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ISA Progress Report 2023

Planning for Growth

With disruptive technological and organizational changes in the past 5 years, so much has changed in how the sign, graphics and visual communications industry does business:
  • Smaller teams must accomplish more
  • Business leaders need to outsource skilled tasks to skilled teams
  • The industry has to train a new and future workforce.

To manage this change, ISA evaluated this new environment and asked, “How can we help the industry adapt?”

ISA worked to provide programs in 2023 to help benefit the sign, graphics and visual communications industry to:
  • ADVANCE with the best industry-specific and effective training
  • CONNECT and problem solve with each other 365 days a year
  • OUTSOURCE skilled roles for efficiency
  • PROTECT your business

Here is some of the progress made in 2023.


The Largest Ever
Sign MFG Day

“Sign MFG Day was great! I got literally a dozen applications from this one day already.”

More students than ever heard about careers in the sign, graphics and visual communications industry.

Some 112 companies around the globe participated in Sign Manufacturing Day 2023. 91 companies in the United States and Canada, along with 16 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean, opened their doors to showcase industry careers to students.

Intense work is underway to develop a new learning management system for the best-of-the-best industry training. 

ISA’s educational offerings cover a wide array of topics and cater to individuals at varying levels of experience within the industry.

A New Learning Management System in Development

“I am grateful to both the ISA and Vantage LED for the opportunity and support to develop my knowledge in the sign industry. The practical knowledge gained will help me develop my sales territory, provide valuable information to support my dealer network, and improve our customer experience.”


Industry Showed Up and Showed Off at ISA Sign Expo 2023

"The trade show is so large, it seems like every vendor in the sign industry attends. It's the perfect opportunity for networking and for learning about the industry's latest trends, products, and innovations."

ISA International Sign Expo 2023 in Las Vegas, NV surpassed 17,600 attendees.

Attendees experienced the gamut of the sign, graphics and visual communications industry, including a first look at revolutionary direct-to-film printers, the latest in LED technology, vehicle wraps, workflow automation and architectural sign components.

A number of special events sold out well in advance, including ISA Rocks: The Industry Party sponsored by Roland DGA, education sessions and bootcamps, and Sign Research Foundation’s experiential tours.

Exhibitors reported strong sales with many expressing that the quality of the attendees on the show floor was exceptional.

The industry’s best and brightest young leaders, the ISA Elite Class of 2023, gathered at ISA Sign Expo 2023 and at ISA’s headquarters for targeted networking and education to grow professionally.

The 2023 cohort took advantage of one of the most powerful aspects of the program, the ongoing connection with previous ISA Elite cohorts.

The Leaders of 2023 ISA Elite Class

"The ISA Elite program exceeded my expectations and allowed me to make connections and relationships with others that will last throughout my entire career."

Community & Connection, 365 Days a Year

“This new ISA Community is like Facebook for signs! I was able to update my profile, find industry contacts, and surf around. Very cool!”

The ISA Community forum discussions and member directory launched to connect ISA’s members 365 days a year.

It is a place for you to share your extensive industry knowledge and connect with other ISA members who face similar business challenges.


ISA INSTALL is the only event that connects national sign companies to local sign and install companies across North America.

This hugely successful event has driven lucrative new business relationships for participants, and in 2023, ISA beta tested an ISA INSTALL event that fully launched at ISA Sign Expo 2024 specifically for print and wide format graphics installers.

ISA INSTALL Expands into Wide Format Graphics

"This event gives us opportunity to meet face to face with our vendors & allows us to showcase our capabilities to them in a sit down coversation."

Get Your Customer the Sign They Want

"Your expertise in getting this variance approved allowed us to maintain the height and appearance of the historic sign at our establishment."

ISA launched a new variance service to help sign companies secure the signs their customers wanted.

This service was built on ISA’s decades of experience in working with planners and local officials to help you complete tough projects and leave your customer happy.


ISA took on scammers who sent fraudulent emails, purporting to be from ISA. 

ISA, along with other industry organizations, called on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to prevent business impersonation fraud.

ISA sent more than 300 cease-and-desist letters to these hotel reservation and attendee list sales scammers and warned the industry not to fall prey to these scams.

Pushed Back to Protect Member Data

Designers and Fabricators Gain More Wayfinding Options in MUTCD

ISA worked for nearly three years to positively influence the Federal Highway Administration in its latest edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).

With a broad coalition of design & fabricator organizations and experts, ISA worked with one voice to ensure the sign industry’s concerns were heard and addressed.

While the MUTCD covers standards for traffic and road signs, its impact on the designers and fabricators who work on community wayfinding guide signs in our industry is deep.

Looking Ahead

Mark Your Calendars for ISA Sign Expo 2025!
April 23-25
Las Vegas, NV

Coming Up Next


Open your doors on October 4, 2024 to host a facility tour and encourage students to explore exciting and diverse career opportunities within the industry. Registration is free and now open.


An updated Wage & Benefits report, including job descriptions, is nearing completion. Sign up to be notified when the next survey is distributed.


New curriculum will launch mid 2024 that ups the ante for hiring managers. Employees will soon be able to take advantage of not only the Signs101 course but now also a module of 6 courses in “Signs201!”