Conference Sessions

Rhode Island Convention Center
1 Sabin St., Providence, RI 02903

Conference Check-in
Morning Coffee & Networking

Opening Comments
Welcome to the SBI/NSSA Northeast Sign Expo Conference, as we detail the information that attendees will learn about over the two-day period.

WootenJeff Wooten
Editor, Sign Builder Illustrated

Keynote: How to Make Your Business Plan a Living Document
All companies have valuable information concerning their products, customers, margins, and competition; but painfully, few model this information to help them identify ways to enhance profits, and identify growth opportunities. In fact, only a small percentage of companies have a strategic plan, or market penetration plan, which is ever executed. Our call-to-action keynote/kick-off session will cover ten essential business axioms that can help sign shop owners grow their businesses and empower their employees to reach their fullest potential. It’s a win/win for employees, customers, and business owners.

GirouardLawrence A. Girouard
CEO, The Business Avionix Company

Get Noticed and Increase Your Customer Base
This session will look at the various methods of identifying sign and graphic opportunities that can help grow your business, as well as provide advice for setting up and managing your equipment and inventory to make sure you are able to satisfy the needs of this increasing customer base.

WalkerNSSA22Bruce Walker, Director, Wide Format Tech, Central Paper

Coffee Break & Networking

Panel: The Best Solutions for Your Shop’s Biggest Challenges
A select group of shop owners will pinpoint the biggest challenges they’ve encountered and discuss the solutions they’ve implemented in their shop and out at the job site to address these obstacles in this insightful, conversational-style presentation.

BraytonNSSA22Raymond Brayton, President & Chief Operating Officer, Barlo Signs
More panelists to be announced

Jeff WootenModerator:
Jeff Wooten
Editor, Sign Builder Illustrated

Best Job Pricing Practices
The price is right at this numbers-crunching session that will provide details about pricing practices that will help you gain the monetary edge you need to attract customers and successfully compete against other shops that are bidding for the same projects.

Yaron LewYaron Lew
Executive Vice President, Lauretano Sign Group (LSG)

Luncheon & Networking

Hiring the Right Employees for Your Shop
Help wanted! Even in today’s labor shortage climate, it’s important that you bring on employees who will still be able to help your sign or graphics shop excel at fulfilling projects. But what are the advantages of hiring based either on experience or potential, and which works better for you? What traits should you keep in mind? How can you get more proactive in getting the word out about potential careers at your company? This highly informative session will provide qualified answers to these human resources questions.

PoyantStephanie Poyant
Director of Sales Operations, Poyant Signs



Kyle FurtadoKyle Furtado, Production Supervisor, Poyant Signs

Rules of Engagement: A Guide to Better Communication—and Better Relationships!
Engagement is a magic word in business. You want employees who are engaged with you and not just showing up every day and working for a paycheck but understanding and working with you toward your goals. You want customers who are equally engaged, which helps you to maximize the value of each customer relationship. Finally, you want suppliers who are true partners, not just people/companies who sell you things. So how does this happen? Communication is the operative word, and this fast-moving session will help you to understand the Rules of Engagement in the modern marketplace.

FellmanDavid Fellman
Author, Sign Sales DNA Project


Building a Better Installation Team
From ground-level locations to high-rise spots and situations in-between, there are a wealth of settings where signage can be placed. Whether you’re looking to transition away from using a third-party source or trying to improve your existing group, this session will provide advice about how to put together the best team of installers at your shop that can rise to the task at hand safely and effectively.

Rob KennedyRob Kennedy
Chief Operating Officer, Lauretano Sign Group


Coffee Break & Networking

Five Principles to Consistent Sales Success
Whether it’s your full-time job or just one of the many hats you wear as an owner or manager, you are a salesperson. The question: Are you really functioning at your best in that role every day? It’s easy to get sidetracked and to develop bad habits and even bad attitudes. It’s not always easy to maintain your enthusiasm and your commitment to growing your business. This session will help you to reboot your focus in this area through Five Guiding Principles.

FellmanDavid Fellman
Author, Sign Sales DNA Project

Resources to Help Your Small Business Start, Grow, and Succeed
The Small Business Administration’s Rhode Island District Office will present an information-packed session as they walk you through resources available to help your small business needs, including: Free expert business counseling, financing programs to help start and grow your business, wealth management and retirement planning, local programs to help you save, and more!

SpoehrMatthew Spoehr
Lead Economic Development Specialist,
Rhode Island District Office of the
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

Day One Closing Comments

Cocktail Reception & Networking

Conference Day Ends

View September 20 Sessions >>

Conference Check-in
Morning Coffee & Networking

Panel: How to Maximize Your Shop Layout
Do you have your equipment set up in the right spots? How can you improve the workflow experience to avoid bottlenecks? How can employees operate without feeling crowded or experiencing calamity? How can you add more needed equipment to a possibly already crowded fabrication floor? Our conversational panel will speak with a variety of sign shop owners and production managers about the ergonomic, investment, and workflow solutions they’ve implemented that can give you ideas for improving your shop layout.

BraytonNSSA22Raymond Brayton, President & Chief Operating Officer, Barlo Signs
More panelists to be announced

Ashley BrayModerator:
Ashley Bray
Managing Editor, Sign Builder Illustrated

Valuing Your Sign Designs
It is important that you know your value when it comes to sign design and that you are upfront with your customers about the process. But what is an hour of conceptual design work worth and how do you charge appropriately for it? How do you protect your designs from clients shopping them out to competitors? Our “design” with this session is to artfully increase awareness of this part of the production process and make sure you hold customers accountable for it.

GalliganWilliam Galligan
Founder, Wayfinder Collaborative


Production: Finish Projects on Time and on Budget
Most shop managers recognize the importance of having the right production floor layout system in place to be able to complete projects on time and within a client’s budget to meet their expectations, but few really benefit from the results that can be gained when the right system is put in place—one that sets clear priorities for everyone and a methodology that maximizes workflow and reduces waste. This session will explore how shops can utilize the Lean 5S program to accomplish this objective.

HackleyJohn Hackley
CEO, Oculus Business Solutions


Coffee Break & Networking

Pricing Workshop: Bring Your P&L
Want to take the guess work out of your pricing? This comprehensive workshop will demonstrate how to effectively price your custom signage for optimum profitability using your time-tested financial statements. We’re serious. Bring your 2021 year-end P&L to get the most out of this workshop. Learn how important your COGS is and how to effectively incorporate it into your costing sheets. Walk away with the tools you need to change the way you price jobs. Each participant will be given an Excel spreadsheet to assist in job pricing.

TrippPaul Tripp
President, Classic Signs, Inc.


Mental Health: Finding Work/Life Balance
As minutes on the shop floor stretch to hours and days turn to weeks, it can be easy to get lost in the workload and take your stress home with you. But remember that mental health is an important part of the production process. This informative session will work overtime to provide tips on helping you find the right balance between work and home, whether you’re an employee or an owner.

CannonErika Cannon
Clinical Supervisor, Thrive Behavioral Health


Closing Comments: Putting It All into Practice — Next Steps to Success
Our recap of the educational sessions and how you can put the advice presented into practice closes out the conference.

Conference Adjourns — Time to Visit the Exhibit Hall!
See who’s exhibiting >>

4:00pm to 5:00pm
Reception & Bar on the Expo Floor

Exhibit Hall Opens
See who’s exhibiting >>

9:30am to 10:30am on the show floor
Preparing Your Sign Shop for Success
Come hear from NSSA Board members about how you can ensure success for your sign shop in the coming year and beyond.

Bruce Walker, NSSA Director and Director of Wide Format, Central Paper
Matthew Mansfield, NSSA Director and Account Manager, Tubelight
Chris Flejtuch, NSSA Treasurer and President, Quality Quick Signs
Mike Leary, NSSA Director and President, Sundance Sign & Designs

Exhibit Hall Closes
Thank you for joining us!

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