Getting the Most Out of PRINTING United if You’re a Commercial or Package Printer
For many years now, the print industry has separated its trade shows, with events that cater to a specific segment — commercial, packaging, digital, sign, and wide-format. The SGIA Expo wasn’t necessarily a show commercial or package printers had on their annual agenda. But that has all changed with the birth of PRINTING United, a show that recognizes that the print industry is no longer siloed or segmented, but is a rich and diverse tapestry of shops that are redefining themselves in new and exciting ways.
For those who still call themselves commercial or package printers — or who might not define themselves as such anymore, but still have a strong background and customer list in those spaces — here are a few tips to get the most out of everything PRINTING United has to offer.
The reality is that print technologies are changing — and they are changing rapidly. For those used to offset printing, where a press can still be as relevant and productive 30 years after it was first installed as it was on day one, it will require a shift in thinking when it comes to the new opportunities out there.
“Take the time to understand the advancements in the printing and finishing technologies, as well as the integrated workflow that makes doing the work quicker and easier,” says Dan Maurer, VP of Digital Product Management at Heidelberg (Booth 10143). “Print is a hyper aggressive marketplace, requiring producers to keep up with the latest technologies, and quickly adapt their organizations to stay ahead and keep their businesses profitable. This is not easy because it is somewhat uncomfortable, but necessary for a sustainable strong and growing business.”
While you don’t need to have a detailed, minute-by-minute breakdown of your entire PRINTING United experience, don’t plan to just wander aimlessly, either. Take the time to break down what is most important, whether that is technologies to explore, vendors to meet with, educational sessions to attend, networking events to experience, or something else altogether.
“People should try to plan,” says Joe Varone, president of GMG Americas (Booth 10561), “and make as many appointments as possible with the suppliers they want to meet with. It is always good to get the VIP treatment, not pulling them from another conversation [where you might not get the benefit of their full attention.] Read the Show Daily and certainly take advantage of free education programs. I see a lot of people who don’t find the time to do that, and it’s one of the best values you can get on a return on the investment you made to be at the show. Be familiar with the floorplan before arriving, and not just the major booths.”
Take the time to create a plan anchored with key appointments and educational sessions that can’t be missed, with plenty of time built in for exploring new opportunities and technologies that might not have crossed your radar before. With this strategy, you will ensure that you return to your business invigorated with all of the possibilities, and with a vision for the future that will see your business thrive, no matter where the path might take you next.