FESPA Livens the Venerable GOA Show

2011 GALA  Award honorees included (from the left): Juan Marinetti Verderau, Marinetti Packaging;  Andres Valdivieso, Imprenta Mariscal (Young Entrepreneur recipient); and James Mayes Jr., ColorCraft of  Virginia.

The Screen Master’s Workshop was just one highlight of the first-ever FESPA Americas, co-located with GOA.

ORLANDO, FL—Despite being held near Disney World, there was nothing “Mickey Mouse” about the 2011 Graphics of the Americas (GOA) trade show at the Orange County Convention Center Feb. 24-26. Opting to move from its traditional Miami Beach venue for this year’s event, the Printing Association of Florida can also point to GOA’s co-location with the inaugural FESPA Americas wide-format digital and screen printing area for infusing new excitement into its 36th annual event.

Also co-located with ISS Orlando and the cre8 conference, GOA organizers report that 9,800 people in total attended the “Super-Event” from 90 countries, with a majority of attendees coming from the U.S. and Latin America. This represented a 16 percent year-over-year increase in attendees.

“We were thrilled with the results of our 36th annual show in Orlando,” says George Ryan, GOA president, noting a 40 percent increase in pre-registrations. “Attendees were particularly drawn to the co-located FESPA Americas event, which enjoyed much traffic and excitement on the show floor.”

This can be partly attributed to the convergence between the conventional and wide-format printing segments, and to growing levels of interest from commercial (offset and small-format digital) printers looking to diversify their offerings. FESPA Americas aimed to educate and inspire visitors through a range of exhibits and show features, including the Wide-Format Print Shop Live!, Screen Master’s Workshop, FESPA Wrap Cup Masters Series and the Global Business Forum.

“We presented the American audience with an innovative show formula to deliver a range of great ideas and solutions for their printing businesses, and feel we have succeeded in providing attendees with a unique mix of engaging content,” adds Frazer Chesterman, FESPA’s managing director of events.

GOA’s keynote address, “Inspiring Digital Innovation,” was presented by John Bracken, director of digital media at the Knight Foundation. Bracken identified major trends in publishing and journalism, including the impact of smart phones, and differing views of social media. He also reported on the innovative projects that have been funded by the non-profit Knight News Challenge, as well as offered his own insights into what the future holds for media and society.