GOA--A Silver Lining
Celebrating its 25th (silver) anniversary, Graphics of the Americas 2000—held February 4th to 6th in Miami Beach—was the first international printing and converting trade show of the new millennium. But, unlike the Y2K fears that generated false media headlines as the new millennium approached, this event lived up to all of its advanced billing.
Catering to both the U.S. and Latin American graphic arts industries, Graphics of the Americas 2000 featured more than 23,000 attendees and 1,500+ exhibit booths encompassed within more than 500,000 square feet of exhibit space. For the first time, the show occupied all four halls of the Miami Beach Convention Center and exhibitors represented four continents, including the Republic of China, Taiwan, Latin America and Europe. With seminars conducted in both English and Spanish, a record 1,300 seminar attendees chose from 64 total seminars—also a show record.
Second Largest Exhibition
The second largest graphic arts/printing trade show in the United States—surpassed only by Graph Expo & Converting Expo—the annual exhibition is sponsored and managed by the Printing Association of Florida (PAF). Products on display included state-of-the-art printing presses and electronic prepress systems; color digital printing presses and accessories; binding, folding and finishing equipment; and the latest in plant automation, converting and flexo equipment, and management information systems.
There were also special exhibits and events held during the show that deserve special mention, including:
The annual PAF Graphic Arts Leaders of the Americas (GALA) awards banquet was held February 4th, the opening night of Graphics of the Americas. More than 275 attended the dinner, a 51 percent increase over the previous year. Robert Murphy—chairman and CEO of St. Louis Park, MN-based Japs-Olson—and Antonio Tabanelli—president of Boldt Inc. in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and a past president of the Conlatingraf consortium—were the newest GALA inductees honored. They were each presented with the association's signature "Eagle Award" that evening and received "keys to the city" by the City of Miami Beach at a ceremony held earlier the same day.
In addition, Murphy, a 1993 inductee into the Printing Impressions/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame, was presented a special Lifetime Achievement Award from Printing Impressions at the evening function, paying tribute to his industry achievements and contributions toward the advancement of the graphic arts. A past chairman of the Printing Industries of America (PIA), he has held a total of 21 different positions within the PIA throughout his career, and is still active in 10 groups.
Aside from the state-of-the-art technologies on the show floor, Graphics of the Americas 2000 also featured a special exhibit area that paid tribute to the past.
On display was a replica 1539 Juan Pablo press; believed to be the "oldest press in the New World," it was shipped in from Mexico just for the show. Also on display were a 109-year-old, replica Golding & Pearl Treadmill press; an 1862 Spider press, which was used to print currency and stamps; an Edison mimeograph, invented by Thomas Edison in 1876; and an 1823 Washington hand press, said to be the oldest working press in the state of Florida.
In a $1 billion exhibit sponsored by the Bureau of Engraving & Printing, Mary Ellen Withrow, U.S. treasurer, was on hand the first day of the show to autograph currency at the exhibit.
In celebration of its 25th anniversary, the PAF provided an "Oasis" for show attendees at its two adjoining booths, featuring free massages for PAF members, and free, special commemorative coins as a keepsake.
The booth also featured a bookstore of titles available though the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation, as well as a display highlighting past winners of the Florida Print Awards.
The third-annual Salsa party, held on the show floor immediately after the exhibition closed February 5th, attracted a record turnout of both exhibitors and attendees.
New to Graphics of the Americas 2000 was an international business pavilion, which served as a meeting place on the show floor for international visitors. Translators, e-mail retrieval and other services were provided courtesy of PAF.
New for exhibitors in 2000 was the show's "Trade Show Certification" by the U.S. Department of Commerce—a major step for an international trade exhibition. In a nutshell, the certification eliminates most duties on display materials brought to the show from foreign countries, and reduces the paperwork necessary for exhibitors to clear customs.
"This certification reduces the red tape our exhibitors usually experience when transporting their merchandise and display materials to and from an international trade show," explains Chris Price, PAF vice president and general manager for Graphics of the Americas trade show operations. "This year, our South and Central American, as well as Canadian, Mexican and European exhibitors, were able to bring in and return their displays through customs more quickly and duty-free. It provides a tremendous reduction in the tariffs, fees and time that they would normally incur for this type of undertaking."
Reaction from Exhibitors
To further aid exhibitors with future Graphics of the Americas events, Cheryl Michaels has been hired by the association as trade show operations manager, reporting to Price.
Price also notes all of the positive reaction from Graphics of the Americas 2000 exhibitors.
"The show was phenomenal," enthuses Kent Martin, sales vice president at Komori America. "It gets more productive each year and there was quality Latin American sales."
Chimes Robert Friedman, president of Adast Central: "...a fantastic show. Leads exceeded expectations. Three times as many as last year."
George DiQuattro, trade show events manager at Xerox, was just as enthusiastic: "Graphics of the Americas was successful and productive. Traffic flow was great. Good leads. It is a strong show for us."
Tom McTernan, regional manager at Heidelberg Prepress, adds: "a well-attended, high-intensity show. Our exhibit was jammed. We even ran out of supplies!"
A special Graphic Arts Teachers Conference, held in conjunction with Graphics of the Americas, included a presentation by Heidelberg USA's Larry Kroll and a round-table discussion, as well as a plant tour of Avanti/Case-Hoyt, located in nearby Miami.
The 2001 edition of Graphics of the Americas is slated for February 2nd to 4th. Mark your calendars!
e-Commerce Services Introduced
On the eve of Graphics of the Americas, Michael Streibig, president and CEO of the Printing Association of Florida, announced a partnership with Atlanta-based Third Millennium Communications (3MC) to offer full-function e-commerce and other exhibitor and attendee services. 3MC's ExpoExchange was introduced during the show through the Website www.graphicsoftheamericas.com and will be fully functional by mid-summer.
Endorsed by the International Association of Exposition Management, ExpoExchange provides online trade show business solutions and corporate services. As such, it offers exhibitors a cost-effective, e-commerce solution that allows them to customize their product offerings, shipping and pricing to different customers.
"This secure, Internet commerce capability will open up a whole new stream of revenue for exhibitors, attendees and those who can't come to the shows," says Streibig. "They will now have unlimited access to show information and other online services."
Sam Lippman Joins GOA Team
Sam Lippman, former vice president at the Graphic Arts Show Co. responsible for the Graph Expo and PRINT trade exhibitions, has been named an advisor to the Graphics of the Americas (GOA) exposition. Currently president of his own consulting firm called ism2, Lippman participated in GOA 2000 and was also nominated to sit on the GOA Trade Show Council.
"Sam Lippman will focus on future strategic initiatives for the show," says Michael Streibig, president and CEO of the Printing Association of Florida. "For the past five years, GOA has been the fastest growing graphics show in the world and we will continue to work hard to maintain that momentum."
A graduate of the University of California, Lippman has been involved in trade show development for more than 20 years.