The Global Printing Event of 2020: PRINTING United Digital Experience
In June, PRINTING United announced the decision to transition from an in-person event in Atlanta, to a comprehensive digital platform. The PRINTING United Digital Experience will encompass three power-packed weeks of hosted global programming and new product unveilings, beginning Oct. 26, and running through Nov. 12.
“The PRINTING United Digital Experience provides a unique opportunity to bring those highly anticipated product launches and engagements to the printing community at large, both from an exhibitor and attendee standpoint,” says Mark J. Subers, president of PRINTING United. “Our expert team has worked diligently to build a unique digital model to ensure that all market segments have a front row seat to this powerful, guided event, to further enhance opportunities for engagement and interaction.”
This series of community-based, content-rich Insight Days will deliver a program like no other. Addressing all print market segments — apparel, commercial, digital textile, software/workflow, graphics/wide-format, in-plant, industrial, mailing/fulfillment, and packaging — the programs will be delivered in a professionally hosted industry news format. In this program, the printing industry will together experience a variety of highly focused hosted tracks and exclusive ways in which vendors and customers can interact.
“While we are disappointed not to be able to convene in person this year, we are committed to delivering on our promise in bringing the latest in technology, education, and innovation to our industry in 2020,” says Ford Bowers, president and CEO, PRINTING United Alliance. “While the event will take shape differently than originally planned, it will undoubtedly serve as intended to our vast audiences nevertheless.”
PRINTING United Alliance Chief Economist Andy Paparozzi says that, according to the consensus of 60 economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal, they expect the American economy to grow robustly in 2021 — by its fastest pace in nearly 40 years. That will give the printing industry a big boost, flipping the mindset from cost reduction and survival, to capital investment and growth.
“The printing industry greatly needed this event to go on this year, both from a sales perspective and for peer engagement in general,” says Marco Boer, VP, IT Strategies. “PRINTING United’s convergence roots allows for a seamless transition to this exceptional online platform, one of which we are proud to support. Our team appreciates the opportunity to share in experiencing the newest technology that companies in our industry have worked so hard to bring to market, and waited all year to debut.”
What to Expect
Each day of the 14 Insight Days will provide a dive into a specific industry segment. Starting with an opening keynote, each day will include speaker-hosted sessions and moderated panels covering current industry topics, and will showcase new products through a series of demonstrations direct from customer experience and demo centers around the world. Want a preview of what to expect? Click here to register.
2020 PRINTING United Digital Experience Insight Days Schedule
Oct. 26 Opening Event
Oct. 26 Graphics & Wide-Format — Hardware & Consumables
Oct. 27 Apparel — Analog & Screen
Oct. 28 Commercial — Digital Inkjet
Oct. 29 Packaging — Label & Flexible
Oct. 30 Graphics & Wide-Format — Finishing & Workflow
Nov. 2 In-Plant Forum
Nov. 3 Commercial — Analog
Nov. 4 Packaging — Folding Carton and Corrugated
Nov. 5 Mailing & Fulfillment
Nov. 6 Workflow & Software
Nov. 9 Apparel — Direct-to-Garment & Direct-to-Substrate
Nov. 10 Commercial — Digital Toner
Nov. 11 Industrial
Nov. 12 Digital Textile
Industry experts from all print segments will be on hand, presenting engaging content each day. In the special opening session on Oct. 26, Paparozzi, along with Lisa Cross and Nathan Safran from NAPCO Research, will set the stage for Insight Days. This not-to-miss, fast-moving session will provide a statistical view of the printing industry today, both within and across segments. Using data gleaned from several recent research reports, it will address key areas for growth, measurements of production and profitability, and hiring practices. Further, this session will tie industry-specific research findings into broader economic trends.
For the sign and graphics producer
During the opening day when the focus turns to sign and graphics, the day’s keynote will focus on wide-format growth markets. COVID-19 has changed the face of the wide-format graphics sector, but there are some applications and markets that are growing. This keynote will dive into what you need to know to be part of the industry’s growth and the next normal.
Also, a special panel discussion will highlight how businesses are making capital equipment investments in the shadow of COVID-19. During this panel, Denise M. Gustavson, editor-in-chief of Wide-Format Impressions, will moderate a discussion with leading graphics business owners. They will delve into the reasons why they made these equipment purchases in the middle of a global pandemic — and how it has impacted their recovery and future growth prospects.
On Oct 30., the second day focused on the sign and graphics markets, we’ll turn our attention to the finishing and workflow side of wide-format. In the day’s keynote, we’ll focus on how to build a manufacturing mindset. With the rise of digital finishing equipment and intelligent workflow software, building an automated wide-format graphics factory is within reach. But how has digital finishing equipment and workflow software changed to reflect the move from an “arts-and-crafts” mindset to a “manufacturing” mindset? This session will focus on why this change is critical to future success.
Later that day, a panel discussion will tackle the subject of graphics installation. Often a final, essential step in many graphics jobs, installation ranges from mural and sign application for retail, to wrapping fleet vehicles. In recent years, changes in materials and opportunities have expanded how the skills of graphics installers can be utilized. This moderated panel will discuss the materials, tools, and current business conditions, as well as dive into why certification and certified installers are essential in ensuring success.
For the apparel decorator
On the first day dedicated to apparel decoration, Oct. 27, attendees will have the opportunity to learn how to grow their businesses. In the first panel discussion of the day, apparel professionals will focus on how to grow an apparel-focused business model to seven-figure revenue. This moderated panel discussion will address the business ideas, technologies, products, and people that help make it happen.
Continuing on the topic of profitability, the next session will focus on how to increase it. For apparel decorators, there are two choices for increasing profitability: one is to do more business, the other is to minimize costs. The speaker will discuss the essential steps every company must take to keep costs low and production on-point.
On Nov. 9, the second day dedicated to the apparel sector, we’ll focus on direct-to-garment and direct-to-substrate applications. The day will begin with a focus on how sustainability is driving the next generation of fashion. The fashion industry — a global business of $1.3 trillion, employing more than 300 million people worldwide, and representing a significant economic force and a substantial driver of global GDP — has seen sustainability become an important new driver in consumers’ purchasing decisions. Many cross-industry initiatives have helped companies identify more sustainable work practices across the product life cycle, and several brands have publicly fixed sustainability goals. But what else can you expect in the near-term?
Later that day, we’ll turn our attention to the promotional products market. Promotional products are everywhere in today’s society and are produced by printing companies across many segments. While some promotional product producers print, many others are brokers or specifiers. In this panel discussion, Sean Norris, editor-in-chief of Promo Marketing, will dive into the synergy between those who produce, those who sell, and those who buy from them.
For industrial printers
Industrial print is a hard segment to nail down since it encompasses so many different and diverse areas. On Nov. 11, Insight Days will be focused on this dynamic market.
During the day, three moderated panels will focus on the opportunities and challenges within this segment. In the first panel session, Steve Duccilli, brand director for Wide-Format Impressions, will dive into the breadth and depth of the industrial print market, highlighting the specialized technologies this segment is built on. Following this panel, Duccilli will take a look ahead at where the industrial print market is going. In this panel, three industrial printing business owners will discuss this segment and how their businesses have changed and evolved.
Closing out the day, the focus will shift to the interior decoration market. There’s so much more to the home décor market beyond wallpaper, but what applications are best suited to your business? In this session, Gustavson will talk with leading business owners about their view of the home décor segment and their outlook for the near term.
For digital textile printers
With interest in the digital textile printing market on the rise, Insight Days has one full day, Nov. 12, dedicated to this segment.
Leading off the day will be a session on how to build a digital textile business. Running a digital textile business isn’t just a matter of installing a new press and running fabrics through it. Beyond having the right equipment in place, you need to know what types of products you are going to produce. This session will take a closer look at what you need to know to build a successful digital textile printing business from the ground up.
When it comes to digital textile printing, what is “good enough” color? As more brands begin to venture into digital textile printing and experiment with what the technology can provide — from fashion, to home decor, and beyond — how can PSPs ensure jobs are always the right color, every time? This session will focus on the factors which need to be considered when printing on textiles, and how can color be matched across not only different fabrics, but to other substrates as well.
For all print providers
Workflow and software needs are two things that span every market segment. In a day dedicated to these topics on Nov. 6, attendees will experience a deep dive into the current workflow and software landscape. They will also have the opportunity to explore Web-to-print workflows and color management.
Today’s newly-different business conditions make the use of online sales and ordering a necessity for many printing businesses. In the first panel session of the day, attendees will learn essential strategies and lessons from a cross-segment panel of printing business owners.
For many businesses, managing color within just one platform can be a challenge, but how can you manage color — and your client’s expectations — when dealing with multiple analog and digital platforms? Ray Weiss, director of digital print programs at PRINTING United Alliance, will lead a panel of industry experts to discuss how to effectively manage client color expectations.
And in addition to the daily educational program, there will also be more than 30 on-demand sessions available throughout the Insight Days event. Topics include:
- Building Your Workforce: Promoting from Within
- Industry Outlook: Voice of the Printer
- Innovative Approaches for Employee Health Care
- Top Trends in Print Technologies and Products
- Best Practices in Business Recovery
- Building Your Company Culture
- By the Numbers: KPIs, Metrics, and Ratios
- How to Research New Markets
- Key Strategies for Getting Paid
- Prospecting for Great Customers
- Staying Ahead of the Competition
- Taking Your Business to the Next Level
Nine on-demand sessions will also be dedicated to business growth and industry convergence. In each of these “101” sessions, Boer and David Zwang will discuss the factors print providers need to consider when looking to start a new business unit or expand into a new market.
Anticipating better times ahead, PRINTING United Alliance invites exhibitors and attendees to mark their calendars for PRINTING United’s return to a physical venue at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., where the show will take place Oct. 6-8, 2021. More information is available at printingunited.com.
While 2020 has seen a number of challenges no one could have anticipated, there are still many bright spots to celebrate in the printing industry, with more to come as we move into 2021. No matter how large or small your operation, what segment you serve, or who your customers are, there is one thing that unites this industry: print is and will remain essential, and those who find new and innovative ways to turn unexpected challenges into new opportunities will be best positioned to lead the way as the economy and business starts to recover. And the PRINTING United Digital Experience is the perfect way to stack your proverbial toolkit with everything you need to make sure your business is one of the ones that comes out ahead. Don't miss out - here's the link to register for the PRINTING United Digital Experience.
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.