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Trophex 2020

As sign-makers continue to look outside of their usual remit to secure new work and customers, Rob Fletcher casts an eye towards Trophex 2020 in January

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Tipped for success?

Lifting the Trophy

Sign-makers are becoming increasingly diversified when it comes to the type of work that they are producing. Whether it is wide-format print applications like posters and billboards, or textile projects such as flags and banners, the ability to expand outside of traditional signage work is important to success in the modern market.

Companies seeking inspiration for expansion should consider a visit to the first major event of the UK calendar year in the form of Trophex 2020. Taking place from January 12th to the 13th at the NEC in Birmingham, Trophex covers a whole range of different sectors, highlighting the opportunities on offer.

O Factoid: Trophex 2020 takes place from January 12th to 13th in Hall 7 of the NEC in Birmingham. O


From engraving, doming and embroidery, to imaging, awards and trophies, the event is one of the more specialist gatherings for the industry, but one that will give plenty of food for thought for those seeking growth. With this in mind, we find out a bit more about what’s on offer this year.

Profitable avenues

Nigel Bean, managing director of Trophex, says there will be plenty on offer to visitors from a sign-making background at the show this year – especially those seeking to expand into new markets and grow their business as a result.

“If you are a sign-maker that is looking to identify new ranges, other profitable business avenues, suppliers, manufacturers, distributors or potential export opportunities, then this is the show for you,” Bean says.

“Many leading companies from within the trophy, awards, engraving and personalisation industry will be presenting their 2020 catalogues for the coming year, displaying their new range of products, demonstrating the latest technology and sharing with you their valuable knowledge and ensuring you are the first to see everything new in the industry.

“On display you will find stunning trophies, cups, medals and awards, elegant and eye-catching glassware and silverware that could take pride of place in any home or office, plaques and plates finished in modern and traditional materials, and an impressive range of promotional items and corporate gifts.”

Trophies, cups, medals, awards, glassware and silverware will be among the many products on display at Trophex 2020


Key features at the show include free parking at the NEC for all visitors, location in a newer hall at the venue opposite the main restaurants and facilities within the Atrium, as well as what Bean describes as a new and improved show layout.

Trophex 2020 will also feature a sizeable networking area at the centre of the hall, allowing visitors to reflect on what they have seen at the show and continue conversations that began on stands – all with the aim of helping attendees to grow their business.

“You can save yourself a significant amount of time and money by visiting Trophex 2020,” Bean says, adding: “Instead of travelling all over the country to visit potential suppliers or taking a chance on online ordering when you haven’t seen and touched the products you are interested in, a trip to Trophex 2020 will provide you with the opportunity to discuss your requirements in person and compare products, prices and promotions to establish the best deals available before you commit yourself.

“You can also take advantage of the special show offers only available to visitors at Trophex 2020 for the two days of the event.”

Realising potential

In terms of exhibitors, Trophex 2020 will play host to a wide range of companies from a host of sectors. Looking at the exhibitor list, a number of interesting names jump out and could be worth exploring at the NEC in January.

The rather positive-sounding Tryumf focuses, perhaps quite aptly, on the trophy market, offering a whole host of designs to the market. The Polish, family-run company has been operating for more than 25 years, supplying its trophies to customers from far and wide.

Tryumf states: “We know how important the moment of victory is, and that is why every year, with great passion, we prepare a new offer of trophies for all those who want to fight and win. We make sure that they are diverse and unusual and available in a wide range.”

Polish company Tryumf has been supplying its trophies to customers for more than 25 years


Elsewhere, Lotus Laser Systems is a specialist in lasers, supplying products for the use in commercial engraving and with industrial work. Companies looking to move into engraving work for the first time would be advised to drop in on the Lotus stand to learn more about its µMeta entry-level device, which the firm bills as its most popular machine.

Lotus says: “We will work with you to supply exactly the right laser solution and provide ongoing support to prolong the working life of your laser system.”

Meanwhile, Mr Fix It Wholesale supplies both engraved products and engraving machinery to the market, helping newcomers find their way into the sector. Also, UK Engraving Services will be in attendance to showcase its latest machinery to visitors.

In addition, a name that may be familiar to some members of the sign industry is HPC Laser, which will exhibit at Trophex to educate visitors about new solutions for the educational and industrial markets. HPC Laser offers CO2 laser cutters, fibre laser cutters, CNC routers and laser engravers.

In a statement, HPC Laser says: “HPC Laser was established in 2006 and since then, we have supplied more than 5,000 machines to almost every conceivable application. During our time in business, we’ve seen many other laser machine suppliers come and go.

“Unfortunately, the UK laser and CNC router industries have historically been rife with cheap Chinese imports from suppliers who cease trading once they realise they have to provide ongoing service and support. HPC Laser are here for the long term.”

Realising potential

Another name that will be familiar to many companies in the UK sign industry is TheMagicTouch, which specialises in digital transfer technologies. Managing director Jim Nicol encourages sign-makers to visit the show to find out how they can grow their business.

Nicol comments: “Trophex is the only UK exhibition dedicated to the awards and recognition market. Over the years, the industry had been dominated by the sports market, where millions of small plastic trophies for all sports are distributed far and wide. The only issue with these products is simple; the margins have been eroded to the point where nobody makes any margin.

TheMagicTouch will speaak with visitors about the benefits of moving into awards and trophies work


“Sign-makers can only benefit from offering products like plaques and awards, and they offer great repeat potential. The same technology offered from TheMagicTouch will also enable sign-makers to add all the other applications to their portfolio.”

Sign-makers can only benefit from offering products like plaques and awards, and they offer great repeat potential


In terms of what TheMagicTouch will be showcasing in January, Nicol says the focus will be on explaining to visitors the many B2B products and applications that have a great advantage over other technologies – such as screen printing or engraving – in that a sample can be made for customer evaluation.

TheMagicTouch also exhibited at The Print Show 2019 where visitors learned more about its digital transfer technologies


Nicol adds: “Over recent years, the growth of B2B awards for staff training, attendance awards and product recognition of a more professional standard enables many of the traditional trophy retailers to re-align into this growing market.”

One of the first major events of the year, Trophex looks set to throw up a whole range of ideas for visitors from all backgrounds. Many sign-makers have been seeking to move outside of their traditional remit for some time now, and they might just find some niche markets to target by speaking to some of the specialist exhibitors at Trophex.

What perhaps makes trophies and similar markets a realistic move for sign-making companies is that many of the skills are similar to sign work. This is perhaps most true when it comes to engraving; sign-makers will be well aware of the technology involved, as well as the level of skill that is required to ensure applications are finished to the highest quality.

By moving into this market, could your business be lifting a trophy of success by the end of 2020?


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