Graph EXPO and Converting expo 2003 — Value-Added Opportunities

By Caroline Miller

Printers will get the chance to explore in-depth how adding mailing and fulfillment capabilities, as well as wide-format ink-jet imaging, can improve their companies’ bottom lines at the upcoming 2003 GRAPH EXPO and CONVERTING EXPO, to be held September 28 to October 1 at McCormick Place South in Chicago.

New to this year’s show is a mailing and fulfillment exhibit area. The Graphic Arts Show Co. (GASC), the event’s producer, decided to add the new exhibit because of the growing demand by printers’ customers for mailing and fulfillment capabilities. A recent study conducted by the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL) for its “State-of-the-Industry Report” showed that nearly 70 percent of respondents plan to offer fulfillment and/or mailing services in the coming 12 months to 18 months. And, with margins running in the 4 percent to 6 percent range, this service can be much more than a “value-add” for most printers and converters.

“Printers and converters are recognizing that this type of service is of value to clients, and that it enhances their printing revenues, as well. When asked if offering value-added services such as mailing and fulfillment also increased their revenue from traditional sources, respondents answered in the affirmative over 4-1,” according to the NAPL study.

Show attendees will also be able to take advantage of a series of seminars on mailing and fulfillment services as part of the show’s traditional educational offering.

Get Focused

In addition, GASC will present a series of free seminars situated in a special theater on the show floor. These will feature shorter, more focused sessions on operational issues, postal regulations and other pertinent subjects.

The wide-format ink-jet imaging pavilion has also returned to the 2003 show. Commercial printers have long used wide-format ink-jet imaging technology for proofing, but recent technological improvements means they can use this technology as a way to diversify their offerings and enter the wide-format digital printing business. For the commercial printer, wide-format ink-jet printing offers relatively modest equipment investment, quick setup, a minimal learning curve and large profit margins. Implementation can be quick and easy, particularly for printers already experienced with digital prepress systems.

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