Your PRINT 17 Substrate and Media Takeaways
PRINT 17 is an exciting show, but it is easy to get information overload and go home without any one single clear idea. To make the most out of the show, plan to have at least one, actionable takeaway that you can implement in your business. Here are a few ideas to consider looking for in the substrate and media category.
- Looking outside the box. “Don’t be afraid to stick your toe in the water. Experimentation breeds innovation,” says Steve Fleming, VP, CSP Inc. (Booth 3243). As you walk the show floor, don’t just stick with what you know. There is a lot of innovation and creativity packed into the hall, so make sure you take advantage of it. Look for at least one new material you’ve never used before, that you can bring to your current customer base.
- Consider new markets. David Conrad, Director of Sales and Marketing, Mutoh America (Booth 4241), notes that attendees shouldn’t just be thinking about the substrates their current customers can use, but at materials that can open up whole new markets for the shop. “[I hope attendees leave understanding] just how much opportunity there is out there, how many markets are being developed, and how important it is to understand the ins and outs of each to be sure to provide the best solutions to their customers.”
- Look for partners. Just because a vendor doesn’t have exactly what you need in their booth doesn’t mean they don’t have—or can’t get—the materials. “You have options,” says Lynn Leppo, Media Sales Manager at CGS Publishing Technologies International (Booth 631). “Don’t feel that you need to purchase ‘off the shelf.’ Develop a relationship with the correct vendor, ask questions specific to your operation—ask them to look at your color setups/ queues, to come in and make a proper recommendation. Ask them to bundle color consulting with a media agreement, and to take care of you across all sides of your operation. Make sure you have information regarding the acceptable variance for a company’s substrates, and how they guarantee their white point. Sample what you are interested in, run it in your shop with your own equipment, and don’t be afraid to ask them to demonstrate why it’s the optimal choice to meet the needs of your business. Work with a company that doesn’t just sell paper.”
- Ask questions. PRINT 17 is the ideal venue to get all of your questions answered, and to compare a wide range of vendors and solutions to find the one that will fit your needs perfectly. But you can’t find “the one” if you don’t ask questions. “Be aware of price, but don’t let it overrun your need for quality,” cautions Cory Sawatzki, Director of Digital Print Technology, CGS Publishing Technologies International. “Ask lots of questions specific to your environment (inks, presses, storage). For specialty materials, ask about testing and use in the field. Be wary of very new stocks.”