Signage for the new Normal: adapting to a post-COVID world

When COVID-19 began to spread around the globe, most in-person events were cancelled or postponed.

For sign and graphics professionals, who rely on tradeshows and conferences for much of their revenue, this was devastating news, as many wondered how they were going to bring in revenue.

Fortunately, unlike other industries, sign and graphics professionals didn’t have to dig as deep to find a new source of income. With demand for new types of signage and a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), sign and graphics professionals were actually able to create new revenue streams and grow their business.

In this blog, we’ll explore the new demands of the signage industry and how professionals can actually leverage technology to take them to a new level of success.

Signage market - gerber

A new kind of signage

At the very beginning of the pandemic you probably saw tape on the floor of the grocery store to guide shoppers down aisles. Now when you walk into the grocery store, you probably see beautifully printed signage on the floor to remind you to keep your distance from other shoppers or wear your mask.

With sports suspended, the signage industry lost a major income generator. However, now that sports are back, more signage is needed than ever before. In addition to traditional advertising, stadiums and arenas are now filled with messages of social justice or appreciation for our healthcare heroes. Many sporting events are also using virtual signage to make players feel more at home by showing fans and their team logos.

Even billboards and outdoor signage is seeing a comeback as many companies replace their advertising by messages of gratitude or reminders that they’re here to help us through this difficult time. While the signage industry may not see the typical jobs they’re used to seeing, there is a great amount of opportunity and growth available.

Versatility and speed are top priorities

For the last few years, versatility has become a major necessity for sign and graphics providers as many look for to expand their business. With the COVID-19 pandemic acting as an accelerator, now is the time for signage companies to find ways to diversify their business and reinvent their process from design through production. 

With a major shortage of PPE, sign and graphics professionals all around the world were asked to join the fight by transitioning to producing PPE, further highlighting the need for versatility. Companies who had already implemented a flexible and agile digital supply chain were able to efficiently transition to PPE production more quickly than those who still rely on manual methods for production. 

Overcoming the labor shortage

Due to COVID-19, over 30 million jobs were lost this past spring, causing many companies to learn how to do more with less. For the sign and graphics industry, this means fully integrating their supply chain from design through production. 

With an integrated solution, not only are companies able to efficiently develop products with a smaller workforce but they’re also able to reduce time to market and gain valuable insight into their supply chain. An integrated solution puts companies in the driver's seat and gives them more control over their process, costs and quality of their products.

Technology as the driving force

With demands for new signage and PPE continuing to grow, it’s important for sign and graphics companies to evaluate and adapt their supply chains to handle the variety of challenges they’re currently facing. With social distancing still in effect in most areas and employees still working from home, it is crucial for companies to utilize technology in order to succeed.

A fully-integrated supply chain allows signage companies to do more with less. It will allow them to increase their capacity for jobs and handle a diverse set of projects, offering maximum growth opportunity.