Expo 411: Trends, Tech, and Talk for Wide-Format Innovators
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.
Cober Evolving Solutions
Darren Buck, Vice President Wide Format
Kitchener, ON, Canada
Cober is less of a jack of all trades but more of a business Swiss army knife. The company has two facilities in Ontario, Canada that provide innovative solutions —whether that's through its marketing, litho, digital, wide-format, or fulfillment and warehousing that provide solutions big or small. Being a privately owned business for over 100 years, the comp any has seen the evolution of print. Its facilities are able to print the smallest business card to the largest billboard.
WFI: What made you decide to attend this year's Expo?
Buck: I'm attending this year's Expo to receive firsthand information and current trends in the wide-format sector. This part of our business continues to grow at a very fast rate and being current with suppliers on new ways of producing items from simple kiss cut decals to large coroplast sign press runs, from better ink adhesion to press speeds, is primary in keeping up with growth. This is the show to ask those questions and get real answers.
WFI: For returning attendees, what brings you back?
Buck: I find that PRINTING United brings the competitors together and we actually talk. The boxing gloves are off, sorta speaking, and we can chat over a new machine that's being demoed on the floor and discuss together the past issues the supplier might have had, what was working well for us with the current machine, and together suggest things the supplier should or could fix without having a customer we share in the conversation.
WFI: What products, brands, or services are you most looking forward to seeing?
Buck: I'm particularly interested in some of the new reflective vinyls from 3M for our customers requiring that product. I'm also interested in the advancement that Kongsberg is making to their digital cutting tables. Of course, any of the wide-format high speed presses is always interesting.
WFI: How do you plan and make the most of your time at the Expo?
Buck: Normally I would walk the trade show, gathering information and from there book time with the supplier and come back with questions that need answering. The PRINTING United website is very helpful and there's a "show planner" I plan on trying this year.
WFI: How do you hope attending will impact your business/career moving forward?
Buck: With the information I gather from the show, I will be able to take back to my team and together we will be able to make educated business decisions such as new purchases of equipment and upgrades to current equipment. I will also be able to provide our purchasers the new items and advise on what's up and coming. Cober's sales team is always looking to me and my 28 years of experience in wide-format for new and innovative ways to help them in the wide-format world and I hope to be able to answer all of their challenging questions.
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.