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September 2006
JUST AS Major League Baseball fans look forward to October for the culmination of a long season with the World Series, printers move into autumn with thoughts of the industry’s largest trade show in the Americas for 2006, Graph Expo & Converting Expo, fittingly held in Chicago, home of the reining world champion White Sox.

This year’s Graph Expo & Converting Expo, taking place October 15-18 at the McCormick Place South complex, should provide plenty of action for attendees. Exhibit space has topped 400,000 square feet, with nearly 600 exhibiting companies in attendance. It will be the largest Graph Expo show held since 2000. Printers of all sizes will be able to find the products and services that fit their needs at this event. (For a sampling of what will be shown, refer to the special New Product Reference Guide section beginning on page 58.)

“I expect this year’s Graph Expo to be the show at which digital printing comes of age,” predicts Dennis Mason, president of Mason Consulting in Western Springs, IL. “The digital press vendors will see more visitors with serious purchase intentions than ever before. While not a trend per se—simply because digital printing has been around for some time—the movement to digital is clearly gaining traction.”

The consultant anticipates more offset printers looking to add digital printing capabilities to their offerings while at the show. Mason is also tracking continued movement toward CIP4 workflows and the use of JDF and JMF—a trend that he feels will continue at Graph Expo 2006.

“Realtors talk about location, location, location,” adds consultant Clint Bolte, president of C. Clint Bolte & Associates in Chambersburg, PA. “Graph Expo will have as its underlying theme workflow, workflow, workflow.”

Among the anticipated attendees will be high-level executives from the largest printing companies in North America. Audience data from the previous Graph Expo & Converting Expo, compared to the ranking of top printers published annually by PRINTING IMPRESSIONS, indicates that of the 50 largest U.S. printing companies, 86 percent sent at least one representative to the show.

Attendee Strategy
Of the largest 100 companies, nearly 80 percent had high- ranking managers on hand in Chicago, exploring the latest technologies and growth opportunities.

If the statistical view is widened to include the 400 largest companies, the event draws attendees from nearly two-thirds of these firms.

At the same time, the show’s organizers, the Graphic Arts Show Co. (GASC), points out that the audience is almost equally divided between companies with more than $10 million in annual sales and those with less—in other words, very large companies are by no means the only firms sending their managers to the show.

Similarly, while 39 percent of the attendees at the last Graph Expo & Converting Expo came from companies with more than 100 employees, 61 percent came from smaller shops.

“Regardless of the size of their companies, executives throughout the industry recognize that investigating and purchasing at Graph Expo & Converting Expo is a superb strategy for growth and enhanced profits,” notes GASC President Ralph Nappi. “The biggest companies in the business understand that smart technology investment is the key to staying successful, while smaller firms realize that technology can open up promising growth avenues for shops of any size.”

Attendees will once again have the opportunity to visit the Mailing & Fulfillment Theater on the show floor to get a nuts-and-bolts education on the how’s and what’s of offering mailing and fulfillment services. Top pros from the exhibitors in the Mailing & Fulfillment Center will provide the expertise needed to get started or expand capabilities, as well as a place to see the latest products.

The Mailing & Fulfillment Service Association (MFSA) will present six seminar sessions on the specialty’s key business opportunities and technical challenges at this year’s event. MFSA’s annual Leaders Conference will run in conjunction with Graph Expo, bringing to Chicago more than 100 of the most influential leaders in the mailing and fulfillment business.

GASC expects the Mailing & Fulfillment Center at this year’s show to be the biggest yet. The center will feature more than 40 exhibitors, occupying more than 30,000 net square feet of space.

Wide-format Fervor
Also, the Wide-Format Pavilion will become the central marketplace for wide-format ink-jet technology and supplies. Visitors there will see the latest and greatest printers ranging from wide- to grand-format.

Visitors will see rollfed and flatbed printers printing on everything from delicate textiles to metal and wood, while having the opportunity to talk to ink manufacturers, media suppliers, as well as companies that produce color management programs, RIPs and various finishing solutions.

Preceding the trade show, the annual Executive Outlook conference—celebrating its 11th anniversary this year—will focus on “Connecting Technology for Profit” when it convenes on October 14, the day before the opening of Graph Expo. The conference draws 200 or more industry professionals annually for a full day’s investigation of the hottest technological trends and opportunity areas.

Information about exhibits, more than 60 seminars, special events and other features of Graph Expo & Converting Expo 2006 are available at

A free Attendee Assistant is available on the site to help visitors develop an intelligent trade show plan. Users can perform searches for products and exhibitors; reserve special offers and discounts; add seminars of interest to the trade show planner; request appointments with exhibitors; and save the planner for future access.

Online hotel reservations and online registration are also available. Visitors are urged to make arrangements early, as hotel space is expected to be limited. PI
Hall of Famers to Be Honored

The PRINTING IMPRESSIONS/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame will welcome four new members during the annual Gold Ink Awards and Hall of Fame Banquet held Monday evening, October 16, during Graph Expo & Converting Expo. Joining the distinguished ranks of the men and women who have been a leading force for their own companies, as well as the industry at large, are:

• James Hopkins, president and CEO, Hopkins Printing;

• Rémi Marcoux, executive chairman, Transcontinental Inc.;

• Thomas Quadracci, executive chairman, Quad/Graphics; and

• Jesse Williamson, president, Williamson Printing.

Four print production executives will also be honored by Publishing Executive magazine, PRINTING IMPRESSIONS’ sister publication. The 2006 Publishing Executive Hall of Fame inductees include:

• Elaine Fry, group director of manufacturing and production, Forbes Inc.;

• Dave Kamis, vice president/ production and manufacturing, Crain Communications;

• Dave Pelkey, director of manufacturing, Merriam-Webster Inc.; and

• Joe Duncan, vice president and director, innovation and technology, Leo Burnett USA.

Advance registration for the gala event is required. For more information on attending, call Mike Cooper at (215) 238-5434 or e-mail


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