It’s fall, and for those of us in the graphics arts industry, that means trade shows. Two of the biggest coming up are Print 18 in Chicago and SGIA in Las Vegas. Here we kick things off with a preview of what you can expect to see at these industry gatherings
Sept 30 – Oct 2
PRINT hosts a large gathering of printing services providers, representing attendees from 86 countries. In 2017, more than 22,000 visitors came to Chicago, including nearly 16,000 buyers from 8,565 companies. Here’s what the show managers have planned to make it unforgettable.
The show floor
The latest technologies, from digital and inkjet presses to workflow solutions, will be on exhibit on the floor of McCormick Place. In addition to marquee names from the industry, such as Xerox, Konica Minolta, HP, Canon and Ricoh, a host of other exhibitors are bringing their wares to the show. Special pavilions will include mailing and fulfillment, the Print Media Centre, software, design and prepress, and a special Learning Experience Theatre.
A new attraction this year is the VR Experience in the exhibit hall. The Association for Print Technologies—the owner and manager of PRINT—teamed up with Clemson University to create a VR theatre, showcasing several new big iron offset and digital printing presses. To take a full immersive experience, don some VR gear and enter the VR in the Red Hot Opportunities area and virtually interact with each of the presses. While you immerse yourself in the latest perfector, other attendees can follow the action on large overhead screens. Each VR experience lasts about five to seven minutes.
Special tours are also planned on specific topics, led by industry experts. Reservations are required, so check out the website and register.
If you want to hear from one of the greatest marketing minds, then you have to take in world-renowned entrepreneur and best-selling author Seth Godin, who will kick off Print 18 with the Opening Keynote on Sunday,
Godin, the author of 18 books, will examine a century of marketing, industrialism and print, and promises you will leave with actionable takeaways that can shape your personal and professional life into the future. In addition to his writing and speaking, Godin founded both Yoyodyne and Squidoo. His blog – which you can find by Googling “seth” is one of the most popular in the world. He has been inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame
Stick around after the speech for Godin’s book signing of his best-seller, What to Do When It’s Your Turn (and It’s Always Your Turn).
Seminars and more seminars
Choose from more than 50 educational sessions that focus on what’s important to the graphic communications industry today. Categories range from business management, sales, opportunities and new markets, to operational improvement, technical “how it’s done” and the big picture topics that affect us all – the economy, industry, culture and the future. These educational programs analyze new methods to increase ROI:
- Seminars and hands-on labs
- Panel discussions
- Distinguished leader speakers
- Theater presentations on the show floor
Red Hot Technology Recognition Program
The show floor will be filled with new technology, from the latest presses and inkjet printers, to all the software you need to run your shop efficiently and profitably. Taking a spin around the floor and exploring all the goods is one of the best reasons to attend the show.
But it can be a challenge to visit all the booths. That’s why this year the Association for Print Technologies is rolling out the Red Hot Technology Recognition Program, showcasing products on the floor that have come to market within the last 12 months. A printed guidebook will indicate where each Red Hot Technology is located in the exhibit hall and each recognized product will sport a highly visible red dot. Each of these technologies is then eligible to win one of the Red Hot Vanguard Awards, based on its merit as a game-changer in the industry.
What’s happens off the show floor and conference rooms is just as important as what happens on the show floor. Networking is important and fun. Check out the line-up for this year and explore Chicago
First Timers’ Reception
If this is your first time at PRINT, you’re invited to the First Timer’s Reception on the show floor. Fun, light fare, refreshments, and games will be there for all to enjoy. Whether you’re completely new to the industry or just new to PRINT, join in for networking or fun.
When Sunday, September 30, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Where Reception Area on the show floor
International Networking Reception
Join your industry colleagues from around the world and welcome international buyers and representatives, APTech members and other distinguished guests to this VIP reception during PRINT 18. This is the perfect opportunity for companies seeking to expand their international business relationships. Enjoy beverages and hors d’oeuvres as you mingle.
When Sunday, September 30, 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Where Hyatt McCormick Place Hotel, Regency Ballroom CD
Celebrate PRINT! Party With a Purpose
Back by popular demand, this is not to be missed.
Last year the party raised more than $5,000 for Family Rescue, one of the largest domestic violence agencies in Chicago. This year, the party at Pinstripes, a multi-level indoor and outdoor venue overlooking the Chicago River, will feature Toast & Jam DJ, plush seating, great bowling, dozens of games, and fabulous food and drinks.
Shuttles will be available to take you from McCormick Place to Pinstripes. Check the website for updates.
When Monday, October 1, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Where Pinstripes, River East Arts Center
Las Vegas Convention Centre
October 18 – 20
The show floor
With more than 550 exhibitors, and at least 25,000 registered visitors, SGIA is set to Explore what’s on the horizon, which is the theme of this year’s show. And the horizon shows us a printing landscape that is evolving quickly, with new technologies and new business models blurring lines that were once clear. At SGIA print means printing on just about anything: printed electronics, textiles, fine art, embroidery, signs and digital imaging, just to name a few.
Expect to see all the big exhibitors here: HP, EFI, Agfa, Mimaki, Durst, and so on, but also an array of names that may be less familiar, with all manner of hardware and software products to showcase.
Seminars and sessions
More than 70 sessions from industry leading experts and peers make SGIA Expo a learning opportunity not to be missed. Topics range from technology to business management and production issues. Sessions are organized by tracks:
- Graphic and signs
- Garment decorations
- Industrial print
- Business management
- Graphics installation
- Commercial printing
- Printed packaging
- Pre-Expo half-day sessions
Essential Small Business Strategies
Wednesday, October 17
1:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Designed specifically for new and small businesses this special session features action-oriented, thought-provoking presentations from a roster of experts in marketing, sales, business management and more.
Wide Format 101: Essential Skills for Success
Wednesday, October 17
1:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Special Ticket Required
SGIA’s digital printing guru Ray Weiss and a cast of seasoned professionals provide knowledge needed for success in the wide-format segment. If you’re looking to get a good start or strengthen your foundation in wide-format inkjet printing, this value-priced half-day session, presented the afternoon before the Expo opens, is for you.
Thursday, October 18, 12:00 noon – 1:30 pm: $30
Industrial applications and printed electronics are the main topics here, where printers get a chance to network and discuss industry innovation. Limited to 100 people
Brands Talking Sustainability Luncheon
Thursday, October 18, 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm: $30
Speakers will delve into why your sustainability efforts matter to them, and they’ll talk about their own goals and objectives for sustainability. Ask questions, network with peers and find new ways to engage with your customers on this issue.
Opening Night Party
When: Thursday, October 18, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Where: TAO Las Vegas, Venetian Hotel
FREE with Expo Badge
This is the big party to connect with old friends and new. Join the party to celebrate a great show and look to the horizon. This event marks a special turning point in the history of the Expo. This is the last outing for the show, in its current incarnation. Next year’s iteration, Printing United, will debut in Dallas in partnership with NAPCO, publishers of Printing Impressions and several other printing titles. Look for everything you expect at an SGIA Expo, with some additional attractions.
Women in Print Breakfast
Friday. October 19, 7:30 am – 9:00 am: $30
Keynote Speaker Kathy Korman Frey, Founder of Hot Mommas Project.
Women in Print Alliance offers a morning of connecting and education. The Women In Print community continues to grow, and this breakfast is an opportunity to network and share with other women.
SGIA printer members (corporate memberships) are all welcome to submit their work to the Golden Image Awards, the pinnacle of excellence in printing. Judging takes place on site at the expo, and all submissions are displayed in the Golden Image Gallery. Take a break from the show floor and check out some pretty eye-popping work.
Product of the Year
SGIA Expo is a huge show. One way for exhibitors to stand out is to submit products to the Product of the Year awards. Winners are announced at the end of August, so it gives you plenty of time to mark your agenda and go see the products for yourself.
ASDPT Tom Frecska Student Competition
It’s always great to support young people entering this industry. These awards celebrate superior imaging work within several categories. Entries will be displayed at the expo and winners are announced on site. Go by and support young printers.
Wrap Team Challenge
Beginning on Thursday, October 18, a total of 24 two-person wrap teams will race to wrap the side of a car in 20 minutes or less. The field gets narrowed to 12 teams and culminates with six teams on the last day of the show.The championship round takes place Saturday, October 20, with $3,500 in prizes up for grabs. It always makes for an exciting time!