PRINTING United Makes a Strong Debut in Dallas
The inaugural edition of PRINTING United proved strategic reinventions can be a good move in the trade show industry. Held Oct. 23-25 at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, the new trade show and conference is built upon the strong foundation of its predecessor, SGIA Expo. It was designed to meet industry demand by servicing the entire commercial printing industry under one umbrella.
Developed by Specialty Graphic Imaging Association and NAPCO Media, the event drew in approximately 30,000 attendees and more than 680 exhibitors. A sold-out showfloor featured a massive showcase of new technologies, products, services, education and special events, occupying 724,000 square feet of expo space.
“The feedback we continuously received throughout the show, and following the event from both exhibitors and attendees, has been overwhelmingly positive and powerful,” said Ford Bowers, president and CEO of SGIA. “Many commented on how revitalizing it was to see such a full and comprehensive event. We were most thrilled about all the buying taking place on the showfloor.”
He added, “This is the best testament that our industry, indeed, is thriving. We just needed the right model, and we are confident that we have produced that with PRINTING United.”
On a showfloor featuring an array of equipment, software and consumables, many exhibitors agreed with that sentiment.
Heather Poulin, senior director of marketing, commercial printing business for Ricoh USA, said that her company was pleased with the new show and its all-in-one marketplace model.
“PRINTING United set out to create one environment centered on the convergence of innovations in our industry, [and] based on the traffic we had in our booth, from commercial printers to sign shops and many in between, that goal was achieved,” Poulin said.
She continued, “The interactions with customers were unstoppable and have already resulted in profits. The experiences we gave attendees, all in one booth wrapped with software and professional services, also presented them with an opportunity to share their feedback, helping us to develop the right future technologies and solutions to meet their needs and further our alliance.”
One of the highlights of the expo was the 4,000-sq.-ft. Experience Zone, which allowed attendees to traverse through simulated home, retail, restaurant and outdoor environments, and interact with the various printed applications and products.
Sponsored by leading players in the commercial industry — including Canon, FUJIFILM, Konica Minolta, Ultraflex and Xeikon — the Experience Zone included guides describing how each piece was printed. It also pointed attendees to the booths where they could learn more about the applications that produced the highlighted pieces.
The PRINTING United educational experience, which kicked off before the expo officially opened, featured more than 100 educational sessions, including a full education track and three amphitheaters on the showfloor. It was intentionally designed so attendees could find relevant, expert-led educational sessions at any given time. Tracks covered a wide range of topics, including graphics, apparel, functional/industrial, in-plant, commercial and packaging communities.
“The vision for PRINTING United has been two years in the making,” said Mark J. Subers, president of PRINTING United. “Seeing it all come together was surreal. We worked hard to provide this industry across all segments with solutions and resources they need to make their businesses successful.”
Pre-show registration for PRINTING United 2020, set for Oct. 21-23 at Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, has already topped 6,000 attendees. More than two-thirds of the showfloor has been reserved, according to show officials.