GOA Goes Back to Miami

Written May 24, 2019 by Kate Achelpohl

Categories: Feature - Graphics

Graphic Edition
May/June 2019

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Powered by SGIA and returning to the Miami Beach Convention Center, Graphic of the Americas is on the brink of a new era.

SGIA has decades of very successful trade show experience under its organizational belt. So, when the opportunity arose to acquire Graphics of the Americas (GOA) from the Florida Graphics Alliance (FGA) (formerly the Printing Association of Florida) in 2018, SGIA’s Board of Directors decided to act.

“GOA has a long history of bringing together an audience of exhibitors and attendees from North, Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean. These markets, though distinctly different in many aspects, are vital players in the larger printing community, and are of critical interest to the supplier members of SGIA,” said SGIA President and CEO Ford Bowers.

Powered by SGIA, GOA will relaunch February 27 - 29, 2020, at the newly renovated Miami Beach Convention Center.

Cross-Cultural C-Suite

“SGIA has a tremendous track record of bringing the biggest and best exhibitors, events and educational programs — all of which attract buyers,” said FGA President Gabriel Hernandez. GOA will build on that success with a high-powered attendee base from around the world.

Show management reports 90% of GOA attendees make or influence their company’s buying decisions, and 60% are company presidents or CEOs. And while it is designed to attract designers, printers and graphics communications professionals from Latin America, a sizable contingent (about 60%) comes from Florida and the Southeast United States.

“One of the many exciting things about GOA is the wide variety of cultures it serves. Each country in the region has its own unique culture and customs,” said Hernandez. “There are a lot of graphics shows across Latin America, but they pull from individual countries. GOA is a platform for access that’s more efficient than traveling to multiple events in multiple countries.”

“It’s an opportunity to forge and strengthen business relationships with people from all over Latin America and the Caribbean. This region is critical to SGIA’s supplier members’ growth,” Bowers added. “If you do business in Latin America or want to, GOA brings the people to you.”

There are challenges, however. One is that business customs vary from nation to nation.

“There are differences in the ways equipment is sold. In some countries, it’s sold directly; in others, by distributors. Exhibitors will need to consider this when they decide how they want to be represented at GOA. Regardless, having decision makers from around the region in one place means you have an efficient, high-return means of establishing the right connections,” Bowers said.

Longtime exhibitor Ricoma Embroidery Machines is based in Miami, and that opens up the opportunity to cement relationships, according to Chief Operating Officer Henry Ma.

“We’re extremely excited GOA is coming back to Miami. Our local clients love to come to say hello, see us face-to-face, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing the actual manufacturer — not just a distributor — of their machine is right in their backyard,” Ma said.

Sounds Like Convergence

Like PRINTING United, which launches in October 2019, GOA will feature a wide range of exhibitors representing market segments from commercial printing to apparel decorating.

“While GOA is more centered on graphics than embroidery, it’s always a great show for us, because graphics and embroidery fit naturally together. We’re particularly excited to attend GOA this year because we recently began offering direct-to-garment (DTG) printing machinery. We’re thrilled to show off some of the mixed media projects you can create with DTG and embroidery,” said Ma. “Our main goal is to educate businesses on the importance of increasing your revenue streams and creating a one-stop shopping experience for your customers. Thankfully, our company has grown at a tremendous rate the past two years, and a lot of positive changes in our company have occurred since then. We’re excited to show people who we’ve become, and how our equipment and support can change their businesses.”

One-stop shop. Increasing revenue streams. Changing business through adjacent technologies and markets. That’s what “convergence” is about, and it’s an industry-wide phenomenon, Bowers noted.

“Convergence” happens when print service providers (PSPs) expand into adjacent market segments as a way to grow and diversify. In “Convergence in the Print Industry,” a 2018 research report from NAPCO Research and SGIA, 93% of respondents reported that they believe PSPs are expanding into new market and product segments, and 81% said they thought the trend would accelerate over the next five years.

“As the industry continues to evolve and printers consider migration opportunities both within their own segment and within adjacent segments, they want to stay abreast of industry changes, evaluate new technologies and gain insight into their colleagues’ strategies via a variety of means including reading articles, doing online research, and peer-to-peer networking,” the NAPCO/SGIA report says.

“GOA has historically been a show that represents not just litho, but also wide-format, digital printing and signage, as well as packaging and apparel decorating. It’s important for PSPs from around the world to see and act on these opportunities,” Bowers said.

Hernandez agreed. “FGA recently rebranded to emphasize the wide range of technologies in the marketplace, and our more than 200 members are excited to see that come to life at GOA.”

Developing the Latin American Audience

To attract the region’s leading printers, SGIA is leveraging its own marketing reach in combination with that of FGA and Conlatingraf (the confederation of Latin American printing associations).

Conlatingraf ’s 15 members — ABIGRAPH (Brazil), ANDIGRAF (Colombia), ASOINGRAF (Costa Rica), ASIMPRES (Chile), ADIGA (Dominican Republic), FIGE (Ecuador), ACOACEIG (El Salvador), CANAGRAF (Mexico), CIAGRAN (Nicaragua), ADIGRAP (Panama), IAGP (Paraguay), AGUDI (Peru), AIGU (Uruguay), AIAG (Venezuela) — represent about 70,000 printing companies or 650,000 direct employees who purchase equipment and services from every vendor in the industry.

“Conlatingraf is a longtime partner of GOA, and this year they’re working very closely with SGIA to penetrate the market and promote the reimagined show,” Hernandez said.

In addition to hosting promotional events with Conlatingraf member associations, the confederation and FGA are collaborating on programming, which includes more than 40 educational sessions on sales and marketing, leadership and operations, and the Latin American Summit, a day-long series of educational presentations on new technologies by experts in the field.

Conlatingraf will use GOA to spotlight the best printing in the region, presenting its illustrious Theobaldo de Nigris award, selected from the best printing pieces of the Conlatingraf member associations, and the Graphic Arts Leaders of the Americas at GOA.

“Presenting the awards at GOA brings the nations to a single location where they can also do business,” Hernandez said.

Back to Miami!

Leading suppliers, top-notch educational programming and the new facility aren’t all that’s attracting the printing industry to GOA. There’s the other player: Miami. Miami’s a vibrant multicultural city, an international commerce center and the “crossroads of Latin America.”

While the Miami Beach Convention Center was under renovation in 2017 and 2018, GOA took place at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

“The Fort Lauderdale facility is terrific, but Miami is a special place,” Hernandez added. “I’m excited about the show being back in Miami; it has not been there since 2016.”

It’s also easily accessible. Miami International Airport offers more flights to Latin America and the Caribbean than any other U.S. airport and is America’s third-busiest airport for international passengers, making the trip from Latin America to the continental United States easy and convenient. The city’s significant Spanish-speaking population also makes visitors from Latin American nations comfortable.

“GOA is always teeming with energy from its exhibitors and guests. Its 2020 home, the newly renovated Miami Beach Convention Center, is only going to contribute to the show’s liveliness!” said Ma. “GOA is unique because it has always attracted the top exhibitors and attendees from not only North America, but Latin America and the Caribbean as well, due to its prime location.”

Kate Achelpohl
Kate Achelpohl is SGIA’s Director of Publications & Public Relations and the Editor-in-Chief of the SGIA Journal. Contact her at kate@sgia.org.
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