Business Action | February / March 2019


Independent North Devon-based business magazine covering news about business and enterprise in Barnstaple, Bideford, Braunton, Chulmleigh, Combe Martin, Holsworthy, Ilfracombe, Lynmouth, Lynton, South Molton, Torrington, Woolacombe and more.

Umberleigh-based The Sign

Maker has built up a large

customer base across the

world via its web site, but,

with constant changes to

algorithms and online practices,

finds staying at the top

of the search engine rankings

a growing challenge.

“Until now we’ve relied on

the internet totally and felt

we had to try something else,”

explains managing director

Kate Price.

When Devon County

Council announced its

2018 Business Promotion

Grant scheme, the company

obtained a grant to support

its first ever attendance at

a trade show: the Family

Attraction Expo at the NEC,

Birmingham last November.

“There’s no point in just

printing banners, we need to

show people what we make,”

continues Kate. “We started

preparing the stand in August

and had to get it all together

so thought we would try it

out at Bideford Business Expo

in October.”

After planning to exhibit

at one exhibition, the Sign

Maker ended up exhibiting

locally in Bideford, regionally

at the South West Business

Expo in Exeter and nationally

at the Family Attraction Expo

at the NEC.

As its name suggests, the

Sign Maker specialises in


Sign Maker exhibits

across the country

Giving clear signs: (from left) sales specialist Debbie Stevens with

managing director Kate Price on The Sign Maker exhibition stand

high quality, bespoke signs

and memorials. Its products

range from made-to-order

wooden signs to stone, slate,

granite and marble signs

as well as painted signs,

house name plates, engraved

plaques, safety signs plus a lot

more. All signs are designed

and manufactured by skilled

carpenters, engravers and

painters as well as by CNC

equipment and sand blasting

at the company’s Umberleigh

workshop. Its customers

range from individuals

wanting a single sign for their

house to businesses requiring

commercial signage.

The aim of attending the

Family Attraction Expo was

to build relationships with

visitor attractions requiring

multiple signs, although

Kate said they also met many

farmers looking to diversify.

She added that the response

from visitors was good with

one asking “why is all the

good stuff made in Devon?”

The exhibitions have

started to generate orders

and also provided many new

contacts for the future.

After this first taste of trade

shows, Kate is looking forward

to exhibiting at further events,

including agricultural shows:

“We’ve got to do it again to

create an impression.”

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@businessactionm | February / March 2019 | business action 5

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