The Weave Factor Signals Business Rebound
Runners or doctors?
I heard a few complaints about the show being scheduled on the same weekend as the Chicago Marathon, but aside from needing to make hotel reservations early, this was largely a non-issue. The show shuttle buses used a special bus road to avoid most of the Marathon-day traffic and having the show opening at noon on Sunday instead of the usual 10 a.m. worked out well.
The alternative, by the way, was having the show coincide with the annual conference of the American College of Surgeons, a massive medical show that brings thousands of doctors to the Windy City. That, according to Chris Price, vice president and general manager of the Graphic Arts Show Co. (the show’s organizers), would have subjected attendees to hotel rates as much as 30 percent higher than the ones we all paid while at GRAPH EXPO. By comparison, having to cope with one day of marathon traffic was a no brainer.
The Digital Shift
Grabbing a sandwich in the pressroom on Monday I sat down with Charlie Pesko (founder of InfoTrends, nee CAP Ventures). “What does it remind you of when you walk in the front of the show?” asked Charlie. “Doesn’t it look a lot like the old On Demand Show when we used to have it at Javits in New York? You walk in and all you see is digital press companies.”
Indeed. It used to be that Heidelberg, manroland, Komori and other purveyors of big offset iron dominated the front of GRAPH EXPO. This year, Canon was on the left, Xerox to the right, with Fujifilm, Kodak, HP and Konica Minolta just a few steps up the center aisle. Behind Xerox was EFI and then Ricoh. Heidelberg was still on the main aisle, surrounded by the digital powerhouses of the modern age of print. Last year was little different. Digital print has clearly changed the game.