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GRAPH EXPO 2006: Binding & Finishing — Binding Agreements

November 2006 BY ERIK CAGLE, Senior Editor
ULTIMATELY, THE common goal among the manufacturers and suppliers of finishing and bindery equipment at Graph Expo (and any trade show, for that matter) is to place their equipment in as many shops as possible. But, as a commerce vehicle, companies displaying their wares approach the annual Chicago event with different goals in mind.

Every year there’s a degree of spin doctoring that takes place in the trade press. A show’s attendance can drop 20 percent as tumbleweeds bounce off stitchers and binders, but some writers will rave about how many of the leads were high quality. Frankly, it’s generally 50/50 or slightly in favor of a strong showing.

The 2006 edition of Graph Expo and Converting Expo proved ridiculously successful across the board. Out of about 30 postpress manufacturers and suppliers polled, only one major company groused about not enjoying a banner performance.

Yes, finishing the deal at McCormick Place and ringing the proverbial sales bell looks good on post-show press releases, but Chicago is not always an end to the means. A Graph Expo booth serves many purposes and, at show’s end, signed contracts may not be an accurate measure of a successful exhibition.

Sometimes we tend to view the printing industry as a big community, where major printers, manufacturers and suppliers are all household names. But sometimes a prospect comes along who just isn’t cognizant of all the players in a particular segment of the industry. And that’s when reputation takes a back seat to sales savvy.

“We took the opportunity to get our presence to people out there who don’t know about us,” noted Susan Corwin, marketing manager for Rollem USA. “One Northeastern company stopped by that had never heard of us before. And now they’re preparing to buy a machine.”

Headed for Texas

Crowds were lined up around a demonstration of the PB-15 drill at Rollem’s booth, with a sign indicating that this particular model had been sold to Seidl’s Bindery in Houston. Its showcase item was the unveiling of the new JetStream business card cutter with a rated speed of 5,000 sph.

“For us, the trade show is the number one way of generating leads,” Corwin added. “It’s been great here.”

Graph Expo has always proven to be an excellent source of lead generation for Technifold USA, according to company President Andre Palko. And, as the company grows its customer base, Palko relishes the opportunity to meet end users face to face.
 

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