Digital Digest: SGIA Expo Showcases Its 'Wide' Appeal for Printers
LAS VEGAS—The typical landscape for U.S. printing industry trade shows today is dotted with smaller booths, fewer attendees and less equipment on display. But that wasn't the case at the recent 2014 SGIA Expo held at the Las Vegas Convention Center Oct. 22-24. SGIA set not one, but two, new records: largest attended SGIA Expo ever, with 25,500 registered attendees; and most exhibitors, with 541 exhibitors filling 223,000 square feet of floor space.
Among the crowded aisles were large contingents of commercial printers investigating how to enter, or increase their presence in, wide-format digital printing. They realize that the market for Point-of-Sale/POP products, pole signs, banners, vehicle graphics, window displays, indoor wall and floor graphics, and the like is far less saturated than traditional commercial printing markets, thus creating opportunities for new revenue streams and higher profit margins.
According to a 2014 SGIA survey, primary market opportunities exist with retail stores, organizations/associations, educational institutions, food services, business-to-consumer, ad agencies, athletic teams, health care institutions and digital printing output for the trade.
Highest growth markets include corporate branding, interior decorators/designers, food services, retail stores and health care institutions. The SGIA survey also showed that the top declining market is ad agencies, which is likely due to more end customers circumventing them and dealing direct.
The SGIA show floor was filled with equipment from all of the leading wide- and grand-format printer and finishing equipment manufacturers. Evaluated by a team experts, here's a sampling of the SGIA Product of the Year winners within various wide-format printer categories:
- Roll-to-Roll Aqueous (under 96˝)—SureColor T7270, Epson America
- Roll-to-Roll UV (under 96˝)—JV400SUV-160, Mimaki USA
- UV Flatbed (under $200K)—Océ Arizona 318 GL, Océ Display Graphics Systems - A Canon Co.
- UV Flatbed (over $200K)—Jeti Titan HS, Agfa Graphics
- UV Flatbed + White (under $200K)—Océ Arizona 318 GL with White Ink Option, Océ Display Graphics Systems - A Canon Co.
- UV Flatbed + White (over $200K)—Océ Arizona 6170 XTS, Océ Display Graphics Systems - A Canon Co.
- Roll-to-Roll Solvent/Latex (over 96˝)—ValueJet 2638, Mutoh America
- Roll-to-Roll UV (over 96˝)—Q5-1000h, CET Color
The 2015 SGIA Expo will take place in Atlanta Nov. 4-6. Commercial shops looking to learn more about value-added opportunities in wide-format digital printing would be well-served to attend what's undeniably become that segment's leading trade show and educational conference. PI