Digital Domination: A Glimpse of New Era? —Michelson
Overall, though, the mood and sentiment among exhibitor and attendee alike at Graph Expo 2010 was much more upbeat than last year's Print 09 installment. Many vendors were pleased with the sales leads and new contacts they made, and reported that more printers seem poised to start pulling the trigger on capital equipment investments again. The comparatively much smaller floor space and fewer days, in comparison to Print 09, also helped make the show appear more crowded. And, the strong push by GASC to encourage co-located events to be held in conjunction with Graph Expo—nearly 20 in all—including numerous user group meetings, the IDEAlliance G7 Summit, a print buyer forum and Xplor Document University, among others, helped draw visitors to the show who might not necessarily have come otherwise. Also, with the demise of the former Nexpo exhibition, the debut of the News Print newspaper pavilion at Graph Expo filled that void and brought another industry segment into the fold.
Will Graph Expo 2010 be remembered as the tipping point where inkjet digital printing developments captured the attention—and some day, in the not-too-distant future, the wallets—of many commercial printers? Historically, widespread technology shifts in our industry have occurred much slower than many of the pundits and analysts predict. But, like the volatile stock market and shrinking 401(k)s have shown us the last couple of years, historical patterns are no guarantee of future performance. The same might be said about evolution within the rapidly changing commercial printing marketplace. For many printing establishments and supplier companies, it's going to be a wild ride.
Mark T. Michelson