2018 SGIA Expo Ends On a High Note

October 30, 2018

More than 24,000 printing technology industry professionals converged in Las Vegas to celebrate the final SGIA Expo, which the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association will be transforming into PRINTING United in partnership with NAPCO Media next year.

Held Oct. 18-20 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the annual trade show and conference not only boasted robust attendance but also a sold-out expo, with 612 exhibitors spanning a 279,000 net square foot floor, special showfloor activities, 72 educational sessions and a host of networking events.

Last year, SGIA Expo welcomed more than 19,300 registrants and 597 exhibitors to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, according to SGIA officials. 

“This was a special year – we not only celebrated the SGIA Expo’s legacy but its future as PRINTING United,” said Ford Bowers, president and CEO of SGIA, which owns and produces SGIA Expo and represents professionals in the industrial, graphic, garment, textile, electronics, packaging and commercial printing communities.

He continued, “The Expo has always been about advancing the industry, showcasing new technologies and providing education that helps printers succeed in an ever-changing climate. That same foundation will carry into PRINTING United, which will introduce attendees to even more markets and business opportunities they may not have previously known were possible.”

Besides showcasing the latest printing technologies and innovations, the show’s expo bustled with entertaining features including the first-ever PDAA Wrap Team Challenge, where nine teams competed tournament-style to wrap the side of a car in 20 minutes while a panel of PDAA Master Certified Installers judged the jobs based on speed and quality.

Nearby, the Golden Image Gallery displayed the best in printing, including the submissions for the Golden Image Competition, the ASDPT Tom Frecska Student Printing Competition and the Product of the Year. 

In addition to a packed exhibition floor, the show’s conference featured a robust array of educational sessions covered top-of-mind industry topics including effective business strategies, the latest trends and industry outlooks, while community-focused, peer-to-peer networking opportunities included the FP3: Functional Printing, Process & Products Luncheon, the Garment Decorators Luncheon, the Women in Print Alliance Breakfast and Brands Talking Sustainability Luncheon.

So what will SGIA Expo’s metamorphosis into PRINTING United mean for the industry it serves? 

“Most trade shows in the printing industry serve only a slice or two of the industry, (such as) commercial printers, wide-format graphics, garment decorators, industrial printing/printed electronics and package printing, however, technology has created a shift in the marketplace – a blending and blurring of market segments and specialties,” explained Kate Achelpohl, SGIA director of publication and PR.

She continued, “PRINTING United is an expansion of the SGIA Expo into new markets and technologies focused on the opportunities this convergence presents (and) brings everything under one roof– an expansive and comprehensive display of printing technologies and supplies, education, programming and services to take any printing business to the next level.”

Achelpohl also said that widening the association’s reach into other areas will ultimately result in a stronger show that will better serve all facets of the printing industry, such as printers who want to expand into adjacent markets, add new product lines and increase revenue, as well as suppliers who want to serve their needs. 

PRINTING United is set for Oct. 23-25 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. So far, pre-show registration for the event has topped 6,000, according to SGIA officials.

“We could not be transitioning from the SGIA Expo on a higher note,” said Bowers. “The innovations, interactions and inspirations at this year’s event showed us that what’s on the horizon is a bigger, better and bolder show that will make a valuable impact on this industry.”


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