ISA 2019 Impressions

Just leaving after two days at ISA as an analyst looking at trends in the market. I'm curious to know: what did you buy or are considering buying? what did you think about the show as a whole? was there a particular exhibit that really impressed you? My favorite was the Oce Arizona 1380 creating highly textured output. Please share your thoughts for the benefit of those who did not attend.


Bobby H

The Arizona printer was pretty cool. I liked some of the high resolution LED displays. Daktronics had a full 1080p 1.9mm pitch unit hanging over their exhibit. I was hoping Samsung would have a bigger booth display and have some units out their based on their Onyx cinema screen tech and the .84mm pitch "The Wall" product. They mostly were showing PrismView stuff, but a couple boards were pretty high res (and with good color/contrast too). The LED display industry seems like it is in a constant state of transition. But that will ultimately be a good thing. The boards are going to get higher and higher in resolution and the price is going to come down.

I'm not sure if there was any one particular exhibitor that blew me away. One problem is the exhibit hall at Mandalay Bay was pretty enormous and there were so many booths. Quite a few booths were showing off a bunch of the same hardware. I saw at least a couple or so booths showing those giant EFI printers. HP had a big booth, but several other booths were showing off their printers. Same goes for Mimaki and a several others. It's easy for cool stuff to get lost in all of that. I had to go through the trade show floor a couple or so different times over 2 days just to try to take in all of it.

I did like the Daktronics party at the House of Blues (in Mandalay Bay) last night. We went from there to the party in the Irish bar being thrown by Principal LED. But it was so elbow to elbow in there (and not much AC) that we ended up going back to the Dak party. It's nice if you have suppliers buying you drinks or even dinner. But otherwise Las Vegas is starting to get pretty expensive. I messed up and paid $10 for a beer at the Aurora bar in Luxor (should have played a bit of penny slots to drink for free), but we were about to bounce somewhere else. My girlfriend and I hit Shake Shack up the street in the New York New York Casino; we don't have any of those in Oklahoma. $30 for a couple burgers, 2 shakes and 1 order of fries.

My girlfriend and I spent the morning going on a bus tour out to the Hoover Dam. That was impressive. The bus stopped at a few vantage points around the dam. The best was being able to walk out on the Interstate 11 bridge over the Colorado River, the Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. It's the 2nd highest bridge in the country after the one at Royal Gorge. Driving under the thing to go across the actual dam was also jaw-dropping. The support pylons are so freaking tall.

Plans are to hit Freemont Street tonight and maybe visit the old signs bone yard. Then we fly home early Saturday morning.
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I will never go to LV again [for any reason] but you should check out the 2019 Invitational 3D signs at the Signs of the times booth [[HASHTAG]#2135[/HASHTAG]] amazing work by amazing talent.

Bobby H

What, specifically, was the reason to never ever visit Las Vegas (aka "Lost Wages") ever again?

I'm not much of a gambler myself and tend to stay away from that kind of stuff, regardless of its presence in Las Vegas or the smorgasbord of tribe-run casinos here in Oklahoma. Nevertheless there are good sights to see out there.


I can't even sit in a bar in a casino- the noise gets inside my head. And I do my gambling with my shop. I do drive all over the country and have seen a lot of sights.


New Member
It was my first tradeshow for the sign industry, so I don't have a great point of reference, and what I do is only applicable to a small portion of the vendors there.

As a newb, I enjoyed getting some hands on experience with some of the equipment. The folks at HP, Grimco, General Concepts, Graphtec, Esko, Zund were all very helpful. There were several booths that weren't very helpful, or didn't have the most qualified staff on hand, which was frustrating. The main reason I attended was to see several of the machines I'm considering.

That said, nothing blew me away.

I did end up with a Graphtec FCX2000 at a pretty fair price. That's all I purchased.

Bobby H

I mainly go to the big ISA show to see cutting edge new products. Vendors are more likely to bring out the big guns for the ISA show. I was hoping the Samsung booth would have at least one display there based on "The Wall" .84mm technology. Still there was some impressive LED boards on display there.

I think the regional trade shows are better for sign companies and suppliers to interact with each other and discuss new products. There isn't quite so many people and vendor booths competing for attention.


Magna Cum Laude - School of Hard Knocks
I too was impressed with the LED technology, and although we really don't sell any of it, I would like to. Did get to get some help from Corebridge rep there, as well as SAI. Talked about the new changes for Flexi 19, can't wait to see if it's less buggy than 12. Didn't see much new equipment that wowed me, that wasn't new last year. The new HP Stitch was neat for a second, have no use for it really though.

But YES what a freakin' expensive weekend. Our owner was nice enough to take myself and our sales manager, all expenses paid. We ran up quite a few hefty bar tabs, but we had a lot of free drinks and food as well so it was a wash I suppose. I think Orlando is much more relaxed, Vegas is cool about once every 10 years. Don't gamble really, lost some money on slots and that's about it.