A PRINT Extravaganza
With more than 550 exhibitors, tons of educational sessions and co-located events galore, the PRINT 13 show is the most anticipated U.S. graphic arts event of the year.August 2013 By Erik Cagle
The PRINT 13 trade show emphasizes the trend toward the Great Diversification Movement. The printing industry is enduring some violent changes from a technology standpoint. With the decade-long trend toward shorter runs continuing, digital printing—especially inkjet—stepping up its game, and electronic alternatives continuing to harvest market share, diversification is on the lips of many printers as they prepare to trek to Chicago for the quadrennial Fall classic.
This show continues to take a page from today's printers by offering a program high on diversity and light on heavy iron. Gone are the days where an exhibit next to an offset press manufacturer's booth meant bringing a bottle of aspirin; the loud clatter of the 40˝ sheetfed beasts won't be piercing the air. (Heidelberg won't even be at the show!)
Also gone is the time when booths were the size of a junior college campus. In fact, the show is confined to a smaller footprint these days, notes Ralph Nappi, president of the Graphic Arts Show Co. (GASC), which runs PRINT and its sister exhibition, Graph Expo.
"The days of taking huge booths, just to appear big, are long gone," he says. "That's not just in the United States. At China Print, it was obvious that booths of noteworthy size were not to be found."
What the show will have is a greater variety in the printing garden. For example, the Converting & Package Printing Expo (CPP) will be the first co-located show in PRINT/Graph Expo history. Admission to CPP is inclused with PRINT 13 registration.
New This Year
Among the other changes to look for:
• Two new pavilions have been added. The Photo Finish is dedicated to photo imaging and the popularity of photo books, wide-format imaging and related services. Sidelines, the expanded revenue streams pavilion, is aimed toward new money-making sources from a variety of specialty printing.
• The mailing and fulfillment pavilion, Deliver, has been renewed and "re-imagined." The U.S. Postal Service and the Association for Marketing Service Providers (AMSP) were both instrumental in giving the pavilion a makeover.
• The educational platform shifted its focus, taking a "how to" approach for implementation and execution of products and services for its 70-plus sessions. There will also be "ask the experts" stations on the floor and in the theaters geared toward enabling printers to actuate new and ancillary capabilities.