There is no better way to find the spark that moves business forward than at ISA Sign Expo 2021–Virtual. The event is April 7–9 and registration is open—and free!—at

Not sure what to expect from a virtual event? Forget that notion of static PowerPoint presentations and talking heads. ISA Sign Expo is always a great place to capitalize on the brightest minds in the sign, graphics, visual communications, and print industries. It offers vital connections, inspiring education, and business-building new product launches. This year is no different.

Here are four things that must make it onto your schedule:  

  1. The always popular Game Changer session is back and ready to set businesses ahead of the coming trends. Sheryl Connelly of Ford Motor Company will help you learn to think like a futurist. She will share the 10 mega trends that she’s watching and help you change your approach to long-term planning and strategy. That is insight we all need after the past year. Who knows what changes are ahead for 2021 and beyond? Connelly may not know the specifics, but she will help attendees learn to effectively anticipate changes on the horizon. She reveals the 10 mega trends she believes are poised to change the world as we know it. Attendees will leave with a fresh perspective on long-term planning and strategy. 
  1. Four Titan Talks sessions will inspire and invigorate with their lessons on leadership, in troubled times and calm. Guayente Sanmartin, general manager of HP’s large format business, Harry Patz, senior vice president and general manager at Samsung, Matt Shay, president and CEO at the National Retail Federation, and Denise Rutherford, senior vice president of corporate affairs at 3M, will all chat with ISA president and CEO Lori Anderson in intimate and inspiring one-on-one conversations.
  1. The tradeshow floor is worth carving out specific times to visit. See the latest products and see what existing vendors have to showcase. The tradeshow floor includes the opportunity to duck into a private room for a one-on-one conversation, so no need to worry that competitors are hearing about your challenges—or learning about your opportunities. The setup provides everything you need to feel confident in your purchase.
  1. Wrap up each day with deeper connections. Speakeasy sessions are focused on interest or market segment and include topics facilitated by influencers and experts and promise to be both useful and fun. Peer Connection breakout lounges provide opportunities to get to know your fellow sign, graphics and visual communications professionals. Connection can be had in a virtual event—we promise.

Not sure how to navigate a virtual event? Approach it just as you would an in-person event—except in one key aspect.

  1. Clear your schedule, just as if you were getting on a plane and heading to another city. A virtual event like ISA Sign Expo requires singular focus. Don’t try to squeeze in a few hours here and there in between meetings, client pitches, design approvals, and installation issues. Instead, go ahead, mark that time off now and treat it as if you are out of the office.

In other ISA virtual events, we have had people expect to drop by for an hour or two. They found so much value that they stayed all day. Prepare for that to be your experience—and block the days off now.

  1. Come ready to connect. Yes, you can do this in a virtual environment—and in a meaningful way. The platform we’re using allows for chat throughout the session, and the ability to invite someone to a one-on-one conversation. Be intentional and ready to participate in these conversations.
  1. Be sure to bring your staff. While it isn’t feasible to bring the whole team to an in-person event, the virtual experience allows you to spread this knowledge and experience throughout the whole company. Maybe not everyone is involved for the entire three days. But everyone can be involved in some capacity. A little planning on the front end can ensure that your team divides and conquers—so you don’t all end up in the same place. Then come together—in person or virtually—to debrief afterwards. This can be an important way of inspiring new thinking, investing in your team—and ensuring that the best ideas come together to move your company forward throughout 2021.