the Sign Biz International Message Group as Signmojo, presented by Jon Wooldridge, whom we heard in 1992 at an early Sign Biz convention! Not only is the on-line e-commerce capability for the ADA sign market so extraordinary, the "airport" job described by Mike Quigley had many Members citing the project on their evaluation forms as one of their top take-aways. In addition, Newbie Linh Ong received her share of compliments for not only a great presentation, but also had her mural projects described as "a real eye opener," by one attendee. Curt "Da Force" Difurio revealed the tips and lessons from 20 years in the promotional products business. His solid and fact-filled guidance for those seeking specialty advertising as a new profit center was essential. "I came to learn what to do, and this answered all of my questions." Diana Scalph said, "Mike's airport job shows what's possible when you stretch the limits of your capabilities. Well done and well presented." To see what all the buzz is about, visit www.YouTube.com/signbiznetwork - or direct link here to the video preview for "Get Out Of The Box."
The convention printed program was a thing of beauty, and surely will become a Collector's
Item ;-) Eight pages and a wristband flash drive gave every attendee a wealth of
take-aways, invaluable information that is at fingertips when we got home. There are many people to thank for the convention’s success, from the
Doubletree Resort's excellent staff to the Advisory Board Members and
other volunteers, without whom none of this would have been possible. And of
course, our own Stellar Cameraman, Eric Jordan, who has won awards
around the globe, and still makes time to attend and capture our
I also want to thank my Sign Biz team, who helped with everything from Expo tour logistics and manning some of the roundtables, to getting up early to make sure the cameras and electronics were up and running for the first event of the day. Greg Salzano, Paul Strauch, David McCutcheon - each gave 110% - not to mention organizer extraordinaire, Kate Manney, holding down the fort back at the office, awaiting calls from lost members. Many thanks to everyone!
Also I want to
give a special thanks to our friends at Impact Imagery Group for donating
the beautiful 100% recyclable banner off their new HP Latex Printer
L25500. Impact Imagery, a Fort Lauderdale based company, like many
Sign Biz Members, has been looking for the opportunity to provide
recyclable graphics to their clients. Now, thanks to HP and Proveer,
our Silver Co-Sponsors, this was made possible!
On a final note, the registration for next year's convention in Las Vegas, NV is already in development -- due to the terrific response -- we will extend the early convention registration period by five days next year. Get your email via the Sign Biz International Message Group take advantage of this special pricing when it is announced. If you need to change your settings for this lively private, worldwide discussion, contact David McCutcheon at our offices. You don't want to miss a thing!
One promise for next year is that the workshops, roundtables, speakers, and contests will be all that you could hope for, and more. Experience the Things You Need To Know and an event "Too Good to Forget."
Check it all out at www.facebook.com/signbiz, or catch the videos and workshop DVD previews at www.YouTube.com/signbiznetwork. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/signbiz so you don't miss a thing! I hope to see you in Las Vegas next year -- April, 2011. Mark your calendars and start saving your pocket change now.
These are a few of the special events that took place this year. Even if you could not attend the Reunion, you can gain much of the knowledge --Read, order videos, get to know Things You Need to Know!
The Sign Biz Vehicle Wrap Contest and the Sign Biz Video Contests were highlights. With a dozen contestants, there were some great performances, and the Judges had to make some very difficult decisions.
This was the top-requested workshop for 2010. Members implementing the plans laid out by the knowledgeable panelists are quickly getting to #1 position on Google. The 102- minute DVD is now available at signbizelective.com!!
The founder of Gemini makes a special appearance at the Sign Biz Reunion, and was honored by attendees who gave a standing ovation for Jim Weinel.
A powerhouse OwnerSelect workshop, loaded with website and bid insights for attendees. The huge DVD is coming online soon, and includes the complete PPT package!
more coming soon...
A wild contest led to unforgettable performances by Members, judged by Reunion Sponsors as dancing, twirling, kicking, and improv blended with the DJ's surprise music selections.
The Sales Consultant of the Year offered one of the most inspired "out of the box" success stories to date. Well-deserved, Bonnie Major took home the top honors at the Reunion.
"Eye-Opening." "Shows what's possible when you stretch the limits of your capabilities." "Well done and well presented." Video on DVD available now! "A new door to productivity- great!" The 109- minute 2-DVD set is now available at signbizelective.com!!
"National debut: e-commerce and on-line sign design at your site, with the most sophisticated back-end software and largest provider of ADA signs in the US for Sign Biz Members - !" "A new door to productivity- plus checks in the mail - fantastic!" The 109- minute 2- DVD set is now available at signbizelective.com!! See Preview!
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