Passion for Print
For Thayer Long, President, NPES, his passion for this industry is evident in everything he does. And this year’s PRINT 17 show is no different. We sat down to talk to him about what he sees as the most pressing trends facing the industry today, and what he believes the solutions will be.
First and foremost, he said, is that everyone is looking for ways to grow their business. “Everyone is looking for new revenue streams, and to expand their business or increase their margins—it’s all about growth. That’s what we have heard from stakeholders across the industry,” he says.
The objective, then, with the new strategic direction for PRINT 17 is to help promote that growth. “I think the ultimate goal we’re looking for is that every attendee walks away with one new idea to help grow their business,” he notes. And that can come in a wide variety of ways, be it attending one (or more!) of the more than 50 educational sessions, talking to the more than 400 exhibitors that will be at this year’s event, or a combination of both; there are ample opportunities for attendees to learn and grow.
“When examining the whole experience as it relates to the exhibition floor, looking at hardware and software is important—technology is key—but the providers offer a lot more than just hardware and software,” says Long. “Our vendors have additional solutions and services, so attendees should really engage with them from that perspective too. Ask questions, be curious, think differently.”
“The market has changed,” he notes, “and for successful businesses to survive, they are going to have to change along with it.” And that change, he says, comes in part with new directions in the market. In particular, he says package printing and wide-format printing are two of the areas that he has seen the most interest in, and that he believes will have the biggest impact on commercial printers in the coming months. He also sees a shift with more printers looking for ways to provide value to their customers outside of the traditional ink on paper products.
And that is where PRINT 17 comes in. “We’re excited that we really are taking the voice of the attendee,” says Long. “We learned what their ‘up at night’ challenges are, and did a lot of research to support what they’re doing. We are implementing a new program based on feedback of what the industry is telling us it wants and needs.”
All it takes, says Long, is one good idea to make the entire show worth the time and money of attending. “If they can all take one new actionable idea to grow their business or save money they can implement that immediately.”
Whether you are researching new technologies, considering adding new services, or want to deepen your understanding of a product category, PRINT 17 has something for everyone. What will your “one great idea” be this year—and just how far can it take your business into the future?
Toni McQuilken has been writing and editing for more than a decade. Her work includes B2B publications – both in print and online – in a range of industries, such as print and graphics, technology, hospitality and automotive; as well as behind the scenes writing and editing for multiple companies, helping them craft marketing materials, write press releases and more. She is a self-proclaimed "tech geek" who loves all things technology, and she knows that she is one of a select group of people who get to do what they love for a living.