Expo 411: This Year's Event is Non-Negotiable for Industry Insiders
The PRINTING United Expo — October 18-20 in Atlanta — is quickly approaching, and attendees are gearing up for a week of learning, networking, and inspiration. As a lead-up to the Expo, we are sharing a series of Q&A interviews featuring attendees from a variety of backgrounds sharing why they are attending the PRINTING United Expo, what they hope to learn, and what excites them about the upcoming event.
Elaine Scrima, Vice President of Operations
Founded in 1978, GSP provides industry leading retail solutions that drive traffic, reduce costs, and enhance customer experience. The company provide graphics, visual merchandising, and retail execution to leading consumer and retail brands throughout the United States. It delivers 100% store-specific in-store marketing programs to more than 70,000 retail locations from its four print and fulfillment facilities throughout the U.S. GSP also offers turnkey design, manufacturing and installation for full-scale store remodels and décor refreshes.
WFI: What made you decide to attend this year's Expo?
Scrima: Not attending was never even a choice. I started attending the Expo in 2009 and haven’t missed one since. If I don’t attend anything else all year, I attend this show. It just keeps getting bigger and better.
WFI: For returning attendees, what brings you back?
Scrima: There are many things that keep me coming back. From the ability to compare like equipment across multiple vendors, to new substrates, or new ways to use known substrates, seeing new technology and automation, the ability to attend educational sessions with leading industry experts, and of course the outstanding networking opportunities. The show has something for everyone of all sizes and segments.
WFI: What products, brands, or services are you most looking forward to seeing?
Scrima: My focus this year will be on automation and all things fabric. Automation as a way to augment the labor issues we are all facing. Fabric because that market segment continues to grow, and my knowledge needs to grow with it. I want to see products and equipment that changes the game for our business or enhances our current offering.
WFI: How do you plan and make the most of your time at the Expo?
Scrima: Going to the show is like going to a “super” grocery store. They have everything in one place. But you don’t go to the grocery store without a list and this show should be do no different. You have your list of vendors or equipment you want to see. This is either to upgrade or replace older technology and equipment or to see new substrates and equipment that will compliment or diversify your existing customer offering. Just like at the grocery store, as you traverse the aisles, you end up seeing something that wasn’t on your list or that you didn’t even know you needed or wanted. Those are the gems of the show you find along the way; things you wouldn’t even know about if you never attended the show.
WFI: How do you hope attending will impact your business/career moving forward?
Scrima: The show is fabulous networking opportunity. You’re talking to someone and someone whom you don’t know walks to say hello to the person you are talking to, and the introductions begin. I have met so many people that to this day I use for advice, for recommendations on equipment and for trouble shooting. “How are you dealing with this, does this ever happen in your shop, do you know someone that can do X?” These are people who I would never have had an opportunity to meet if it weren’t for the show because they are from the Pacific Northwest or Southern California or New England as an example. Those are folks you just don’t cross paths with at regional shows I would normally attend. You can’t put a price tag on that.
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.