Observations from GRAPH EXPO

I once wrote a column that called GRAPH EXPO “sensory overload.” Back in the day, when business was booming and you could barely hear yourself think above the din, it would take a few days of sitting quietly in a padded room, head cocked to one side and murmuring something about Simon and Garfunkel being misunderstood before you could return to a functional state after attending the show. I remember taking a lot of grief from GASC (the Graphic Arts Show Co., organizers of the show) for that one.

GRAPH EXPO 2012 was a bit quieter and more subdued. I thought I’d share a few thoughts on the trip as a whole:

• When staying at the Hard Rock Hotel, listen to that little voice in your head that, upon seeing your room assignment to be on the third floor, sounds an alarm that perhaps something in the teens would be of a more appropriate distance from the noise that is certain to emanate from the lounge.

• For me, a show like this is a cross between going to camp and attending a reunion. Every 10 steps I would see a familiar face that would result in a handshake, hug, occasional kiss, and a friendship renewal. Hang around long enough in this industry and that is bound to happen. What a great industry we serve!

• I was so happy to see Bob Hall receive the lifetime achievement award. This guy is a class act. Well done, sir!

• It was extremely gratifying to hear from salespeople and selling owners who watch/read my free sales tips, “Short Attention Span Webinars” and this blog and stopped me to voice their appreciation for so much content. It often feels like I’m shouting into the abyss, so it’s nice to know someone is paying attention.

As a 30 year sales veteran, Bill has the perspective of a been-there, done-that sales rep in the commercial print arena. Following sales fundamentals and giving unapologetically "old school" advice, he writes and speaks in an entertaining fashion to make his points to sales people and owners who sell. "Bill Farquharson will drive your sales momentum."
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  • Brent Clarke

    Nice sentiments Bill. Sorry I missed seeing you, not sure if you made a pass down the section where we were presenting. Certainly the shows serve a far bigger purpose than just purchasing ideas and learning. I have to agree it was a bit quieter than in past. I was a bit disappointed to see what in my best guess was 10-15% (maybe more) open floor space (compared to 2004 and Print 05 shows where the week or 2 before the show it was all you could do to book a small 10×20 open booth space.
    Another exhibitor commented to me in passing as we boarded the buses that "in the world of You Tube where prospects can click a button and see the product on line, that they likely won’t return next year to Print 13". I certainly hope that is not a developing trend.

  • Mikal

    Hey Bill,

    This was my first time attending Graph Expo and I was in attendance at both of your seminars. They were both really informative and helpful. Definitely understand the camaraderie you refer to in your article; we are all trying to give our customers the best solutions available.

    Keep up the good work of sharing your thoughts and observations.