PRINT 09 Overcomes Challenges, Delivers for Attendees and Exhibitors
RESTON, VA—Proving once again its value to the graphic communications industry, PRINT 09 overcame the challenges of a severe global recession to host the year’s international graphic communications exhibition. More than 18,000 print professionals from 94 countries assembled at the expansive McCormick Place in Chicago, September 11-16, to examine, compare and purchase the latest graphic communications technologies.
While overall attendance was lower than at the previous PRINT, which took place in 2005, when the economy had been enjoying relatively steady growth from the previous few years, PRINT 09 drew a total 28,678 attendees, which included exhibitors and attendees, and 18,999 actual verified attendee/buyers. Based on it’s commitment to reporting the truest and most accurate attendance numbers, show producer the Graphic Arts Show Co. (GASC) defines “actual verified attendees” as registered on-site show goers—counted only once—regardless of their number of days at the show, or times they enter the exhibit hall(s).
Show data reports also reveal the event drew high-level attendees from 10,512 unique buyer companies who came to explore the equipment, products, services and applications demonstrated by the 680 exhibiting companies that occupied 566,284 sq. ft. of space across the expansive North and South Halls of McCormick Place. Also, new to the show this year were 126 first time exhibitors, many of whom joined veteran exhibitors in recognizing the high caliber of attendees at this year’s show.
“The quality of attendees was outstanding,” reported Richard Trapilo, executive vice president and general manager of C.P. Bourg, Inc.
According to Don Ohlig, managing director of Fabrication Concepts Corp. OLEC Technologies LLC, “From my point of view, the show was very good. We were manning three booths and had steady traffic most of the time. I know there was not the number of visitors that most wanted, but the attendees were serious and more upbeat than I had seen in a while.”
“PRINT has the caché, and attendees know that,” said Paul Foszcz, marketing manager at manroland Inc. North America. “If you’re looking to buy something in this industry, you’re here at PRINT. That’s one of the reasons we’re here.”
Mark Levin, president of Presstek Americas, observed “Especially in difficult economic times, it can be hard to predict the return on investment from a major trade show such as PRINT 09. Presstek was delighted with our decision to support the show.“ Brian Wolfenden, director of marketing communications for Presstek, Inc. shared that “The show proved a strong venue to announce our new products and reinforce our brand image. We took order commitments across our entire product portfolio and captured qualified leads. PRINT 09 also helped us to gain exposure to a larger and more diverse audience.”
Dave Jackson, of EP Graphics in Berne, IN, was one of those who came to PRINT to buy. “PRINT gives you a chance to check out the newest equipment releases and talk with several industry experts in a very short period of time. Fortunately, we were in a position to be doing more than window-shopping,” he explained. “Over the past year we added digital printing to our bag of tricks, so we were shopping for software and finishing equipment to support that venture.”
Andrew Shama, from Proven Direct, Milwaukee, WI stated that his company attended the show because, “We like to put faces to names and to see all the new technology. The show provides a good way to arrange one-to-one meetings withspecialists at vendor companies, see new products that are hush-hush, compare products in person and see the equipment running.”