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2020 Shanghai International AD & Sign Technology & Equipment Exhibition (APPPEXPO 2020) is worth attending Print E-mail
D-PES 2013, Guangzhou

APPPEXPO Shanghai ad and Sign exposition every year is a large and popular international signage trade show in Shanghai for wide-format inkjet printers, inks, and substrates. Plus, APPPEXPO always offers an exhibitor list of LED electronic signage, traditional LED signage, and every aspect of CNC routers (plus digital XY flatbed cutters). For 2018 onward what used to be in July is now (for about four years) in March.

During 2015, 2016, and 2017 lots of changes in many Chinese signage expos

  • The changes in city (yes, entire expos moving to different city).
  • The changes in time (giant expos totally changing the time of year)
    Is information which FLAAR Reports provides Subscribers and consulting clients.

Exhibitor list for APPPEXPO Shanghai March 2020

To ascertain the 2020 exhibitor list for the Shanghai International Ad & Sign Technology & Equipment Exhibition, just find and download all the FLAAR Reports on the exhibitor lists from last year. To help for comprehending the size of the APPPEXPO 2020 the exhibitor lists for the 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 expos are a good preview.

APPPEXPO to learn about all kinds of printers

For printers at APPPEXPO you can find textile printers, UV-curing printers, water-based, HP latex ink printers and other wide-format printers, as well as desktop sized. You can find flatbed, hybrid, combo transport belt, and roll-to-roll models of UV-curing printers.

There are more printers with DX heads at this expo than at most other expos in the world. Plus printers with Dimatix Spectra, Konica Minolta, Ricoh, Xaar, and even Kyocera (finally is trying to escape the high-cost category and get into slightly more realistic priced market share) and even Toshiba Tec heads (they finally decided to try to improve their aging head technology).

Plus for APPPEXPO 2020, you can experience printer brands which have dropped Epson and have switched to the new entry-level Xaar head or the new entry-level Ricoh head.

APPPEXPO for media and substrates

APPEXPO has more media and substrates companies exhibiting than all signage expos in Europe put together! Sorry to be so factual, but if you (as distributor or print shop owner) need to see all the media made in China (and in Taiwan and in Korea), you miss a lot unless you come to Shanghai in March 2020.

For CNC Routers and CO2 laser engravers

I estimate there are more flatbed cutters at the annual March Shanghai expo than at all USA + Canada + Latin American + European expos all put together.

Laminators, Coaters

If you visit any expo in USA or Europe, I bet over 60% of the laminators are made in China. If you come to APPPEXPO you can see 90% of the laminator brands of the world (in the original guise).

After-market inks

As with media, comparable with wide-format inks: lots of choice; plenty of selection. Many European and American ink companies have factories in China, so there is plenty of experience.

Plus you can find ink from Singapore, Korea, and Taiwan. Dr Hellmuth has visited ink factories in each of these countries, so he can be your guide. You can schedule a consulting session with Dr Nicholas by asking to be invoiced in advance. Last week the FLAAR Reports ink team (Hellmuth and Pablo M. Lee) were flown to the Apollo ink factory in China. In May they will be flown to the AT Inks factory in India.

Since ink is the single most expensive component of printing signage, it is definitely a good investment to come to APPPPEXPO 2020.

LED electronic signage

There are lots of LED trade shows. APPPEXPO is first and foremost a printer, ink, media, cutter, laminator, etc. trade show, which also has lots of traditional signage and includes modern LED signage.

Traditional signage

Whether channel letter equipment or putting grommets onto your signs, you can find plenty here at the APPPEXPO during March 2020 in Shanghai.


Branding babel of trade shows around the world is a pain for the brain:

VISCOM expos in Europe have suffered confusing branding for years. Even without an MBA you know you can't change your brand name every year; and you can't have two "names" for the same show.

Plus, since there are four different VISCOMs (Germany, France, Italy and Spain) you have to decide whether to name them after the city, or the country, or the theme. VISCOM splattered so many names across their banners that even after five years I have no earthly idea what these trade shows are really called. I still have mental indigestion even thinking of trying to know the real name of any VISCOM expo.

As a professor of any MBA program, the VISCOM branding team deserves a flunking grade. Unfortunately the naming confusion combined with the growth of FESPA (which has one consistent brand) resulted in VISCOM in Madrid closing down several years ago and VISCOM Paris closing about 2 years ago. VISCOM Milano lost about 40% of its exhibitors and went from 3 halls down to less space, but hopefully still exists. I used to attend every single one of these shows so was able to notice the factors contributing to their evaporation and eventual closure.

The annual July Shanghai expo had a similar series of different names: 26th Shanghai International Ad & Sign Technology & Equipment Exhibition is the official name. First, we suggest to shorten the name to the acronym. In other words, simply call it APPPEXPO. And be sure to give it the identical name every year. By changing the name every few years you lose all the potential brand recognition. SGIA just threw away their brand recognition when they dropped this name in 2019 and changed their name totally (as they co-located with a new brand).

Next issue is the relationship between the digital printing expo and the non-inkjet portion: LED, China (Shanghai) International LED & LCD Luminary and City Lighting Exhibition. And the Pack Paper Expo. And the Printing & Packaging Products Trading Fair. Are these separate, or co-located?

We skip these uncertainties and call the entire overall expo "APPPEXPO," as jargon. Whatever name or names you use, it is the largest printer, signage, and advertising expo in China (larger than every expo in North America (Canada + USA) put together). For inkjet printers, inks, media and substrates APPPEXPO is so much larger than DRUPA and all EU expos there is no comparison.

APPPEXPO-THAILAND-2018-FLAAR-Reports New for 2019 is APPPEXPO Thailand, an international cooperation with SIGN ASIA EXPO.

Two of us from FLAAR Reports will be in Bangkok and we hope to see you at this innovative APPPEXPO Thailand in early November.


Modern International Exhibition Center, Dongguan, China Sign Expo (Spring) 2010
Shanghai New International Expo Center, Shanghai, China, APPPEXPO 2009
Dongguan China Sign (Spring) 2010, at China Import and Export Fair Pazhou Complex. This expo is no longer in Dongguan and has evolved into a nice regional expo: we recommend expos which are 100% international in content and focus.
China National Convention Center, Beijing China Sign 2010. The FLAAR Reports team has been attending different printer expos in four different cities in China, starting about eight years ago. This is how we know that APPPEXPO is the largest and the best for inkjet printers, media, printable substrates, laminators, and cutters.

here are now many competing major signage trade shows in China (with wide-format printers).

New for 2017 was APPPEXPO Thailand, an international cooperation with SIGN ASIA EXPO.

Two of us from FLAAR Reports were in Bangkok Thailand in early November. APPPEXPO will continue to co-locate with SIGN ASIA EXPO in friendly Bangkok for November 2019.

Here are now many competing major signage trade shows in China (with wide-format printers).

About 10 or so years ago, a Guangzhou-located sign expo split into two when about thirty or more Chinese printer manufacturers boycotted that Sign China event and set up a rival event the same week in nearby Dongguan (China Sign Expo). As you should expect, Dr Hellmuth attended both shows in China. FLAAR Reports are available on both the Guangzhou show and the Dongguan event too. The expo in Dongguan was eventually named D-PES.


After two years in Dongguan the D-PES expo moved to Guangzhou in order to be directly across the street, and the same week as Sign China, in order to compete head-to-head with Sign China. But for 2015, all this is changed (hence our several news items for Subscribers; if you wish to be invoiced for a Subscription, write This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Then APPPEXPO changed their dates from July to March (to compete with D-PES and Sign China). Sign China moved to autumn and left Guangzhou (moved to Shanghai). D-PES became a local regional expo since APPPEXPO had become so large it became the expo favored by international brands.

The fourth sign trade show is that of Beijing: China Sign Expo. This is a local show but offers something not possible at any other city in China: all the imperial heritage of ancient China.

Hmmm, how in the world can a person decide which of the many Chinese sign expo trade shows to attend? Plus, now there is another new expo attempting to gain foot in the autumn (will be tough since APPPEXPO is already so well established and so popular worldwide). This is precisely the first service that FLAAR offers: we discuss with you (via Skype, telephone, or e-mail) which Chinese trade show would be best for your needs. Then, once you decide, you can have Dr Hellmuth with you at the event in China to introduce you to key suppliers.

FLAAR will have a presence at APPPEXPO Shanghai for 2020

If you wish to have Dr Nicholas Hellmuth take you around the Shanghai show and introduce you to key printer manufacturers, distributors, ink companies, media companies, you can also make an advance appointment for a consulting meeting.

If you sign-up for consulting with FLAAR Reports at the Shanghai show, we can also provide tips on hotels. Shanghai is an immense city and if you end up in the wrong part of the city you will waste hours in traffic. Nicholas is in a hotel within about 12 minutes from the expo center. Just realize that since 2015, the convention center is totally new, and in a different part of the city.

Out of curiosity I went on-line to see what hotels are recommended, and not one single hotel that was being pushed on attendees was any of the hotels that I am familiar with as being actually convenient to the SNIEC, Shanghai New International Expo Centre trade show halls. Since FLAAR has been attending the trade shows many years, we can suggest hotels for each city.

To give you an idea of what you can learn if you hire Dr Hellmuth in Shanghai

The APPPEXPO Shanghai China, International Ad Print, Pack, Paper Expo, is where Dr Nicholas Hellmuth, FLAAR Reports, does his evaluations and reviews for UV-cured flatbed printers, eco-solvent printers, and T-shirt printers. Maria Renee Ayau handles textile printers and textile printer workflow equipment. Pablo M. Lee is in charge of after-market inks, media and substrates.

APPPEXPO is an international event and thus crucial for distributors as well as printshop owners, managers and printer operators to attend from around the world. This signage and printer expo is sufficiently large that we send a team of at least SIX people here especially since we are now adding coverage of CNC routers and LED electronic signage (in addition to wide-format inkjet printers).


Most recently updated December 26, 2019.

Previously updated April 2019, Oct. 2017, Oct 19, 2016, Dec 19, 2014, May 12, 2014, May 7, 2014 April 17 2013, January 4, 2012, April 14, 2011 and January 11, 2011. First posted May 10, 2010.



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