The 2017 SGIA Expo: A Resounding Success
The 2017 SGIA Expo has been a resounding success by any measure this year. Even with a hurricane scare, attendance at the show as of noon yesterday reached more than 19,000 registered individuals. They are here to leverage the innovations and advanced technologies on display in the 597 exhibits, covering the entire spectrum of specialty graphics and wide-format printing, as well as take part in the myriad educational opportunities.
“I’ve met great manufacturers focused on helping us grow our business,” confirmed attendee Rita-Renee Hunter Graham of DZIGNS LLC. “We came to the Expo in 2015 and made the mistake of only coming for one day. This year, we joined SGIA so we could take advantage of the education pass as well. It’s been amazing.”
“The Expo has shown me, as it does every year, how dynamic this industry is,” said Ford Bowers, President and CEO, SGIA (Booth 2245). “The technology is constantly changing, and as it does, so does the marketplace. You could see this happening throughout the Expo floor: Adjacent markets are opening up new opportunities for printers of all stripes. Once again, the Expo has proven to be the best place to see where printing is headed.”
The quality of the attendees has been top of mind for many of the exhibitors at the show. “What’s impressed me most about the SGIA Expo this year is the quality conversations we’re having with printers,” said John Fulena, Vice President, Commercial & Industrial Printing Business Group, Ricoh USA (Booth 1351). “Hearing them say ‘I didn’t know Ricoh did that’ and showing them exactly how we do it right here in the booth is eye-opening for them. It’s led to deeper discussions and even more leads. There’s truly never been more to see from us, and next year we’ll be bigger than we are today.”
“Day 1 at the 2017 SGIA Expo has been exciting with a diverse customer base looking to expand their services into the world of heat printing with heat transfer vinyl and transfers,” noted Ted Stahl, Executive Chairman, GroupeSTAHL (Booth 1001). “They’re looking for more equipment, training and solutions for specific fabrics and finishes. We’re excited to share our expertise and products to develop the next generation of heat printers.”
“Day 1 was a bit quiet for us, but day two we saw attendees coming out in full force,” noted Frank Tueckmantel, Vice President, Corporate Marketing, EFI (Booth 1501). “We’re always impressed with the work SGIA does to bring together the attendees and industry, and we’re generating the business that justifies being here.”
And generating business is exactly what many exhibitors are doing. One company that has turned conversations into sales has been FUJIFILM. “Overall the show has been very positive,” said Paul Lynaugh, Vice President Sales - North American, FUJIFILM North America Corporation (Booth 1529). “We’ve been extremely busy, and had a successful launch of the SpyderX, which has gone quite well. We’ve sold a couple of the new Acuity LED 3200R, and we’ll close on three Onsets by the end of day two. Lots of great stuff going on at the SGIA Expo for us this year.”
“The 2017 SGIA Expo is going very well. It is meeting and exceeding our sales goals,” agreed Deborah Hutcheson, Director of Marketing, Agfa Graphics (Booth 1929). “Attendees are educated, knowledgeable and have done their homework with the intent to buy. We are happy to be celebrating our 150th anniversary at the Expo.”
Beyond selling the current technologies and services, many exhibitors are using the opportunity the show presents to find out what problems attendees are facing that might not have good solutions in place yet. One such company is Mimaki (Booths 1231 and 1345) “SGIA Expo provides an opportunity to learn what is important for our customers, and allows us to not only show our award-winning solutions but also capture the most relevant trends so we can engineer products that will deliver best-in-class TCO and capabilities,” said Ken VanHorn, Vice President Marketing & Operations, Mimaki USA. “At Mimaki, we’re pleased to show visitors how they can grow their businesses with our printing and cutting technologies.”
“Of all the shows we do, SGIA Expo is the most important one for us,” noted Ken Bach, Business Development Director, Aberdeen Fabrics (Booth 1245). “It is the best show for us and for our products, and it is a positive event for our entire industry.”
It’s also about reaching a wider range of customers than ever before, as the SGIA Expo attracts attendees from all parts of the print industry, looking to add equipment and bring services in house that they previously didn’t offer - creating a wide range of opportunities. “The show is going very well for us,” noted Chris Guyett, Sales and Marketing Coordinator, Durst Image Technology US (Booth 1945). “We have a lot of customers looking at the technology from other parts of the industry, who might not have heard of us before.”
“The SGIA Expo always manages to bring together people from every corner of the sign and graphics community, providing a great forum for us to engage with our customers, partners and prospects,” said Lou Stricklin, Director of Product Marketing, OKI Data (Booth 2233). “This year in New Orleans, we have really enjoyed strategizing with a wide variety of entrepreneurs on the ways our diverse product lines can support the profitable growth of their businesses.”
And that was just on the show floor - the wide range of educational opportunities at the Expo this year ensured that no matter what an attendee - or vendor - was looking for, it could be found here in New Orleans. Cutting edge technology, paired with world-class education with a healthy dose of networking opportunities mixed in, and it’s no wonder SGIA Expo is the largest print show in North America. Start planning now for the 2018 SGIA Expo, which will be held in Las Vegas, October 18-20; we’ll see you there!
Toni McQuilken has been writing and editing for more than a decade. Her work includes B2B publications – both in print and online – in a range of industries, such as print and graphics, technology, hospitality and automotive; as well as behind the scenes writing and editing for multiple companies, helping them craft marketing materials, write press releases and more. She is a self-proclaimed "tech geek" who loves all things technology, and she knows that she is one of a select group of people who get to do what they love for a living.