And That’s a Wrap: SGIA Expo Closes Out 2017
More than 19,000 people attended the 2017 SGIA Expo (New Orleans; October 10–12) at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The educated attendees made their way around the huge trade show floor, visiting nearly 600 exhibitors showcasing the most innovative technologies and products in the printing marketplace.
“The Expo is always exciting, and not just because it’s the largest printing show in North America,” said Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) President and CEO Ford Bowers. “It’s where you go to see and learn about the evolution of the print industry.”
Educated buyers made for a busy show floor, exhibitors said.
Sean Lanigan of Modico Corp. said the traffic only slowed at lunchtime. “The buyers are educated. They take a look at something, and they understand the process and what needs to be done. They’re knowledgeable about the digital printing process, and they ask the right questions."
“We’ve already sold everything we brought,” said exhibitor Daniel Kane, Royal Sovereign, during the welcome reception at the end of the first day of the 2017 Expo. “Actually, it got so busy we’ve sold everything three times over.”
In addition to the technology demos, buying opportunities and product launches, the Expo is also the best venue to participate in workshops and educational sessions, and SGIA members received the Expo + Education Pass free with registration.
SGIA announced the Product of the Year Awards about two months prior to the Expo, giving attendees the chance to learn about the new products that would be on site at the show. "I'd done my research by studying the Product of the Year award winners, so I knew who had received honors and who I needed to see, but there were still some surprises on the Expo floor," said Ann Crum of Phoenix Inkjet and Colour Solutions LLC. "But then again, that's not surprising; SGIA's show is always the most impressive."
The Product of the Year entries were displayed in the Golden Image Gallery, along with all of the Golden Image entries. The Product of the Year Reception honored the winners on Monday evening with cocktails and the coveted Product of the Year medallion. And, at the end of day one, a true New Orleans jazz band led attendees to the Gallery for the welcome reception.
The show also was home to many new networking events and announcements this year. The “Brands Talking Sustainability” luncheon brought home the importance of sustainable practices to customers, and the Women in Print Alliance hosted its first networking breakfast. The Garment Decorators Luncheon brought in entrepreneur Tim Williams, YR Store, and announced the brand-new THREADX Conference, launching in February 2018. The Printed Electronics Symposium also launched FP3, a new conference for functional printing, process and products.
And then there was the announcement of a new industry event jointly owned by SGIA and NAPCO Media, publishers of magazines including Print Impressions and Package Printing. The new trade show, Print United, launches in Dallas in 2019, and will boast a more expansive overview of the printing industry.
“Print United sets the stage for the sectors that are moving more and more into the SGIA orbit,” Bowers said.
Total Registrants*: 19,360 as of 12:00 pm, October 12. *Preliminary figure, subject to verification
Total Number of Exhibitors: 597
2017 SGIA Expo Platinum Sponsors: Agfa Graphics, Durst Image Technology US LLC (Durst US), EFI, FUJIFILM North America Corporation Graphic Systems Division, HP and Mimaki
2017 SGIA Expo Gold Sponsors: Aberdeen Fabrics Inc, GSG, INX Digital International Co, Kornit Digital, LexJet, Marabu, MediaOne, OKI Data Americas, Pacific Coast Fabrics, Piedmont Plastics, Reece Supply Company and STAHLS’.
The 2018 SGIA Expo will take place Thursday through Saturday, October 18–20, at the Las Vegas Convention Center.