Added Luster for Expanded GOA Event
MIAMI BEACH, FL—After watching attendance at its conference dwindle since the booming days of the ’90s, Xplor International teamed up with the successful Graphics of the Americas (GOA) exhibition and conference this year, putting on a joint event held here last month.
The partnership seems to have been a wise move, as it freed Xplor from the task of organizing a trade show, allowing it to concentrate on its educational mission. More than 250 sessions were available, covering PDF, JDF, XML, digital prepress, design, variable data and more. GOA, in turn, got a host of new attendees, as well as a larger base of exhibitors.
Michael Streibig, president of the Printing Association of Florida (PAF), the show’s manager, indicated that the number of GOA exhibitors for 2006 was up nearly 25 percent from last year’s event.
Digital technologies were all over the show floor, perhaps much more so than in previous years. Xerox, Kodak Versamark, HP, Xeikon, IBM, Nipson and others were showing off their latest digital printing gear, including wide-format devices, and plenty of software vendors were in evidence. Lesser known names in the digital printing equipment arena, MGI Digital Graphic Technology and Degrava Systems, debuted new products.
One message from the event was that, with bills and statements increasingly doubling as marketing materials, transactional printers have to become more savvy with color and variable graphics. Likewise, commercial and direct mail shops are looking at opportunities in the transactional printing field. Reflecting this convergence, several vendors showed printing systems geared toward both transactional and promotional marketing output.
Aside from the show itself, the 23rd annual Graphic Arts Leaders of the Americas (GALA) awards banquet was held. Bringing together the North American and Latin American printing communities, 2006 GALA honorees were John Wurst, chairman of Henry Wurst Inc., N. Kansas City, MO; and Fernando Leiro, of Artes Graficas Modernas in Argentina.