Expanded Education Program Covers Huge Range of Printing, Finishing and Business Topics
If the incredible variety of printing and finishing technologies on the 2018 SGIA Expo show floor seems overwhelming, sit in on some of the 72 educational sessions included in the Expo + Education Pass. While relaxing a bit, you will gain clarity on why exhibited products and technologies matter and how you can use them to improve your business.
When you download the SGIA Expo app, you will find the full schedule of courses in graphics and sign production, garment decoration, industrial printing, printed electronics, printed packaging, commercial printing, graphics installation, digital textile printing and printing business operations.
No matter what type of printing business you run, try to attend a few sessions outside your core business, suggests Dan Marx, Director of Content Development for SGIA. It will open your eyes to new opportunities and how the printing industry as a whole is evolving.
Learn About Trends
A joint SGIA/NAPCO research study recently confirmed what many print business owners already sensed: “Convergence” within the printing industry is blurring the lines between traditional categories of printing firms. Print service providers are not only considering investments in their own segments, but also expansion into new segments. The most significant crossover is occurring within the commercial printing, wide-format graphics and signage segments. Learn more about this study in the “Charting Industry Convergence” panel discussion led by Nathan Safran of NAPCO Media (Room N120).
On Friday Bob Leahy of InfoTrends/Keypoint Intelligence will discuss digital adoption in printed packaging markets and Michael Sanders of Top Value Fabrics will lead a panel discussion about the status of digital textile printing.
Find New Ways to ProfitIf you want to diversify into different types of products, attend sessions on: thermoforming signs and displays, dye-sublimation printing for soft signage, innovations in print finishing or foils and special-effects coatings, large-format 3D printing, or multi-layer inkjet printing on UV flatbed printers.
Sessions on desktop dye-sublimation, UV inkjet printers and digital printing for packaging applications provide dozens of ideas for new types of products you can print and sell.
Improve Your Daily Operations
Business-related sessions cover topics such as building a service-driven culture, pricing to maximize margins, surviving in the age of Amazon, digital marketing, human-to-human sales and marketing, and hiring, training, motivating, and retaining employees. Consultant Ryan Sauers discussed why over-communicating can help avoid costly misunderstandings in today’s short-attention-span world.
Session attendees learned about business-growth strategies, the implications of the 2018 tax reform for family businesses, and hiring next-generation employees.
Operations and technology-focused sessions will explain how to: set up your automated workflow, reduce waste with shop-floor management and use production analytics for greater efficiency. You can also learn about the risks and benefits of using non-OEM inks and the high costs of failing to maintain your inkjet printers.
Sales focused sessions will talk about hiring sales people, managing the sales opportunity pipeline, and driving the sales cycle. On Saturday, Peter Ebener will lead a 60-minute print sales boot camp with 50- must-know strategies to drive sales and earnings.
Master Graphics Production
To keep abreast of trends and opportunities in graphics production and finishing, attend sessions on cost-saving adhesives for retail graphics or how to use the growing range of specialty substrates now available for digital presses and wide-format inkjet printers.
Users of Zünd finishing equipment for textiles, signage and packaging will explain how they have leveraged the cutting technology to gain new market share and production efficiencies.
Achieve Accurate and Consistent Color
Understanding color management is essential for success in wide-format inkjet printing because many buyers now expect that all types and sizes of printed materials can match their brand colors.
The color-related education sessions include everything from a basic “101” course in color for graphics production to standards for consistent brand color production. You can learn how to use named spot-color replacement tools in RIP software or assess the color range and consistency of an output device before you buy it. Gain new perspectives about tolerances for color matching and insights about the capabilities of 21st century spectrophotometers.
Grow Your Garment Decorating Bsiness
To boost your opportunities in garment decoration, you can learn more about how to adapt DTG printing to your business or personalize and customize products. Other sessions will cover the basics of embroidery digitizing and how to prepare artwork for processes that combine DTG digital printing with screen printing.
You can also get an overview of the multiple print/cut technologies now available for garment decoration and learn how screen-reclaiming can improve your decoration processes. Plus, you can gain a better understanding of screen-printing special effects, best practices for cutting heat-transfer vinyl, and creative ways to combine printed graphics with embroidery. A Saturday session will cover the basics of adding embroidery to your print shop.
Guidance from SGIA Community Committees
According to Dan Marx, this year’s program includes 30 more sessions than the 2017 SGIA Expo. Most sessions cover opportunities for growth or real-world production issues business owners face every day.
“SGIA reached out to the industry and asked for proposals,” Marx explains. “Our SGIA community committees reviewed the proposals and rated the topics that were most relevant to the needs of today’s printing businesses.” SGIA staff members selected the final topics in order to guarantee a full spectrum of topics and speakers to appeal to print-business owners from all types and sizes of printing businesses.
SGIA also made a conscious effort to make it easy for you to attend sessions that pique your curiosity. Instead of paying a fixed-price per session, pay just $115 and attend as many educational sessions as you like. Sessions are free for all SGIA members.
Breakfast and Lunch Sessions
The only sessions not included in the Expo + Education pass are four community-focused sessions that let you enjoy a meal with your peers while hearing inspiring talks from leaders in the field. These breakfast and lunch sessions cost $30 each.
Got Ideas for Next Year?
Whether you want to understand the potential benefits of new technologies, learn more about diversifying into new markets or product lines, or make your business better, you will find education sessions at the 2018 SGIA Expo that will stimulate new ways of thinking.
To suggest additional educational topics for SGIA’s next major conference and show, talk to representatives in the PRINTING United booth near the registration area.