Seven Non-Scientific Reasons to Attend a Printing Industry Trade Show
Colleagues and commentators at NAPCO Media have been doing a great job of making the business case for attending PRINTING United (Dallas, Texas, Oct. 23-25). I can’t improve upon their cogent arguments, but I can offer some informal encouragement to those who still haven’t committed to being there.
A trade show like PRINTING United is well worth going to because:
It gets you the heck out of the plant or the office for a few days. There is nothing like a change of scenery and place to recharge personal energy. It can be positively therapeutic for yourself and for your business whether you’re bringing your checkbook or not.
If you don’t go, your competition will. In this day and age of Web-to-print and e-commerce, the competition is no longer just the shop on the other side of town. This means that somebody, somewhere, is going to be investigating – and very likely investing in – capability that could put you at a competitive disadvantage. You have flanks to protect. Don’t leave them exposed by staying home.
You learn stuff. It doesn’t even require a lot of effort. A few minutes spent at a technology demo, a chat with a manufacturer’s rep, or notes swapped with an industry peer – they can all switch on bright light bulbs of opportunity.
You need the exercise. And, healthful exercise is what we are all going to get as we traverse the PRINTING United venue, Dallas’s Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. One of the nation’s largest expo sites, it includes more than 1 million square feet of exhibit space – more than 70% of which will be occupied by sold-out PRINTING United. Wear comfortable shoes, and stay hydrated!
It’s fun. No trade show drains so much stamina that there’s still not some left over for after-hours socializing. At PRINTING United, you can kick back at the Opening Night Party on Wednesday, Oct. 23, from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. at famous Gilley’s Dallas – your show badge gets you in. On other nights, find a sports bar, order a bacon cheeseburger you probably shouldn’t be eating, wash it down with a couple of cold ones, and watch the game. Bliss!
You know you want the swag. Our exhibitors do not get proper credit for their unfailing generosity with trade show giveaways. This writer has not spent a nickel on a pen in decades – all of the writing implements I possess, and I am not exaggerating, have come from trade show tables. It’s not just pens: I scored one of my most prized possessions, a fidget spinner bottle opener, at a vendor event a couple of years back. So, go on the treasure hunt, but remember that the fair price of each piece of loot you collect is a conversation with a booth rep. You’ll learn stuff.
You get to say, “I was there.” There’s a kinship among those who can share trade-show war stories from distant cities across many years of watching the print industry evolve and change. At this, the first edition of PRINTING United, the opportunity to bear witness will be historic. No other trade show has ever spread as large a tent for all the wonderful things that graphic communications technology is capable of. Go and see for yourself. There’s still time to register.