Companies See Cross-Market Appeal of THE NBM SHOW

BROOMFIELD, Colo.—THE NBM SHOW strives to maximize the time investment that attending a trade show requires by providing access to multiple markets, all under the umbrella of one event. THE NBM SHOW, with six events in 2015, brings together attendees and exhibitors conducting business in the worlds of Sign & Digital Graphics, Awards & Engraving, and Printwear magazines. While some businesses may serve just one of those markets, many others cross over into two or perhaps all three of them.

“We’ve been an NBM SHOW participant for 20 years now, and, you know, originally we started in the sign-making area, with vinyl cutting and digital printing software with our SignLab product,” says Mike Chramtchenko, director of marketing for Ontario, Canada-based CADlink. “But our products evolved into all those markets, so for us the multimarket NBM shows are perfect. It’s a perfect fit for us.”

He explains that as his business grew, the company introduced new products, such as its EngraveLab, a laser and rotary engraving software that gets bundled with other companies’ equipment. A trade show is a great place to meet not just potential customers but potential partners.

“We are partnering with many other manufacturers, for example, Brother; we have a drive for the Epson direct-to-garment printer—we just moved into the (decorated apparel market), so for us, all three of those divisions that THE NBM SHOW  addresses are perfect for us,” Chramtchenkco says.

Meredith Newman, director of marketing for Michigan-based Trotec Laser Inc., says that because lasers can be used with many different types of materials, such as acrylic, fabric, plastics, metal, and wood, THE NBM SHOW is a natural fit. The company has been attending  for 10 years.

“When preparing for an NBM SHOW, we make sure that samples created on the Trotec lasers at the show reflect some of the applications that each target is looking to do themselves,” Newman says. “For example, while at the show, we run different machines and process acrylic cutting and demonstrate our JobControl Vision registration system for signage and digital printing, twill letter cutting for the decorated apparel market, and trophy plates and wood engraving for the awards and engraving market.”

Georgia-based wide-format inkjet printer maker Mimaki USA also touches all three markets, says Ken VanHorn, its director of marketing and business development, although the company’s widest offering of products targets the sign and graphics market. Just as THE NBM SHOW offers crossover appeal, so do Mimaki’s machines.

“Several Mimaki products overlap into other segments, so it’s an advantage to reach a crossover audience,” VanHorn says. “For example, the UJF-6042 flatbed tabletop printer is widely used in the A&E segment for producing custom awards, plaques, and ad specialties. It is also used in the SDG segment to produce smaller signage onto rigid substrates that might be used in wayfinding, office directionals, and public access applications.

“The JV/CJV Series printers are used as eco-solvent printers in the SDG segment but can also be fitted with dye-sublimation inks for the Printwear market. THE NBM SHOW is an opportunity for Mimaki to reach all the segments we serve.”

Robin Kavanagh, a spokeswoman for South Carolina-based Sawgrass Technologies, a sublimation ink and digital printer company, says her company has been attending THE NBM SHOW since the very beginning and tries to have a visible presence.

“At any given NBM show, you’ll see Sawgrass in a variety of places,” Kavanagh says. “We will often host a booth of our own or share one with an industry partner, such as Unisub or ChromaLuxe. Our resellers also love NBM shows. It’s not uncommon to see Sawgrass sublimation experts working with a reseller’s staff in their booth, providing information, demonstrations, and general support.”

Education is also important to Sawgrass, she says. THE NBM SHOWs offer training in both a classroom setting and in the exhibit hall.

“The education we provide at THE NBM SHOW is aimed primarily at those who work in the awards, engraving, apparel, consumer gift, embroidery, heat transfer, and promotional products markets,” Kavanagh says. “Our technologies uniquely empower these types of businesses to diversify their product offerings, offer more value to existing customers and extend their reach into new markets.”

The Arizona-based graphic design software company Digital Art Solutions exhibits at more than 20 shows a year, according to owner Nicole Mertens, but she says THE NBM SHOW is where “we get to meet all of our audience in one shot.” Her company touches all three of the markets represented at THE NBM SHOW fairly equally.

“A T-shirt, a sign, you could be doing large-format printing on the side of a bus, vehicle wraps, you could be doing digital signage, you could be doing direct-to-garment printing, you could be using vinyl cutters—anything that has to have artwork,” Mertens says. “You would use our software to create the graphic and make it production-ready before going to whatever application you’re using it for.”

At GSG, a Dallas-based distributor of equipment and supplies for the signage, graphics, and decorated apparel industries, it’s primarily the Sign & Digital Graphics and Printwear audiences that it serves at THE NBM SHOW, according to Rodney Williams, the company’s vice president of sales and marketing.

He’s been with the company for 21 years and GSG has been an exhibitor at the Texas shows at least the last 10 years.

“Once upon a time, we did one booth, and we tried to represent our full portfolio, and because it’s smaller than a national show, we thought we could get away with having one booth,” says Williams. “Well, two things there: One is we carry too many products for that. And two, we found out that it was really important to have a market-specific focus, especially on the apparel side, the (decorated apparel) side. Those customers, if they’re just looking for that, they want to see a business that’s really invested in that technology and that segment—same thing on the digital side—so we couldn’t fairly represent both segments with one booth.”

THE NBM SHOW, produced by NBM Events and National Business Media of Broomfield, Colorado, kicked off its 2015 season in Orlando, Florida in February. Next up is a show in GSG’s backyard: Arlington, Texas, May 14-16; then THE NBM B.I.G.—Best in Graphics—SHOW in Indianapolis, June 4-6; Long Beach, California, July 23-25; Philadelphia, August 28-30; and Denver, Oct. 2-3. For more information and to register, visit

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