PRINTING United Offers a Bigger, Better, Bolder Experience
As the printing industry continues to evolve, all print service providers (PSPs), no matter their core services, are looking for their next revenue stream, and next avenue for growth and expansion. Convergence — where PSPs offer services and products beyond their traditional scope — is continuing to impact the industry and PRINTING United, which begins tomorrow in Dallas and continues through Friday, will help all PSPs, including commercial printers, navigate the waters of this changing industry.
According to the recent “SGIA Quarterly Industry Benchmarking Report,” companies in every printing industry segment are already investigating services outside of their primary business. Printers who identified as serving at least two industry segments ranged from 31.9% (apparel decorators) to 63.3% (commercial printers). According to the data, additional segments may bring in more than one-quarter of revenue, on average, as seen with graphic and sign producers, for whom commercial printing contributed 26.9% of revenue.
“There’s a transformation taking place in the printing industry, a blurring of segment boundaries as PSPs seek out new products and technologies to better serve their customers,” Mark Subers, president/CRO, Printing and Packaging, NAPCO Media, says. “Convergence is changing how PSPs and their suppliers do business, the technologies they choose, and the information they need to stay ahead of the competition.”
And PRINTING United is welcoming the entire printing community to take part.
PRINTING United will bring the universe of printing together under one roof, serving markets including apparel decorating, commercial printing, wide-format graphics production and installation, functional printing, package printing, and in-plants. More than 650 suppliers have committed to exhibit within over 724,000 sq. ft. of the sold-out Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas.
“PSPs who want to improve their businesses and better serve their customers need access to suppliers and manufacturers,” Ford Bowers, president and CEO of SGIA, says. “PRINTING United provides this access across market segments. It’s critical that PSPs have the opportunity to build their connections.”
With an expo that brings more suppliers under one roof, it also means less time out of the office for attendees. “They’ll reduce travel expenses, but achieve more with access to the equipment, education, and networking that drives innovation,” Subers says.
Based on the foundation of the SGIA Expo, PRINTING United is strengthened and extended by NAPCO Media’s brands — Printing Impressions, In-plant Impressions, Packaging Impressions, and Wide-Format Impressions.
Education will be key to the PRINTING United experience, with 96 conference sessions, three pre-show intensive workshops (see the “Intensive Educational Sessions” sidebar below), special educational breakfast and lunch events (click here to see additional information on the educational sessions planned for PRINTING United), and dozens of show-floor amphitheater presentations.
“The education at PRINTING United is designed to give attendees the resources to explore new markets and opportunities — whether inside or outside their traditional segments,” Dan Marx, director of content development at SGIA, says. “We’ve structured the programming so there will be something relevant to anyone in attendance at any given time.”
The trade show and its educational programming are built on the foundation of its predecessor — but bigger, better, and bolder than ever before. “We’ve ramped up the relevant, innovative education past attendees know to expect, and extended that to the commercial, package, and in-plant printing communities as well,” Marx adds.
New to PRINTING United will be an exclusive VIP breakfast on Wednesday, Oct. 23. NAPCO Media and SGIA analysts will present key industry trends and new, original research from 7-8 a.m. NAPCO VP of Research Nathan Safran, Principal Analyst Lisa Cross, and SGIA Chief Economist Andy Paparozzi will highlight critical industry trends, including the adoption of digital printing equipment, and trends in finishing, staffing, and operations.
Additionally, in prominent locations on the show floor, PRINTING United’s three amphitheaters will feature research and exhibitor-led presentations addressing all printing industry communities. Stay tuned: details on the educational presentations in these amphitheaters will be available closer to the show dates.
Conference sessions are accessible with a PRINTING United Expo + Education Pass, which is free for SGIA members, and available for non-members for $115. The intensive workshops, as well as the special breakfast and lunch events, require separate registration fees.
The PRINTING United show floor is more than a comprehensive view of the latest printing technologies. The show floor will feature global new product debuts, as well as new products shown for the first time in the United States. Be sure to keep an eye on the pre-show news to get a glimpse of some of the game-changing innovations that will be on display at PRINTING United.
The show floor is also home to The Experience Zone (Booth 10530), a 4,000-sq.-ft. exhibit with more than 100 printed applications that demonstrate how printing shapes consumers’ lives. Attendees will have the opportunity to walk through The Experience Zone and get inspired by the wide range and creativity of the print applications on display. A special magazine will also be on hand to help guide attendees and to provide details on how each piece was printed.
“Our industry touches everything around us,” Subers notes. “The Experience Zone will put a face on it, with displays from in-home, out-of-home, and retail environments. We want the PSPs visiting The Experience Zone to leave inspired to try new product lines and markets.”
Sponsors of The Experience Zone were excited to participate in this special exhibit and eager to help provide attendees with a special experience at the show.
“It’s all about the ‘experience,’” Gregory Pas, director of product marketing, FUJIFILM North America, Graphic Systems Div., points out. “We want attendees to walk away with positive and energetic thoughts, as this will help drive them to come back and share via word-of-mouth, driving additional attendance.”
Lou Stricklin, director of marketing communications, OKI Data Americas, adds, “We want to play a part in what inspires creativity in others, and this new Experience Zone will creatively illustrate the impact of visual communications.”
For exhibitor Top Value Fabrics, The Experience Zone will provide show attendees and brands a showcase of the tremendous amount of applications with total customization achievable through printing — especially digital printing. “For this reason, we are proud to be a sponsor and will highlight our new, 100% waterproof Deko-Tex SUN, custom printed and utilized as an outdoor patio umbrella,” Michael Compton, print media product marketing manager, Top Value Fabrics, explains.
“It will fit in nicely with The Experience Zone theme and initiative to illustrate what is possible through digital printing with our full line of digital print media.”
In the Pulp & Stock Sports Bar and Grill section of The Experience Zone, Ultraflex’s graphic flooring and wallcovering media will be front and center, allowing visitors to experience the versatility, durability, and print quality of its media, as well as to visualize creative uses of its products. “It was a unique opportunity we couldn’t pass up,” Matt Loede, VP of sales and marketing, Ultraflex Systems, points out. “We are delighted to showcase ‘real-life’ applications through our sponsorship of the PRINTING United Experience Zone.”
Work Hard. Play Hard.
The motto “Work Hard. Play Hard.” certainly comes into play at PRINTING United. With the expansive show floor and multitudes of educational sessions, attendees have their work cut out for them if they want to see everything in three days. But as hard as they might be working during the day, the evening hours offer unique opportunities to relax and enjoy this year’s host city, Dallas.
Of special note is the PRINTING United Opening Night Party from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the iconic Gilley’s Dallas. After the show closes on Oct. 23, attendees can head over to Gilley’s Dallas (badge required for entry) and enjoy free food, drinks, and networking as they experience a Dallas staple.
“The launch of PRINTING United is something to celebrate,” Bowers concludes. “It encompasses and serves today’s printing industry better than any event in the printing and packaging space has before. If you’re part of the industry, you need to be there from the start.”
To learn more visit printingunited.com today.
Denise Gustavson is the Editorial Director and Special Projects Editor for the Printing & Packaging Group, which includes Printing Impressions, packagePRINTING, In-plant Graphics and Wide-Format Impressions magazines, among other brands. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of Wide-Format Impressions.