ISA Sign Expo 2022: Back to the Future

For an independent B2B journalist like me, trade shows are a great place to have quick, face-to-face meetings with multiple sources and clients within a few short days. So I was delighted to attend he International Sign Expo 2022 held May 4-6 in Atlanta.

It was the first in-person trade show I had attended since October, 2019. Like Rip Van Winkle, I felt as if I was waking up from years of sleep to discover how much the world had changed. While everyone (me included) looked a bit older than the last time we met, most show floor booths and products seemed brand new.

Sign Expo was the largest in-person gathering of sign, graphics and visual communications professionals since the autumn of 2019. People liked being able to see, touch, and compare many of the future-focused innovations that exhibitors had announced but hadn’t yet demonstrated at an in-person trade show.

“The show floor was busy all three days – yes, all three days,” said Lori Anderson, ISA president and CEO. “More importantly, attendees came to do business.”


Here are some general impressions I gathered while wandering the show floor.

The audience was noticeably diverse. The show floor and educational sessions attracted young people who wanted to start their own businesses as well as older entrepreneurs who are considering selling the businesses they started 30 years ago.

ISA Sign Expo was a show for signmakers, sign printers, and sign painters. Everything a sign shop could possibly need to fabricate or print signs, brand experiences, musuem exhibits, or brand environments was on display.

While I expected to see digital signage exhibits, I was surpised to watch professional sign artists Kelsey Dalton and Andrew McClellan of Heart & Bone Signs hand painting a 15-foot tall mural promoting Sign Expo 2023 in Las Vegas.

Grand-format digital printers was first used to minimize the need to hand-paint or screen-print billboards, murals, storefronts, and ohter outdoor ads in the 1990s. In recent years, the craft of sign painting has enjoyed a a resurgence.

But ISA International Sign Expo 2022 was about a lot more than signs. The versatility of digital printing, cutting, and engraving equipment makes it easier for sign shops to add product lines such as custom apparel, awards, gifts, decor, or promotional products to their offerings. Many exhibitors showed different types and sizes of flatbed printers, direct-to-object printers, and sublimation systems for making promotional products.

Some booths, such as the Epilog Laser exhibit, featured educational materials to help entrepreneurs build new businesses with systems for engraving, cutting, or personalizing all types of products.

In the Epson booth, Tim Check suggested that the company’s Epson SureColor F170 dye-sublimation printer provides a low-cost way for sign shops and start-ups to learn more about the dye-sublimation printing process for items such as mousepads, mugs, and awards. Priced at $399, the F170 desktop printer outputs dye-sublimation inks onto 8.5 x 11 in. sheets of dye-sub transfer papers. For less than $300 you can buy a heat press that will transfer the printed designs to the item.

Booth designs seemed more creative. One booth featured a digital sign wrapped around a hip-high corner wall. The graphics alternated between a crackling flame and underwater scene. So the people standing in the booth behind the display looked like they were eiether on fire or up to their waist in an aquarium.

Many booths featured QR codes, either on their booth graphics or on the equipment being displayed. When I scanned the QR code on one piece of finishing equipment, it took me to a web page with technical deails about the machine and links to other equipment from the exhibitor. This meant I didn’t have to catch the attention of a booth worker who may or may not have known the answers to my questions.

In the OmniPrint booth, Victor Pena sat on a pedestal above a display screeen and live-streamed interviews and panel discussions that were conducted via Zoom. The sessions focusd on how to start and scale custom apparel businesses using either an Omniprint direct-to-garment (DTG) printer and/or a direct-to-film (DTF) system for making heat transfers.

It was fascinating to watch Pena moderate the discussions and field questions from members of OmniPrint’s Creator Community who watched the livestream. But I couldn’t help but think: “Why am I mesmerized by this in-booth Zoom presentation when I have been so eager to return to live trade shows?” It’s probably because OmniPrint 360 was an excellent example of how a creative marketer could get the best possible return from having a booth at an in-person trade show.

Manufacturers and distributors of adhesive vinyls drew crowds by conducting wrapping demonstrations and timed competitions in their booths.

Flatbed and hybrid printers were everywhere. More than 20 companies showed compact flatbeds, wide-format flatbeds, or hybrid flatbed/roll-feed UV printers.

Many models shown for the first time, including models introduced in early 2020 during the lead-up to the to drupa international expo that was scheduled for 2020 but cancelled due to COVID.

To fully illustrate their capabilities, the flatbed printers at Sign Expo were printing on dozens of different types and thicknesses of rigid and flexible materials.

For example, it’s one thing to read the spec sheet that shows that Roland the Roland VersaUV LEC2 S-Series UV flatbed printer can decorate items up to 7.87 inches high. But when you see the 64-in. UV LEC2 S-Series printer decorating batches of metal lunchboxes, it’s easy to understand why UV flatbed printers can be instrumental in expanding product lines.

Durst, which makes high-end, industrial digital printing and production systems for graphics, soft signage, packaging, labels, and ceramics, was at ISA Sign Expo for the first time in quite a while.

In addition to showing the Durst- PS350 mid-to-high productivity hybrid flatbed/roll printer, Durst helped Vanguard Digital Printing launch two new printers. Vangaurd announced the VK300D-HS (a higher-speed version of their VK300D) that can print up to 60 boards per hour and the VKH900-HS hybrid UV LED printer. The VKH900-HS combines the spped of the VK300D-HS flabed with capabilities of Vanguard’s VKR300-HS roll-to-roll model.

In 2020, Durst acquired a majority stake in Vanguard Digital Printing. Systems. At a Sign Expo press conference, executives from both companies explained the synergies that are strengthening the merged companies.

Vanguard was a 2015 start-up company that quickly made a name for itself with well-engineered, award-winning flatbed printers for entry-level and mid-level production. The acquisition gives the Italy-based Durst a stronger presence in U.S. markets and enables Vanguard to expand its sales in Europe. Smaller sign shops that start with Vanguard flatbed printers can upgrade to Durst printers as they grow.

Vanguard owners can also take advantage of Durst’s software-driven “pixel-to-output” workflow. Durst software includes the Lift MIS/ERP, the Durst Smart Shop web-to-print solution , Durst Workflow for prepress and production, and Durst Analytics for data and transparency.

Digital Direct-to-Film (DTF) systems offer sign shops a cost-effective way to produce decorated apparel. Unlike DTG (direct-to-garment) printers that work with a limited range of pre-treated cotton and cotton/poly shirts, a DTF system can print on non-treated, cotton, silk, polyester, denim, nylon, leather, 50/50 blends, and more.  

STS Inks demonstrated two modular DTF systems they developed with Mutoh, a manufacturer of wide format printers. One system uses a 24-inch Mutoh VJ-628D printer, the second is built around Mutoh’s 64-inch XPJ-1682D printer.

In the DTF process that STS Inks uses, the logos and other artwork are printed in reverse onto a single-side coated PET film that can withstand the higher temperature and pressures of a heat press. Then, the STS Automatic TPU Adhesive Powder Shaker applies a powder adhesive to all inked areas of the film. The shaker removes any remaining powdered adhesive from the non-inked areas. The powdered film is then placed in an STS Transfer Film Curing Oven where the adhesive powder gels with the ink.

The images transfers to the garment when a heat press fuses the adhesive-backed image to the garment.

Kingdom DTF, Reece Supply Company, OmniPrint, and Epson showed other methods for getting stated in DTF printing for garment decoration. For example, if you already own an OmniPrint DTG Freejet printer that works with the company’s GamutPlus or Direct Ink brand, you can buy a Freejet DTF starter kit that includes 100 sheets of film, adhesive powder, a powder funnel, application tray, and squeegee. At Sign Expo, OmniPrint showcased their OmniDTF printer and drying unit.

Adhesive materials were available to decorate almost any surface imaginable. At least 20 companies were promoting adhesive materials that could be used to produce temporary promotional graphics, permanent decor graphics, or digitally cut shapes for for garments and promotional products as well as decals, and labels.

Avery Graphic Solutions demonstrated their smart VELA window film for interior windows in offices, stores, hospitals, and other settings. The translucent film becomes clear when the electronic circuitry embedded in the material is switched on. When occupants of a glassed-in area want privacy, they can keep the film in translucent mode. When they want to open the room to more natural light, they can switch it to clear. In a retail setting, the clear windows used to display products can be converted into digital display screens for product promotions.

Systems for cutting and converting prints into products were in abundance. More than 30 companies were promoting digital routing, cutting, engaving, laminating, and other systems for converting printed materials into ready to use products. But specialty finishing systems were on the show floor too.

Lamina Systems showcased an inline folding, gluing, and taping machine for converting diecut, creased, or slotted materials into boxes, displays, and bags.

Colex Finishing, Inc. and Fotoba International demonstrated the Fotoba XLA170 Automatic X/Y Cutter operating in-line with a Canon Colorado 1650 printer that was being used to print wallpapers. The Canon UVgel Wallpaper Factory automatically cuts the printed wallpaper into custom sizes and lengths, while the rewinder re-rolls, labels, and tapes the wallpaper rolls so they are ready to ship.  

The Textile Finishing Systems group of Media One provides turnkey sewing, welding, and cutting solutions for print-service providers that want to convert digitally printed and sublimated fabrics into displays, flags, curtains, tents, and other products.  The company also provides consulting, training, services along with fabric, keder, loop, zippers, flag accessories, and sewing machine consumables.

Some exhibitors offer specialized services to small sign shops that can’t provide everything that a client might require.

The Sign Pack offers month-to-month subscriptions to sign design services. The specialized sign designers can help with presentation layouts, technical and permit files, as well as pre-production files.

Easelly’s Outsourced Print Graphic Design Service provides access to more than 30 designers of a full-time, part-time, or small-project basis. The designers are experienced in designing signage, brand assets, vehicle wraps, infographics, billboards, business cards, and direct mail. They can also help with logo design, landing pages, blog graphics, and more. Instead of contracting with freelance designers on a project-by-projet basis,,you can subscribe to the monthly plan that best matches the number of design tasks your company has each month.

Advantage Innovations is a nationwide graphic installation company with offices in 20 locations. Specialties include custom retail graphics, signage, die-cut vinyl, surveys, and full decor packages.

National Installations offers installation services for graphics, vehicle wraps, POP displays, interior signage and window film applications. 

Space Tailor is a Korea-based company that offers interior pattern designs to printing and signage companies that print window films and fabrics for interior decor.

Sulliway Engineering offers structural system design and analysis with structural detailing for sign projects. Drawings and calculations are stamped with a Professional Engineering State Seal ready for submission to Building Departments for obtaining a permit. Projects include signs, awnings, billboards, canpoies, tension fabric structures, electronic message centers, large frame structures, tents, and LED structures.

Swagforce provides an e-commerce portal through which designers and creators of custom T-shirts and other promotional products can sell their merchandise.

Comments from Exhibitors

The show floor was busy right up to the close of the show. Attendees relished the opportunity to see products in action. Vloggers and YouTube content creators rushed from exhibit to exhibit conducting interviews and reporting on the most exciting products.

Tom Wittenberg, HP large format industry relations and event manager for North America described the mood at Sign Expo as upbeat: “It was a special pleasure to return to shows with our industry colleagues. The show exceeded expectations on attendance and booth activity for HP.”

“There was constant activity and visitors at our booth throughout the event – even during the last hour of the show!,” said John Glazer, executive vice president of Elliott Equipment.

“Graphic Solutions Group (GSG) was blown away with our results, more than doubling our sales at the previous show in 2019,” said Matt Smith, director of national accounts for GSG. “The customers who came to this year’s show were very engaged and interested in spending time talking to us and intrigued by the new products we were showcasing.”

Sign Expo 2023

The next ISA Sign Expo will be held April 12-14 in Las Vegas, NV.

Virtual Event Explores Opportunities in Specialty, Custom, and Industrial Printing

The Association for PRINT Technologies (APTech) will host Unbound, a one-day virtual event and online trade fair for opportunities in specialty, custom and industrial printing.

The Unbound event will be held November 16, 2021 from 10:00 am-3:00 pm EDT. There is no fee to attend.

“Print is more than ink on paper and it’s more than a medium that conveys a message,” commented Thayer Long, president of APTech. “Look around and you will see something that has been printed—wallcoverings, flooring, glass, fabrics, ceramics, tiles, containers, toys, displays, electronics—the list is almost endless.”

He continued, “This is the message of Unbound. We need to shake off the constraints of what we think print is and look at what it can and could be.”

Industrial printing describes the processes used to decorate or enhance products as part of the manufacturing process.

Functional printing refers to printed elements that enhance the functionality of a product or create entirely new types of products, such as printed electronics.

Unbound keynoter Sean Smyth, UK-based print consultant and industry expert for Smithers, will kick off the day’s events with a big-picture look at the market in his presentation, “The Industrial (Print) Revolution & What it Means for You.”

The seminar program that follows will include 12 sessions, in which successful industry practitioners and topical experts will discuss the nuts and bolts of building a successful line of industrial or functional printing business and the range of opportunities that exist for businesses of all sizes.

To help Unbound attendees grow decor print businesses, decor-market-business development specialist Rachel Nunziata, will discuss “What You Must Know to Succeed in the Interior Décor Market.” She will share her firsthand expertise, top tips, and resources.

Industrial inkjet evangelist Craig Reid of CTR Resources, LLC will explore how inkjet technologies are being used for an ever-expanding number of applications in his session, “You Can Print on That? Exploring Printable Surfaces.”

To explore the full lineup of speakers and their bios along with the sessions and topics, visit Unbound at: or contact staff members at

About the Association for PRINT Technologies

APTech provides a forum to inspire the development of new and valuable print products. Focused entirely on the future of print, the association educates and fosters collaboration between those who create and those who make. For complete information about the association, its programs,,and its member companies, visit:, email, or phone: 703/264-7200.

New Print Finishing, Packaging, and Design Event Planned for June 2022

The print finishing value chain will be the focus of a three-day exhibition and educational program being organized by The Association for PRINT Technologies (APTech) and the Foil & Specialty Effects Association (FSEA). Titled” Amplify,” the event will take place June 14-16, 2022 at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minnesota.

At “Amplify,” print and packaging designers, commercial printers, print finishers, binders, mailers, and creatives can learn more about post-press processes such as metallic decorating techniques, folding and gluing, UV coating, laminates, laser cutting, perfect and mechanical binding, folding, and direct mail processing and software

From the exhibit hall to the educational program and beyond, attendees will network with all the key players in the finishing cycle, learn best practices, discover emerging technologies, and hear real-world success stories.

Other association partners supporting Amplify include: AICC, the Independent Packaging Association, and RadTech, the Association for UV&EB Technology.

Amplify will feature an interactive learning experience through technology demonstrations, product spotlights, and classroom educational experiences. .

“After more than a year of virtual interactions and events, we’re proud to announce the launch of Amplify,” said Jeff Peterson, Executive Director of FSEA. “Amplify will connect and inspire all—from design to the final finished product.”

Kevin Abergel, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing at MGI Digital Technology, looks forward to Amplify, stating, “Finally, someone decided to connect all the different levels in the print finishing ecosystem, with manufacturers, designers, and brands working together and learning from one another.”
He expects the event to be more about community building than selling machines: “Amplify will be the new standard-bearer for what trade shows can be in the future.”

“I am truly excited about the opportunity the new Amplify event and conference will provide. It will be an excellent way for printers, finishers, and designers to gain critical insights into the ever-changing and evolving world of digital print, digital finishing, and techniques for designing with these new possibilities,” affirmed Myron Werner, Director of Sales, Packaging and Print, at NC-based KURZ Transfer Products.
“This event will allow many to explore these new processes “hands on” during the Technology Center demonstrations and discover new techniques to deliver designs to the market faster than ever. These evolving technologies are providing new concepts and opportunities never possible before and it’s time to see them all under one platform in one place. Amplify fits the need.”

“Print and packaging designers strive to catch the eye of the consumer, and commercial printers need their customers’ printed products to excel,” said Thayer Long, President of APTech. “Amplify will be the venue to showcase the accomplishments, best practices, and innovation happening in the print finishing industry.”

APTech’s dedicated exhibit team is committed to helping exhibitors and sponsors reach their customers, build awareness, and generate new leads. They will also be able to connect with key players in the print finishing value chain from designers, creative and art directors, printers, finishers, and mailers. Exhibitors will be able to demonstrate their creative products and services through technology demonstrations and product spotlights. Attendee registration for Amplify will launch in early 2022.

To learn more about Amplify, visit or contact the organizers at

Registration is Open for Label Congress 2021 in Chicago Sept. 29-Oct. 1

Registration is now open for Label Congress 2021, the first in-person networking and educational event for the US label industry since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Organized by Labelexpo Global Series, Label Congress 2021 will be held Sept. 29-Oct. 1 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Chicago, IL. Early bird discounts are available at

Label Congress Logo

Lisa Milburn, managing director of the Tarsus Labels, Packaging and Brand Print Group, said: ‘Label Congress is a smaller, carefully curated event, different from Labelexpo Americas. This is to adhere to the strict guidelines of COVID-19 protocols, which will include wider aisles, reduced visitor traffic and a strict deep cleaning regime. We are working in partnership with local Illinois authorities, event partners and the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center to meet and exceed local safety standards.’

Label Congress 2021 will be built around two days of conference sessions featuring leading-edge presentations and discussion panel sessions. A Label Academy master class on self-adhesive materials will be held on the third day.

Running alongside the congress sessions and masterclass will be an exhibition hall packed with the latest technologies from leading industry suppliers including Xeikon, Accraply, Mactac, Durst, Fujifilm, Colordyne, Labeltraxx and Cartes.

The Congress conference sessions are broadly divided into Technology and Global Market overviews on day 1 (Wednesday, Sept. 29) and Future Proofing Your Business streams on day 2 (Thursday, Sept. 30).

Day 1 features an overview of the global label market, followed by a session on exciting new developments in digital embellishment technology. Panel discussions will look at how to optimize hybrid printing and strategies for diversifying into flexible packaging. The first day concludes with a session on how the Internet of Things will impact the future of smart labels and packaging.

Day 2 (Sept. 30) starts with Lifetime Achievement winner Federico d’Annunzio examining how converters should respond to brands’ increasing demands for data transparency. This is followed by panel discussions on practical sustainability strategies and how to recruit and retain talent, concluding with a session from regular L&L contributor Paul Brauss on lean manufacturing strategies.

Day 3 Masterclass (Oct 1). This optional half-day Label Academy Masterclass will be led by Tarsus Labels & Packaging group Strategic Director Andy Thomas-Emans. It is targeted at brand owners and designers who specify pressure-sensitive materials, as well as label converters and industry suppliers.

Deep-dive sessions will cover the nature, construction, and manufacturing of self-adhesive laminates, the importance of materials, and the need for different adhesives. Attendees will also learn how to use, identify, and test different laminate constructions and correct methods for handling and storage of unprinted and printed laminates,

Post-Conference Broadcast. The machine demonstrations and conference sessions will be made available to the rest of the global industry the day following the event itself, broadcast on Labelexpo’s secure online platform. This will allow a global audience to benefit from the technology demonstrations and expert-led sessions available to Congress visitors during the week Labelexpo Europe would usually be running.

‘Label Congress 2021 has been specifically tailored to the current climate and will give a much-needed chance for the industry to meet in person,’ said Label Congress 2021 Event Director Tasha Ventimiglia. ‘Label Congress 2021 is situated at the heart of the US print industry, within driving distance of most of the key converting states. The Congress will include a VIP program engaging directly with the key converters from the Midwest.’

From a leading converter’s perspective, Mark Glendenning, CEO & Owner of Inland Printing, said he is looking forward to Label Congress 2021 : ‘I want to be one of those first people reconnecting to the industry because I think we’ll get leverage like we’ve never gotten before. I encourage you to go to Label Congress. It’s a one-time opportunity that will never happen again. You’re going to want to be there.’

Commenting on the benefits of the Label Congress conference sessions, Glendenning added, ‘Education is so much more valuable when it co-exists with networking. Live conferences far exceed going it alone watching a Youtube video. Further down the road, if you come across a challenge, you’ve got people you can call to run it by. That’s the power of connecting education with networking. It’s invaluable.’

The next edition of Labelexpo Americas will take place on September 13-15, 2022, also at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.

Virtual drupa Features Conference Area, Exhibition Space, and Networking Plaza

Preparations are well underway for virtual drupa, April 20 to 23. 2021. Like the live drupa event, the online drupa will explore the future of printing technologies and markets. Exhibitors and experts will address questions such as:

  • What changes can we expect in the future?
  • How will global changes and megatrends affect the printing business?
  • What recent and emerging innovations will change the markets for print?

Attendees can register free of charge at According to show organizers, 6,000 visitors from 130 countries have already registered.

The virtual drupa platform includes three main pillars: An Exhibition Space, Conference Area, and a Networking Plaza.
(Photo: Maximilian Beck)

Exhibition Space

Exhibitors will set up online showrooms for product launches, offer video and live presentations, and schedule virtual meetings with drupa attendees.

“Drupa is not taking place physically but this is not a reason to stop sharing information. Virtual drupa provides an opportunity for all traditional exhibitors to share their vision for the industry and to outline major innovations helping printers and converters to better answer the needs and pledge of brand owners,” says Francois Martin of drupa exhibitor Bobst Group. “The way brand owners design, pack and distribute goods is evolving at a tremendous pace. Printers and converters need to adjust to a new reality changing faster than expected. By meeting with all the exhibitors, they will be able to understand where the industry is going and which new solutions to deploy to remain competitive.”

Other key players exhibiting at virtual drupa, include KURZ, DuPont, EFI, Kodak, Komori, BlueCrest, Fujifilm, Konica Minolta, Mueller Martini, Kyocera, Esko, WIndmoller & Holscher, Mimaki, Xeikon. Koenig & Bauer.

Conference Area

The Conference Area of virtual.drupa will feature a world-class, English-language program focusing on the global trends of Artificial Intelligence, Circular Economy, Connected Consumer; and Platform Economy. International industry experts, brand owners and speakers from vertical markets will provide valuable knowledge transfer through best cases, keynote speeches and panel discussions.

More than 2700 minutes of concentrated know-how and knowledge transfer will be featured in the Conference Area.
Photo: Maximilian Beck

Two parallel live streams will offer visitors the opportunity to participate flexibly in the conference presentations between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm Central European Time. For participants around the world, these sessions will also be available on-demand in a video library.

Each of the four days of the conference will start with keynotes from three top international speakers.

April 20: Keynote: Small Steps and Giant Leaps for Your AI in a Circular Economy
Michael Gale, a Wall Street Journal best-selling author and consultant, will make two presentations related to artificial intelligence. He will share where companies can use digital potential, how to make it accessible to everyone, and how to activate business growth with the help of AI. His second presentation is April 23.

April 21: Keynote: The Creatives Business Model of Tomorrow. The Cusp of Another Revolution
Designer James Sommerville, former VP of Global Design for The Coca Cola Company will illustrate the great importance of product design in driving innovation and fostering growth. In 2018 James departed the corporate world to start what he believes will be the next revolution in the creative agency world. His new firm, the Known Unknown uses a 100% distributed talent model in which unknown creatives are invited to help known brands respond to global brand challenges

April 22: World Earth Day Keynote: Implications of the Climate Megatrend for Printing Industry
Dr. Gabrielle Walker, founder of director of the Valence Solutions consultancy, will address sustainability issues. The lecturer, author and climate expert will discuss global challenges with a special focus on sustainability, energy consumption, circular economy and climate change. As a strategist, she advises companies on topics such as future investments and process optimization, as well as on the impact that changing business models can have on a company’s corporate identity, its external impact and acceptance.

April 23: Keynote: The AI Opportunity: A Dawn of a New Age for You with the Right AI Schematic
Michael Gale

Inspiring Presentations

The morning keynotes will be followed in two streams by the English-language daily program of the five drupa special forums:

“drupa cube” offers content to motivate, entertain and inform. Stay up to date on key trends as well as the future of management thinking, digital transformation and printing technologies.

touchpoint packaging” presents inspiring visionary concepts. Meet packaging experts to learn more about future challenges and opportunities. The Hot Spot covers different printing technologies and packaging types for different markets and welcomes brand owners, designers, material suppliers, converters and all other packaging industry experts

touchpoint textile” brings together companies from different textile markets and offers space for cross-industry collaboration, new projects and product and manufacturing ideas. The ongoing digitalization and cross-sectional technologies for numerous industries are drivers for innovation.

3D fab+print” focuses on 3D applications in printing, paper machine construction, and applications for media and packaging. For example, consider how additive-manufacturing could be used to make machine components, prototypes, or an on-demand spare parts supply for printing presses. 3D fabrication and printing can also be used to make unique advertising props and products or unusual packaging solutions

drupa next age” is the innovative heart of drupa. It’s about disruptive developments. What major challenges the print industry? Industry-established companies present their innovative products and forward-looking ideas here.

For the latest details on the full program, visit:

Networking Plaza

From now until October 21, exhibitors and visitors can connect in the Networking Plaza:

With drupa’s intelligent matchmaking tool, companies and contacts that are relevant to your business can get in touch with you even before the trade show starts. If you would like to be contacted, activate your participation in the “Matchmaking” service when you submit your registration. Then, you will be asked to submit more details about your specific interests. If you fill out your profile fully and accurately, you will receive a list of drupa exhibitors and experts who match your interests.

Through that list, you can choose who you would like to chat with or schedule a virtual meeting with during the exhibition. You can scroll down and watch video demonstrations of the matchmaking process on the Networking Plaza page of the virtual drupa website.

If you discover interesting products and services while exploring the Exhibition Space or attending one of the exhibitor’s Live Web Sessions, you can contact exhibitors directly to arrange a virtual meeting.. Companies and contact persons can be found quickly and easily in Matchmaking via a search field function. There is also the option of targeted communication via the exhibitors’ online showroom in the Exhibition Space.

For information on visiting or exhibiting at virtual.drupa 2021, contact Messe Düsseldorf North America; Telephone: (312) 781-5180; E-mail:;

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Learn to Think Like a Futurist at the Virtual ISA Sign Expo April 7-9

Registration is now open for the virtual ISA Sign Expo April 7-9, 2021. All the sessions will be conducted online and at no charge.

The educational sessions at the live Sign Expo are always first-rate. So, if you have never attended a Sign Expo in person, here’s a great opportunity to see how ISA Sign Expo differs from conferences produced by printing organizations. Yes, some content does focus on digital printing. But sessions also cover topics related to digital signage, sign fabrication, experiential graphics, and vehicle wrapping.

Hosted by the International Sign Association, Sign Expo typically attracts professionals from sign companies and visual communications firms. 

Many of these professionals work with architectural designers to create and install both on-premise signage and branded environmental graphics in new and renovated facilities.

The 2021 virtual event features a mix of Titan Talks, Learner’s Hub sessions, Peer Networking opportunities, Speakeasies, and Sponsored Sessions. The opening Game Changer session on April 7 looks at the big picture for businesses and offers advice on how to anticipate and plan for change.

Game Changer Session: Confessions of a Corporate Futurist: Coming Trends That Will Revolutionize Your Business

As a corporate futurist, Sheryl Connelly spends her days thinking about global trends that will affect Ford Motor Company. As the Game Changer speaker at ISA Sign Expo 2021, Connelly will share secrets on how to think like a futurist, providing expertise and strategy for anticipating changes that will affect your business.

Sheryl Connelly is Chief Futurist at Ford Motor Company

Connelly also will share the 10 megatrends that she’s currently watching, developments she believes will change the world as we know it over the next 30 years. Attendees will leave with a changed mindset of how to approach long-term planning and strategy.

“The Game Changer session has always been one of the most inspiring and popular sessions at ISA International Sign Expo, and this year’s topic is more timely than ever,” said Lori Anderson, ISA president and CEO. “Attendees will come away with ideas that help them thrive, innovate and remain relevant in the midst of these massive shifts.”

This Game-Changer session is scheduled from 11:10 to 11:40 am, on Wednesday, April 7, immediately after the Sign Expo’s opening ceremonies at 11:00 am.

Titan Talks

In these sessions, ISA President/CEO Lori Anderson will conduct provocative interviews with leading innovators and thinkers from organizations that influence the sign and visual communications industries.

Guayente Sanmartin, General Manager of HP Large Format Business
Harry Patz, Senior VP and General Manager, Samsung
Matt Shay, President and CEO, National Retail Federation
Denise Rutherford, Senior VP of Corporate Affairs, 3M

Learners’ Hub

These sessions feature panels of professionals that work alongside sign and visual communications professionals. Here are just a few of the topics that will be covered:

SEGD Presents: Color Management Complexities from the Johnson & Johnson Museum
Presented by members of the Society of Experiential Graphic Design.

IFAI Presents: The Biggest Pictures in the World — Art Meets Large Format
Heidi Katherine, SVP, global design and development, for the brand experience design firm Moss, will presented this session on behalf of the Industrial Fabrics Association International.

Take the Pain out of Permitting
Presenters: Kenny Peskin. ISA VP of Industry Programs, James Carpenter, ISA Director of State and Local Government Affairs, and Megan Pyrtle of Allen Industries, a signage and architectural elements firm.

Marketing Your Business
Presenters: Experts from Signarama, a leading innovator in the signs and graphics industry.

SEGD Presents: Stadium Signage Innovations from the Super Bowl
Presented by members of the Society of Experiential Graphic Design.


Choose the chat rooms that best match your interests. Experts and influencers will facilitate discussions that are designed to be both useful and fun. Here is a sampling of the planned sessions.

Most Pressing Industry Challenges: Project Management in the COVID Age
Discussion leaders: Experts from Sign Builder Illustrated (SBI).

Most Pressing Industry Challenges: Recruiting Qualified Works
Discussion leaders: Experts from SmartWork Media (published of Signs of the Times, and Big Picture)

Digital Printing & Interior Decor
Discussion leaders: Decor Columnist Rachel Nunziata and Big Picture Editor Adrienne Palmer

Sales Strategies
Discussion leader: Sales Coach and Author Bill Farquharson

Sponsored Sessions

Earn More Local Customer Projects with Wrapmate and 3M
Sponsored by 3M

Finding the Truth about Antimicrobial Additives in Films
Sponsored by 3M

Printing with White Ink Made Easy
Sponsored by HP

Digital Workflow: Enabling More Productivity
Sponsored by HP

Accessibility & the ADA Crash Course
Sponsored by Nova Polymers

Peer Networking

Visit breakout lounges in which you can network with your peers. Lounges will be dedicated to both professional and personal interests. For example, you can visit the Project Manager Lounge, Designer Lounge, Young Professionals Lounge, Sports Lounge, Pandemic Parenting Lounge, and many more. Each room will have facilitators and fun icebreakers to ease the awkwardness of talking to strangers.


Learn more about the schedule and register for free at

About the ISA

The International Sign Association (ISA) is devoted to supporting, promoting and improving the sign, graphics and visual communications industry through government advocacy, education and training programs, technical resources, stakeholder outreach and industry networking events. Members include manufacturers, users and suppliers of on-premise signs and other visual communications systems.

FuturePrint Leaders Summit March 23-24 Features Stellar Speaker Line-up

A stellar line-up of print technology leaders will make presentations at the online FuturePrint Leaders Summit, Tuesday, March 23 and Wednesday, March 24, 2021. The speakers will present the top-level overviews of advances and opportunities in package printing, industrial inkjet printing, commercial printing, and wide-format printing.

There is no fee to attend the virtual FuturePrint Leaders Summit, March 23-24, 2021.

If your shop plans to make investments for the coming boom, you will want to hear from these leaders at the forefront of technologies and market trends.

The summit is organized by FM Future, a business development and communications consultancy based in the UK. Below are just some of the sessions and panel discussions on the schedule:

Top Talks from Business Leaders

Shaping the Future of Packaging
Jean-Pascal Bobst, CEO, Bobst

The Value of Digital Packaging and HP’s View of the Future
Dave Tomer, General Manager, HP Scitex Division

The Future of Print
Doug Edwards, Sr. VP, Chief Technology Officer, EFI

A Conversation with Durst’s CEO
Christoph Gamper, CEO, Durst

Agfa’s Leadership Vision for Inkjet
Pascal Jeury, CEO, Agfa

Fujifilm: Enabling Ink Technology
Steve Wood, Commercial Director, Fujifilm Ink Solutions Group

Collaboration is the New Innovation
John Mills, CEO, Xaar plc

New Technology: Fun or Frightening?
Bill Cortelyou, President and CEO, Phoseon Technology

Colordyne: Leadership thought Innovation, Collaboration, and Adaptability
Gary Falconbridge, Founder and CEO, Colordyne Technologies

Posters to Packaging: Inca Digital’s Journey
Steven Tunnicliffe-Wilson, CEO and CTO, Inca Digital

Will You Make Leadership a Priority to Empower Success in Hard Times?
Mary Ann Rowan, CXO, Solimar Systems

Industrial Printing: A Look Into the Future
Christian Compera, General Manager, Industrial Print Global, Ricoh

Our Vision for Innovation in Industrial Printing
Peter Bergstein, Owner and Managing Director, Bergstein Digital

Hymmen’s Vision for Inkjet in Decor
Dr. Rene Pankoke, CEO, Hymmen

Leading the Print Industry Post COVID
Ford Bowers, CEO, Printing United Alliance

Creating New Markets for Inkjet
John Corrall, Owner and Managing Director, Industrial Inkjet

Panel Discussions

M&A What Will Happen Next?
Ken Stack, Owner, Proximus LLC
Mike Rottenborn, CEO, Global Graphics
Thomas Kirschner, CEO, Colorgate Software

Multi-Generational Business
Simon Biltcliffe, CEO, Webmart
Richard Boon, Managing Director, Webmart
Tom Maskill, Sales & Marketing Director, Webmart

Sustainability Live!
Nova Abbott, CMO, Kavalan
Graham Kennedy, Director of Industrial Print Business, Ricoh Europe
Steve Lister, Director of Sustainability at POPAI UK
Brendan Perring, Chairman, IPIA & Print for Planet Group
Anthony Carignano, Director of Marketing, ACTEGA North America

Inkjet Head to Head: Thin Film or Bulk Piezo?
John Mills, CEO. Xaar plc
Martin Schoeppler, CEO, Fujifilm Dimatix
Richard Darling, Director, Ricoh Europe
Mark Bale, Director, DoDxAct

CEO Future Gazing
Richard Askam, Printing Marketing Consultant
Peter Gunning, CEO, Grafenia Plc,
Robin East, Managing Director, CMYUK
Peter Wolff, Sr. VP, Canon Production Printing, Canon Europe

Association Leadership
Brendan Perring, Chairman, IPIA
Jos Steutelings, Managing Director, VIGC
Charles Jarrold, CEO, BPIF
Shaun Holdom, ISA UK, (Global Product Manager, Drytac)

What do Media Think?
Wouter Mooij, Managing Editor, EISMA
Adrienne Palmer, Editor-in-Chief, The Big Picture
Karis Copp, Editor, FuturePrint

Keynote Sessions

Get Ready for the Coming Boom!
Roger Martin-Fagg, Economist, Martin Fagg Associates

Storytelling for Business – Why this is More Important than Ever!
Entrepreneur & Speaker Simon Burton

How a CEO Can Get it Wrong to Get it Right
Pat McGrew, Owner, McGrew Group

Click here to see the full schedule of presentations and the days and times.

To register for the event and specific sessions, visit:
FuturePrint Leaders Summit by FM Future

FuturePrint Conference Feb. 25-26 Covers Print Technology for Business Adaptability

The FuturePrint Virtual Conference on Feb. 25-26, 2021 will feature talks about new technology that can improve the adaptability of your business.

Tailored specifically for digital printing technologists, manufacturing experts and print production professionals, the FuturePrint Conference will provide a forum for knowledge exchange, discussion and high-level networking.

According to Marcus Timson, codirector of FuturePrint, “As vaccines begin to tip the balance in the war against the virus, confidence will return and a spike in demand for goods across sectors will become fierce.”

He believes digital print technology has a key role to play in enabling businesses to optimize their performance in the coming boom: “But investing in the right technology to solve the right problems is critical. We must make the best choices.”

The two-day FuturePrint program will feature insights from more than 40 innovators from the world of print technology.

Educational Sessions

Some of the sessions planned for the FuturePrint event include:

The Year of Adaptability
Speaker: Marcus Timson of FuturePrint

EcoLeaf: Sustainable Metalization-A Revolution in Packaging
Speaker: Dario Urbinati of ACTEGA Metal Print

Adapting by Adopting Digital: Inkjet Technology for Changing Market Demands
Speaker: Taylor Buckthorpe of Colordyne Technologies

Digital Packaging Production — Lessons Learned and Looking Ahead
Speakers: Frazer Chesterman of FuturePrint and Francois Martin of Bobst

Sustainable Corrugated Packaging with HP Digital Solutions
Speakers: Karis Copp of FuturePrint and Eviatar Halevi of HP

Differentiate with Digital: Focus on Flexibility
Speakers: Frazer Chesterman of FuturePrint and Matt Brooks of IncaDigital

High-End Direct-to-Substrate Proofing and Prototyping for Packaging: A Customer Case Study
Speakers: Stephan Heinjens of Mutoh, Heiner Mueller of CGS Publishing, and Phil Walmsley of Waldo LTD

Digital Printing on Decor Paper for Laminate Production Using Water-Based Pigment Inks
Speakers: Frazer Chesterman of FuturePrint and Marc Graindourze of Agfa

Challenge of Customization for Print Production
Speakers: Roland Biemans of LMNS, Carten Brinkmeyer of Hymmen, Koen Santesgoeds of Integration Technology, and Stefan Van Waalwuk Van Doorn of TNO Holst Centre

Strange Times: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace the Pandemic
Speaker: Rob Karsten of Phoseon

Profit in Textiles: File-Click-Print
Speaker: Phil McMullin of Epson Pro Graphics

The Future is Sustainable and PVC Free
Speaker: Nova Abbott of Taya

Inside the Tornado: The Opportunity for Inkjet
Speakers: Marcus Timson of Future Print and Dave Gray and Dave Varty of Ricoh

Demonstrating DodXact’s Capabilities for Flexible Multi-Project Support and Testing of Industrial Inkjet Fluids
Speaker: Mark Bale of DodXact

B2B Print Buying: How It is Changing – ERP/CRM Integration
Speakers: Kelvin Bell and Milo Ferchow of Vpress

Will Software Actually Drive Success for Your Volume Printing
Speakers: Pat McGrew of McGrew Group, Johnathan Malone-McGrew of Solimar Systems, and Jamie Walsh of Solimar

Hybrid Industrial Inkjet: U.S. Case Studies Decor/Label
Speakers: Karis Copp of FuturePrint and Graham Vlcek of Industrial Inkjet

Exploring the Life of an Ink
Speakers: Simon Daplyn and Phil Jackman of Sun Chemical

Pushing the Boundaries of What’s Possible
Speakers: Kate Black of Meta Additive and Graham Tweedle of Xaar plc

Introducing Crystal Decorating for Glass Decoration
Speaker: Anthony Carignano of ACTEGA North America Technologies

The Best Way to Buy Software: And It’s Not Price!
Speaker: Pat McGrew of McGrew Group

For More Information

Click here to see the full schedule of sessions, including live panel discussions and networking events.

Registration is free. To reserve your spot, click here and submit you email.

The FuturePrint conference is organized by FM Future, an independent business development and communications consultancy based in the UK.

Online Printing Education Opportunities in December 2020 and January 2021

Online opportunities to learn about evolving print business practices and technologies continue through January, 2021.

Event organizers at ISA, drupa, and PRINTING United Alliance have scheduled new events. Plus, you can watch replays of all of the presentations at the FuturePrint Virtual Summit until December 20 and all of the PRINTING United DIgital Experience sessions through January 31. Scroll down to see New Events and On-Demand Replays.

New Events

ISA’s The Link: Soft Signage
December 8-9, 2020
Organized by the International Sign Association

Learn how digitally printing fabric signs and displays (“soft signage”) can help grow your graphics, sign, or visual communications business. Expert will cover the ins and outs of the soft signage market and explore ways you can increase profit by entering this space.

Printers, fabricators, suppliers and distributors will share insights, tips and resources related to fabric selection, equipment required to make soft signage, installation methods, and best practices. See live demonstrations in the exhibitor showcases and enjoy networking opportunities with other participants. There is no fee to register. Visit:

Digital Textile Printing 2020 conference logo

Digital Textile Printing Conference
December 9-10, 2020
Organized by the PRINTING United Alliance
and American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC)

Key trends and technologies in digitally printed textiles. Morning and afternoon sessions highlight the latest on automation, color management, sustainability, state of the industry, supply chain, and more

Ray Weiss, director, Digital Print Programs, PRINTING United Alliance, and Kerry King, senior VP R&D, Spoonflower, will host the event.

Speakers include:

  • Andy Arkin, strategic account manager, Industrial Segments, Zünd America
  • Andy Paparozzi, chief economist, PRINTING United Alliance
  • Chad Bolick, business development, Unifi Manufacturing Inc.
  • Dan Gillespie, director of Technical Services, Alder Technology
  • David Clark, business development manager, Inks, Huntsman Textile Effects
  • Frank Henderson, President, Henderson Sewing Co.
  • Jaime Herand, VP, Graphics Operations, Orbus Exhibit and Display Group
  • Kimmy Schenter, global color operations, Design, Nike
  • Lewis Shuler, senior R&D manager, Fabric/Color/Print, Old Navy
  • Luke Harris, VP of Manufacturing, Solid Stone Fabrics
  • Ray Weiss, director, Digital Print Programs, PRINTING United Alliance
  • Raylene Marasco, founder, DYE-NAMIX
  • Ron Ciccone, director of Digital Services, Roysons Corp.
  • Will Duncan, CEO, WDA, and executive director, SEAMS Association

“While we cannot meet together in person this year, we are looking forward to bringing this exemplary program to the homes and offices of all involved in digital textile printing,” said Weiss. “Our speaker lineup is second to none. We look forward to offering attendees actionable and usable programming and content in the current business climate.”

For the complete agenda and to register for the event, visit

Drupa Previews
December 18, 2020
Organized by Messe Dusseldorf

On October 27, drupa opened an online conference area, exhibition space, and networking plaza where you can learn more about the topics and products that will be presented at the hybrid (virtual/live event) drupa trade fair scheduled for April 20-28 in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Each month’s preview day features live web sessions during which you can chat with the scheduled. The next live preview day will take place December 18, 2020. Registered visitors can view replays of the sessions from the first two preview days held October 27 and November 17.

Presentations currently available include:

  • The inkjet revolution in digital production
  • Inspection systems in flexible packaging
  • Trends in retail and packaging
  • Print in a digital world: through intelligent linkage to return on investment
  • Additive production technologies and options for smart packaging
  • The value of print in multi-channel publishing

In the “Exhibition Space” you can preview some of the products and innovations that will be featured in the live drupa exhibition areas. Meetings with company representatives can be scheduled through the “Networking Plaza”. These networking options allow companies and interested parties to establish live online contact in advance of the live event in April 2021.

“Even in times of crisis we can offer solutions to keep the industries interacting and networking,” explained Erhard Wienkamp, COO, Messe Dusseldorf. “We are working intensively on strengthening global communications not only through our local events, but also be expanding new virtual formats.”

“From now on, it is our goal to create a hybrid concept,” said Sabine Galdermann, Project Director of Print Technologies for drupa. She says they would like to achieve the best of both a digital event and a live event.

On-Demand Replays of October Events

FuturePrint Virtual Summit Logo

FuturePrint Virtual Summit
Organized by FM Future

Replays of the 79 talks presented during the second FuturePrint Virtual Summit (October 12-15) are available through December 20, 2020 on the event website: .

Access is free, but registration is required.

Sessions covered trends and technologies in industrial print, wide format print, packaging and labels, and commercial print. A full day of sessions was devoted to “Young Guns in Print.” This day of programming featured sessions led by young printpreneurs and was devoted to the 57% of FuturePrint Virtual Summit attendees who were between the ages of 18 and 35.

According to event organizations, the two most popular sessions attracted more than 700 attendees each. These sessions were:

Xaar: The New Roadmap for Inkjet
Speaker: John Mills, CEO, Xaar

Nanography: Where Print Meets the Future Today
Speaker: Nick Clements, Strategic Business Planner, Landa Digital Printing

Other sessions discussed

  • The Rise, Fall, and Restructuring of the Print Economy in 2020
  • The Essential Sales Channel in 2020: How to Win New Clients on LinkedIn
  • Software: The Key to Successful Adaptation
  • Direct to Object: Introducing Actega Decorating
  • COVID and the Silver Lining for Production Print
  • Global Design and Digital Wallcoverings
  • The Mystery of Pricing
  • The Future of Flexible Packaging
  • Why Digital Print for Corrugated Packaging

The October, 2020 version of the FuturePrint Virtual Summit was attended by 3,908 people from over 80 countries. This is up from the 1,550 people from 65 countries who attended the inaugural FuturePrint Summit in June, 2020.

PRINTING United Digital Experience
Presented by PRINTING United Alliance and NAPCO Media

All programming from the PRINTING United Digital Experience (Oct. 26-Nov. 12) is now available on-demand through January 31, 2021. It is completely free to those who register. Visit:

Choose to watch more than 100 educational sessions and over 40 product launches and demonstrations. Many sessions address market trends for 2021 and present ideas for growing your business in the post-COVID economy.

Market segments across the industry were represented, including: graphics and wide-format; apparel; commercial; packaging; in-plant; mailing and fulfillment; workflow and software; industrial; and digital textile. 

Sessions include:

  • Panel Discussion: Making Capital Investments in the Shadow of COVID-19
  • Panel Discussion: Driving Profitability and Efficiency in Apparel Decorating
  • Keynote: Opportunities Enabled by Post COVID by Production Inkjet Printing
  • Keynote: Trends and Opportunities in Labels and Flexible Packaging
  • Panel Discussion: The Science and Skill of Graphics Installation
  • Panel Discussion: In-Plant Trends in the Midst of the Pandemic
  • Keynote: Thrive in a Transformative Marketplace with the Latest Sheetfed Offset Technology
  • Keynote: Trends and Opportunities in Folding Cartons and Corrugated
  • Panel Discussion: Emerging Direct Mail Trends for COVID-19 and Beyond
  • Panel Discussion: Effective Selling through Online Portals
  • Panel Discussion: The Rise of E-Commerce in Apparel Printing
  • Keynote: Electrophotography- Digital Print of the Past and Future
  • Keynote: Industrial Print -What’s Hot and Where is it Headed?
  • Panel Discussion: Textiles and Color Assurance

More than 8,200 registrants from 5,700 companies in 108 countries engaged with the PRINTING United Digital Experience platform during the 14 business days of programming. Registrants watched more than 7,500 hours of video and accounted for more than 100,000 pageviews.

Daily Guides developed by NAPCO editorial teams provide attendees a deep-dive into each
market segment day’s schedule and are accessible at

In addition to the schedule of educational sessions and research that is available
on-demand to attendees, the Guides contain an overview and editorial featuring a closer look
at companies championing the technology within each market.

“We are incredibly thankful to those who participated both as exhibitors and attendees to this powerful platform,” said Mark J. Subers, president of PRINTING United. “We encourage those searching for the latest statistics and trends, and for those considering new technology implementation, to bookmark this site and take advantage of the invaluable content. Stay tuned for even more resources and programming to come!”

PRINTING United Digital Experience Highlights Growth Opportunities

Registration is now open for the online PRINTING United Digital Experience Oct. 26 – Nov. 12. There is no charge to attend the three weeks of live, guided programming, educational sessions, and panel discussions. Attendees can also view product launches, get 24/7 access to the Exhibitor Product Showcase and virtual booths, and speak with exhibitor reprensentatives.

PRINTING United Digital Experience logo

Insights from leading analysts, researchers, subject matter experts, equipment manufacturers, and suppliers will enable printing companies and their employees to understand the current landscape, optimize recovery, and see the latest technology to drive their businesses forward.

Each of the 14 days of programming will run from 10 am to 2 pm ET and spotlight the specific market segments below. Each day’s program will include a summary of industry research, a keynote address, global product debuts, new product demonstrations, and educational sessions.

Week 1

October 26: Graphics/Wide-Format – Hardware and Consumables
October 27: Apparel – Screen Printing/Decorating
October 28: Commercial Printing – Digital Inkjet
October 29: Packaging – Labels and Flexible Packaging
October 30: Graphics/Wide-Format – Finishing and Workflow

Week 2

November 2: In-Plant Forum
November 3: Commercial – Offset Printing
November 4: Packaging – Folding Carton and Corrugated
November 5: Mailing and Fulfillment
November 6: Workflow and Software – All segments

Week 3

November 9: Apparel – Direct-to-Garment/Direct-to-Substate
November 10: Commercial Printing – Digital Dry and Liquid Toner
November 11: Industrial
November 12: Digital Textile

“In creating all aspects of the event, we were mindful to offer education at no cost to the industry,” said Mark J. Subers, president of PRINTING United. He points out that companies that are usually limited to sending only a handful of employees to the in-person Expo due to budget constraints can make world-class education available to every employee of their company, regardless of their position or years of experience.

Attendees of the PRINTING United Digital Experience can listen to panel discussions about market trends and hear how companies have navigated the pandemic and are planning for the future.

Growth Opportunities

As the industry looks ahead to 2021, many sessions will present research into areas companies should consider for future growth.

“We recently asked our 450-member COVID-19 Print Business Indicators Panel where they see opportunity in the years ahead,” says Andy Paparozzi, Chief Economist, PRINTING United Alliance. “Offering a diversified line of products and services was near the top of the list. In fact, a number told us diversification has been the difference maker for them during the COVID crisis and will continue to be the difference maker long after the crisis has passed.”

“Every printing company should investigate the long-term benefits of diversification,” adds Paparozzi. Once your company decides diversification is a good strategy, sessions at the PRINTING United Digital Experience can help answer two key questions: In which directions should I diversify? And how do I diversify profitably?’

The PRINTING United Digital Experience offers insight from industry leaders Marco Boer and David Zwang that focus on convergence considerations in direct-to-garment printing, commercial printing, digital textile printing, graphics/wide-format, high-speed production inkjet, industrial printing, mailing and fulfillment, and packaging.

The PRINTING United Digital Experience opening day research industry outlook, presented by analyst Lisa Cross, dives into trends in buyer markets, addresses the rise of pandemic products, and offers insight into what to expect in 2021.

Keynote Addresses

The opening day keynote address being presented by IDC’s Tim Greene. He will focus on how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the face of the wide-format graphics sector and how the industry has responded. Session attendees can learn how to capitalize on the “new normal.” Some other keynote sessions include:

Establishing Today’s Successful Screen Printing Business
Presenter: Marshall Atkinson, Atkinson Consulting
Tues., Oct. 27

Opportunities Enabled Post-COVID by Production Inkjet Printing
Presenter: Marco Boer, IT Strategies
Wed., Oct. 28

Building a Manufacturing Mindset
Presenters: Ryan McAbee and Eric Zimmerman, Keypoint Intelligence
Fri. Oct. 30

Workflow and Automation: From Date Night to Marriage
Presenter: Pat McGrew, McGrew Group
Fri., Nov. 6

How Sustainability is Driving the Next Generation of Fashion
Presenter: Debbie McKeegan, Texintel
Mon., Nov. 9

Electrophotography – Digital Print of the Past and Future!
Presenter: David Zwang, Zwang & Company
Tues., Nov. 10

Business, Human Resources, and Goverment Relations Sessions

PRINTING United Digital Experience programming supplements technology-centric education with sessions covering HR-related issues, environmental and safety, government regulations and marketing and sales. A sample of programming in these areas include:

COVID-19 Updates and Impact on Your Workforce
Presented by Adriane Harrison, PRINTING United Alliance

Air Permitting for Inkjet Presses
Presented by Gary Jones, PRINTING United Alliance

Is Your Safety Program COVID-19 Compliant?
Presented by Marci Kinter, PRINTING United Alliance  

USPS: The Politics of Logistics and Delivery on Capitol Hill
Presented by Lisbeth Lyons, PRINTING United Alliance

How to Research New Markets
Presented by David Zwang, Zwang & Co. 

Product Launches

Major printing equipment manufacturers and software developers are preparing to launch new technology on a worldwide state for the first time in 2020.

Attendees can expect to see nwe technology from

  • Canon
  • Fujifilm
  • Heidelberg
  • HP
  • Kodak
  • Konica Minolta
  • Rochester Software Associates
  • Ricoh
  • Roland DGA
  • Standard Finishing Systems
  • Xeikon

“We built the PRINTING United Digital Experience to keep the industry united and moving forward. We also provide an elevated stage for companies to debut the products they have worked so hard to bring to maket this year,” said Subers. “During a year when launching new products has been a real challenge, we are thrilled to learn about the new technology that will be featured on the PRINTING United Digital Experience platform from companies around the world.”

To register, visit

About PRINTED United Alliance

PRINTING United Alliance is the new organization formed by the 2020 merger of the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) and Printing Industries of America (PIA).

PRINTING United Alliance also produces the PRINTING United Expo, an expansive display of technology and supplies, education, programming, and services representing all segments of the printing industry. The next live PRINTING UNITED Expo will be held October 6-8, 2021 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL.