SGIA Expo draws over 24,000 in another resounding success

More than 24,000 attended this year’s SGIA Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Specialty Graphic Imaging Association’s (SGIA) 2018 SGIA Expo – the last event before launching its much-anticipated Printing United tradeshow with NAPCO Media in 2019 – attracted over 24,000 people to the Las Vegas Convention Center October 18–20. With 612 suppliers on the sold-out show floor, 72 expert-led educational sessions, and a host of networking events, attendees were inspired by the latest innovations in addition to what’s on the horizon for the printing industry.

The show floor showcased excellence as well as innovation with features like the first-ever PDAA Wrap Team Challenge, where nine teams competed tournament-style to wrap the side of a car in 20 minutes! A panel of PDAA Master Certified Installers judged the jobs based on speed and quality. Nearby, the Golden Image Gallery displayed the best in printing – the submissions for the Golden Image Competition, the ASDPT Tom Frecska Student Printing Competition, and the Product of the Year. Winners for the former two were announced on-site, while Product of the Year award winners were announced in the summer – allowing attendees to learn more about the winning products from a record-breaking 255 entries prior to the show.

In addition to the sold-out exhibit hall, 72 educational sessions informed attendees on effective business strategies, the latest trends, industry outlooks and more. The sessions kicked off with the two pre-Expo workshops: Wide-Format 101 and Essential Small Business Strategies, on Wednesday, October 17. Also on the agenda were opportunities for peer-to-peer interaction and networking. Community-focused networking events included FP3: Functional Printing, Process & Products Luncheon with keynote speaker Colby B. Jubenville, Ph.D., and the Garment Decorators Luncheon featuring riCardo Crespo of th13teen. The Women in Print Alliance Breakfast with George Washington University educator and entrepreneur Kathy Korman Frey and Brands Talking Sustainability Luncheon moderated by Top Value Fabrics’ Michael Compton, saw interactive discussions that touched on key challenges within the industry.

Printing United on the horizon

Ford Bowers.

“This was a special year. We not only celebrated the SGIA Expo’s legacy, but its future as Printing United,” said Ford Bowers, President and CEO, SGIA. “The Expo has always been about advancing the industry, showcasing new technologies and providing education that helps printers succeed in an ever-changing climate. That same foundation will carry into Printing United, which will introduce attendees to even more markets and business opportunities they may not have previously known were possible.”

The Opening Night Reception, which drew over 1,100 to the TAO Nightclub at The Venetian, celebrated the Expo and gave attendees a preview of what to expect at next year’s Printing United tradeshow. “We could not be transitioning from the SGIA Expo on a higher note,” Bowers added. “The innovations, interactions and inspirations at this year’s event showed us that what’s on the horizon is a bigger, better and bolder show that will make a valuable impact on this industry.” Pre-show registration for Printing United 2019 (October 23–25, 2019 in Dallas, Texas) has already exceeded 6,000. Special thanks from the SGIA to its 2018 event sponsors. Platinum: Agfa, Durst, EFI, Fujifilm, HP and Mimaki. Gold: 3M, GSG, INX Digital, Kornit Digital, LexJet, Marabu, Media One, OKI Data Americas, OmniPrint International, Piedmont Plastics, Stahls’, Top Value Fabrics and Ultraflex.

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.