GRAPH EXPO 2014: The Allure That Is Chicago
"The quality of attendees is definitely a lot higher," he observes. "There's not as much tire kicking going on."
Joseph Brennan straightened his tie as he peered over towards a number of representatives from a well-known postpress manufacturer. The vice president of engineering at prominent national book manufacturer Courier Corp., of North Chelmsford, MA, was about to have a formal meeting, which was part of a well-structured agenda.
Brennan says the company generally books 50 to 60 percent of its time at the show for meetings with Courier's manufacturing partners. Roughly 35 percent of the time is left for general browsing—to use a simplistic description. That tends to be Courier's general game plan for shows, be they GRAPH EXPO or drupa.
"We're visiting with our partners, checking out their digital initiatives, and we're seeing what technologies other vendors have to offer," Brennan notes. "The show seems to be well-attended. The folks we do business with are certainly well-represented."
Courier's GRAPH EXPO contingent featured Brennan and three members of his engineering staff. They arrived Monday morning for two and a half days of show work.
Brennan shared John Sommers' view of an optimistic, positive vibe emanating from the printer attendees. "I get a sense that people are here for a purpose. There doesn't seem to be a lot of window shopping," he says. "That's a good thing."
Derek Landheer figures he's been coming to Chicago for GRAPH EXPO for more than 20 years. This may strike you as odd, given that Landheer can't be a day over 35 years old and, in fact, looks much younger.
"We're a family business," Landheer, the production manager for Color House Graphics (CHG) of Grand Rapids, MI, reveals. "I've been coming here since I was 10 years old."