PRINTING United: Bigger. Better. Bolder.
As the printing industry continues to evolve, all print service providers (PSPs), no matter their core services, are looking for their 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 (Dallas, Oct. 23-25) will help all PSPs navigate the waters of this changing industry.
“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,” says Mark Subers, president/CRO, Printing and Packaging, NAPCO Media LLC, which is now owned by SGIA. “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 brings the universe of printing under one roof, serving markets including apparel decorating, graphics production and installation, functional printing, commercial printing, and in-plants. More than 650 suppliers have committed to exhibit, completely selling out all 720,000 sq. ft. of available space at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.
“PSPs who want to improve their businesses and better serve their customers need access to suppliers and manufacturers,” says Ford Bowers, president & CEO, SGIA. “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 Education Sessions” sidebar), special educational breakfast and lunch events, 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,” says Dan Marx, director of content development, SGIA. “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’s VP of Research Nathan Safran, Principal Analyst Lisa Cross, and SGIA’s Chief Economist Andy Paparozzi will highlight critical industry trends, including the adoption of digital printing equipment, and trends in finishing, staffing, and operations. Stay tuned for more information on how to be a part of this invite-only event.
For the in-plant community, In-plant Impressions Editor-in-Chief Bob Neubauer will present three free educational forums: two luncheons (Oct. 23 and Oct. 24), and a breakfast session (Oct. 24). They will cover topics like wide-format printing, workflow and promotional product sales. The free, catered in-plant meetings will take place in room D161. Managers must sign up separately for each forum using this link: bit.ly/2luBMCC.
Additionally, in prominent locations on the show floor, PRINTING United’s three amphitheaters will feature research and exhibitor-led presentations addressing all print-industry communities.
Conference sessions are accessible with a PRINTING United Expo + Education Pass, which is free for SGIA members, and available for non-members for $99 through Sept. 10 ($115 after Sept. 10). 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 sold-out 720,000-sq.-ft. show floor will feature global product debuts, as well as new products seen for the first time in the United States. Keep an eye on the pre-show news to get a glimpse of the game-changing innovations that will be on display at PRINTING United.
The show floor will also be home to The Experience Zone (Booth 10530), a 4,000-sq.-ft. exhibit with more than 100 printed applications that will demonstrate how printing shapes consumers’ lives. Attendees will have the opportunity to walk through The Experience Zone and get inspired by the range and creativity of the print applications on display. A special magazine will also be on hand to help guide attendees and provide details on how each piece was printed.
“Our industry touches everything around us,” Subers says. “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,’” says Gregory Pas, director of product marketing, FUJIFILM North America, Graphic Systems Division. “You 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, marketing communications, OKI Data Americas, says, “We want to have a part in what inspires creativity in others, and this new Experience Zone will creatively illustrate the impact of visual communications.”
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 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 food, drink, and networking as they experience a Dallas staple.
For in-plants, the Texas Association of College and University Printers is holding evening networking receptions (Oct. 22-24) so managers can talk about what they saw on the show floor. Visit TACUP.org for more info.
“The launch of PRINTING United is something to celebrate,” Bowers says. “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 and register to be part of this inaugural event, visit printingunited.com.
Related story: Free In-plant Breakfast, Lunch Sessions at PRINTING United
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.