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Any of you feeling it yet? Maybe not at all. If any of you are somewhat of a geek like me (who enjoys comic books) you'll understand the significance of this image and how it relates to our very own industry. If not, you have a World Eater, debris from what it destroyed, and it's Herald. It seems like all the separate sign associations that had a separate individual voice are all gone now. Is the USSC next? Will they allow themselves to be gobbled up, errr.....merged, or will we have at least one association left with a "separate" voice? The market talking point is "we're having a larger single voice". People need to wake up. Usually what startes out in "good intention" ends up another way given time. I know Thanksgiving is coming up and all, but all I EVER hear these days is "GOBBLE GOBBLE"!
I'm all for making changes in your life, whether it's personal or perhaps a career change. But sometimes you have to wonder who it is that runs your industry, or the people who can influence changes in your industry. I've always had questions that for these trade groups that never got answered and always wondered the "why's" behind some important decisions or omissions to act that took place, and continue too. I've run into people who one day sold lift gates for commercial trucks then the next day their LED salesmen for a LED manufacturer telling me that LEDs are the best thing on the market in comparison to other light sources AND in all phases. When you ask a question in comparison to traditional light sources they haven't a clue but they may know more about their like competitors, or at least have those selling points that were handwritten down for them memorized. Maybe it's me, but I would feel a little better talking with a salesmen from someone with our or my background in "Signs". Sometimes the butt of the joke about shoddy sign installation is that one day the vinyl sticky guy became the electric sign installer that day for their company and we get new pics submitted into our Hall of Shame. But, at least that sticky guy has some sort of relationship to what he was doing and maybe he was able to make a better effort than say the lift-gate salesman would have been able to because at least the sticky guy who has seen signs before could at least better guess what needs to be done and make a better "best guess" effort. Ever look at the make or resume background on individuals of our Trade Associations and wonder "why" they are there and serve our industry? I'm not talking about the volunteer base made up of some of our finest men and women presently in the sign industry. I'm talking about the "core" employed group who pay themselves from the non-profit. Sometimes we see some wacky decisions being made and anyone in the sign industry asks "why?", why did they do that, or why did they stand and do nothing? Some of these longtime rhino's have backgrounds similar in comparison I just made to the lift-gate guy turned LED salesmen. We just had the International Sign Association gobble up all the other little sign associations like Pac-Man and I'm still NOT clearly understanding the "Why". I know what the selling point was. This was a decision made and pushed by the "core" association employed group rather than the volunteer base. The base still is not clear to this day but they went along with it anyway and a vote was pushed very fast to get this past before anyone could fully understand what they were voting on, sort of like healthcare (don't worry...we'll figure it out later). I mean, they hired an outside consultant to tell them how to push this along. I know that pic below that was made for a past thread involving the globalization or gobble up of our local associations is a bit extreme, or is it? If nothing else you could say it's metaphoric, maybe even call it a political cartoon that has a little humor to it. But both terms have an ounce of truth to it, otherwise it wouldn't fit. Do some of these Lift-Gate people from somewhere else have our industries intentions best at heart? Do they hold the same values and "traditions" of our industry at heart too? How can they, do they have that ability to turn that emotion on like a switch? Can you be a lift-gate salesmen one day and be in the sign industry and "know" our past traditions to shape a better tomorrow? Sometimes some very bad decisions get made which can effect us all. I don't know if a decision to act or omission made is there to kill a part of our trade IS made out of ignorance because their more or less acting on limited information which they deem legit (because it was lift-gate sales one day and signs the next), it can even be said that they become a puppet to the puppet master who is a large light source mfg who's intent is to sell their products over all others and thus get the trade association to help push legislation or stand down from legislation so that it will benefit their cause or business in the form of asking the government to pic a winner, or leave fewer option for the consumer. I get an accountant can be plugged into a sign industry position from a lift-gate industry, as well as a few other areas. But what about the big decisions? The ones that affect what you and I sell or produce? Even though some would like to commoditize what we do, and bastardize our industry by inserting, selling, plugging in whatever can make a quick buck. I think the hiring process for these positions need to be left for those within our industry, for those who have worked in the sticky department, to the guy who installs a pylon or wall sign, and everything in-between. Otherwise, why work for an association for a trade you have no experience in or find akin too? Aren't associations left for those who are involved in their own industry, or is it just a job? I've always been a firm believer that the best sign salesmen or women are the ones who have fabricated a sign and installed a sign. That's my belief, opinion and I'm sticking to it. Bullshitters are a dime a dozen, and we're not used car lot. We fabricate and install the best illuminated branding there is, most of time the sign becomes the hallmark and landmark, it's the face of a business. When they think of a business they don't quickly generate a thought of the retail shelves stocked with goods, or the bellhop or pool, they think of the sign lighting up on the street. Anyway, you're probably asking why you're even reading this thread, and what the purpose is. Why the hell did I start it? I did because I got wind that Rich Gottwald left the Vice Presidentship of the International Sign Association (Or maybe he's doing two jobs now like so many other concurrent association people) and became the CEO of the Pool and Spa Trade Association . No knock on him personally even though he still could/would not legitimately answer some important questions to some my "why" questions which almost heavily impacted our trades traditions. I just hope that he at least owns a spa in his backyard moving forward to his new position. But the news struck curiosity in me. I did some quick research and discovered he went from a plastic association guy to signs, to now pool and spa's. Some other high ranking association core group members also came from the plastic association group before the International Sign Association. Is this trade group one of the same perhaps? Again, I'm all for career change and sometimes people are all-stars no matter where they go. Sort of like gifted athletes, it doesn't matter what kind of ball you put in their hands their just naturally gifted so I can't speak in detail. I sincerely wish Mr. Gottwald the best and hope for whoever replaces him is someone who comes from a Electric Sign Background, and not someone who lobbies to the "Green" movement, or someone who has a marketing background from within their present ranks. I just genuinely want whoever can be the best fit to help our industry. Someone who has a good vision, and remembers our past, and holds our traditions best at heart. Someone who can take into account what the rhino volunteer base has to say, have the knowledge to debate them and make an educated, industry based decision on that. I want someone who's not looking with the intent to stand around and let a bill pass that affects our industry just so they can get the association to turn that new regulation into a program to sell to our industry. Maybe it's just wishful thinking.....just my open aired thought for this Tuesday
Well the Community Organizer of Signs Of The Times Magazine is asking people of the sign industry to find a way and support it. What a good question, the Sign Hugger is all over this one too. I wonder what he wants OTHERS to do, that of which he SHOULD be doing? I know he thinks he supports the sign industry through his magazine, performs a platform of information exchange, but in the way the electric sign industry needs to be served, he fails to meet those needs. He serves/supports only The International Sign Association, his advertisers, and the large National Sign Companies. When it comes to the smaller shops, suppliers / Distributors, Neon & Fluorescent lamp manufacturers, all which is the larger makeup of the sign industry he either doesn't ask the tough questions, doesn't want to get involved, or chooses to purely only support what supports his interests and his magazine. Sadly to say and being quite frank, some of you may not want to hear this BUT, the majority I just named is faceless, voiceless, and isn't organized with each other and it's left to do nothing more but follow, and that's what they want you to do. It's easier that way, it's an easier crowd to sell to. You see, they want you to believe you're the "Movers and Shakers" so you'll clap your hands at them, and feel good doing it. But that's just a marketing pitch for you to feel good about yourself, and that you're a integral part of what makes this industry work. It's true, but only if YOU believe and do what your nicely suggested, or believe what you're being told. Now, they have to clap for themselves to get it rolling, that's marketing, that's the setting of the stage. I think this site has done a very good job of supporting what is REAL in our industry, carving through all the misnomers, myths, and false marketing claims. Matter of fact, you merely support this industry in a large way by merely logging in and participating. BUT, YOU....have to participate. We have too many people "comfortable" riding in the passenger seats of this carriage, with too few horses actually pulling the cart. We got some strong horses pulling, but too many people just enjoying the ride. Maybe what the Community Organizer is talking about, getting "involved". I don't think you need to only support and buy from Vendors who spend money to be at a convention, or be an advertiser in a magazine. I think you need to support those manufacturers that sell based on Integrity, honesty, and real quality products that sell themselves, market with facts, THAT helps our industry, and THAT displays our industry in a great light to sign users, not ones who just "Market" We have too many marketers in our industry, I know our industry IS about Marketing, but NOT BAD marketing. Our Industry alone has too many people in key or leadership role/positions that are marketers, Marketing = Something executed but never explained. They just want to collect and move on, sort of like those fly by night sign companies who only sell on cheap statements. They just want to Bullshit their customer, throw up a sign and collect a check, never look back on what they sold or what will/can happen to in the next year. I get emails and phone calls from topics and threads I start, or from topics others have started, but it's harder to get those individuals to openly express in the public what they tell me. Why? Share something, Gripe about something, Rant about something, Tell US about the new project you did, Tell US worked for YOU and what didn't. You all are only going to get back what you put into it. In the last couple of years this board has made a difference by "holding feet to the fire" as the Community Organizer put it, let's make a bigger difference now and create a bigger change. The Trade Magazines like the Community Organizer, and the empty suits in the Sign Associations won't do anything about the REAL problems within our industry because it'll hurt their pocketbook. One of our biggest issues when it comes to our industry has been the cheapening and the whoring of our industry. It's been caused in a couple of ways, In a lot of ways by our trade magazines and in a lot of ways by our associations. The thing they both have had in common is the Omission, to acknowledge or act. There are a couple of theads that have downgraded it, but let's focus for now on an integral part that WE can fix right now, something that can have a quick fix. But it requires "Participation" on a grand scale. HERE'S WHAT'S BEING PROPOSED AN ASKED FOR HERE ON THE SIGN SYNDICATE.COM BY IT'S MEMBERS Starting January 1st, 2012. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE demand a deposit or payment within 30 days of invoice from the National Sign & Service Companies AS WHAT IS REQUIRED BY MOST STATE CONTRACTORS LAWS.....or DON'T do the work. Stand your ground, have the fortitude and deny the work. National Sign Companies, this goes out to you. There are a lot of you that are good companies that pay on time, and there are a lot of you that abuse your suppliers and subcontractors. We know who both of you are. Let's have the best of you continue to pay on terms or pay a deposit at initiation. Let's look at who has good reviews on our National Sign & Service Review List WHILE denying the worst of you OUR ability of hard work in a timely manner, to help you serve YOUR clients needs, your further requests will fall on deaf ears leaving you alone to complete something you probably shouldn't even have in the first place. The Sign Associations won't EVER help us in this matter because they've combined both Sign Suppliers and National Sign Companies in a annual summer summit and they're too worried about membership fee's based on employee count, these Nationals pay their lunches, and if you think an Association will EVER attempt to discipline their members with breaking their Code of Ethics/Conduct whether it's their high paying member or their Chairman, forget about it! You have a better chance of Magic Mouth forward thinking on honest marketing. You should ask, has a large national member ever been suspended or booted? NOW, I've been doing my part by not even taking on calls from National Service companies in the last 3 years, as I believe this work should return to the local contractors, and I won't let them dictate to me how much to charge for gas and travel, or how much to charge for components and time Anyone want to play the serious game of Chess, or do you want to continue to waste time with checkers and hound your money and BEG for it???