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 https://digital.printingunited.com/

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.

PRINT 19 to Recognize RED HOT Technologies

APTech has announced the the return of the RED HOT Technology Recognition Program at PRINT 19 in Chicago (McCormick Place North, October 3-5). The RED HOT Technology Recognition Program highlights “what’s new” on the show floor, by showcasing publishing and printing technology, equipment, or services that have come to market within the past 12 months.

RED HOT Technologies will be recognized in 10 categories:

  • Analog presses and add-on devices
  • Color management, prepress, and pre-media
  • Consumables and substrates
  • Digital production printing devices
  • Imprinting, mailing, shipping and fulfillment
  • Marketing and multi-channel solutions
  • Post-press, specialty, and finishing
  • Sales and management systems
  • Wide-format digital printing devices

Each of the RED HOT Technologies identified at a show may also be eligible to win one of three RED HOT Vanguard Awards:

  • The RED HOT Vanguard Awards recognize products that may be industry game-changers.
  • The RED HOT Collaboration Awards recognize innovative new products that result from a collaboration among different manufacturers.
  • The RED HOT Pioneer Award will be given to a product that is the first of its kind or entirely new to the industry.

“The RED HOT program showcases ‘what’s new’ without judgement,” explains Thayer Long, president of APTech. “The Vanguard Awards recognize technology that breaks new ground, opening new markets and business opportunities that the industry needs.”

Produced by the Association for PRINT Technologies (APTech), PRINT 19 will feature an array of printing equipment and technology and 80+ educational sessions including hands-on labs,

Why the SGIA Expo Has an Entrepreneurial Vibe

It’s not surprising that the SGIA Expo has become one of the largest printing trade shows in the U.S. This show floor features endless opportunities for print-business entrepreneurs who understand that “printing” today is about much more than putting words and pictures on paper.

SGIA-Expo2016Digital printing is alive and well and enabling the production of all sorts of products, including: customized garments; custom labels and packaging; graphics-wrapped vehicles; fast fashion; print-on-demand wallcoverings; interactive clothing and other objects; photo gifts and merchandise; promotional products; and unique environments for stores, restaurants, hotels, healthcare facilities, schools, and offices.

The 2016 SGIA Expo September 14-16 in Las Vegas attracted more than 24,000 visitors. About 65 percent were currently involved in graphics printing or installation, 25 percent were garment decorators, 9 percent were involved with industrial printing, and 2 percent were working with in the emerging field of printed electronics for the Internet of Things.

Roughly, 46 percent of the 2016 SGIA Expo visitors were first-time attendees. For example Kathy Gonzalez of Dancing Dog Productions said, “I bought my shop four months ago, and I’m completely new.” She said the experts at SGIA education sessions were helpful and knowledgeable: “The wealth of information is amazing.”

What Makes SGIA Expo Different?

The SGIA Expo is organized by an association that began as the Screenprinting and Graphic Imaging Association. When wide-format printing equipment was first introduced, most screen-printing companies were already involved with producing relatively short runs of garments, advertising graphics, vehicle markings, art reproductions, textiles, glassware, ceramics, and promotional products.

In 2003, after merging with the Digital Printing and Imaging (DPI) Association, SGIA rebranded itself as the Specialty Graphics and Imaging Association. Today, SGIA welcomes any business that uses digital and/or analog printing processes to create new products or enhance existing ones.

The leaders of SGIA include entrepreneurs who were among the first to build businesses around wide-format inkjet printing. As early adopters of the first slow, low-resolution color wide-format inkjet printers, SGIA and DPI members dealt with the technical glitches that come with any new technology. They also had to show customers what these early wide-format and superwide-format inkjet printers could do.

With support from the printer and media manufacturers, SGIA members developed the demand for digitally printed large-format graphics in fields as diverse as outdoor advertising, fine art reproduction, retail displays, trade-show graphics, museum exhibitions, interior decor, and staged events. When competition within one market segment intensified, SGIA members simply diversified into a different niche or market segment.

Some long-time SGIA members started out as commercial photo labs or prepress service bureaus. They started producing large-format graphics when the demand for film processing and film-based color separations began to decline.

Now, representatives of commercial printing companies come to SGIA Expo to find large-format graphics printing equipment that can help them offset the declining demand for large print runs of marketing collateral and other documents.

Printing Entrepreneurs Enable Other Entrepreneurs

SGIA Expo also attracts owners of digital printing start-ups that don’t have any previous experience in printing.

Some of these entrepreneurs are using wide-format printing systems and digital presses to fulfill online orders for small runs of customized products, such as custom-designed wallpaper, T-shirts, or gift wrap.  With their web-to-print operations, some start-up printing firms are creating new-business opportunities for photographers, designers, and artists who want to license their images or launch their own brands of products.

In Search of The Next Big Thing

Entrepreneurs understand that a business model that works today might easily be disrupted within a year or two. New businesses must find ways to become efficient and profitable fast while keeping abreast of opportunities to grow and differentiate their companies.

So, you never know what type of technology or materials you might find at SGIA Expo. In the short time I spent in the SGIA Expo aisles, I saw:

—Massivit’s large-format 3D printer for making props and objects for use in visual merchandising, themed environments, and outdoor advertising;

—Durst’s 5-meter Rhotex 500 inkjet fabric printer for companies that want to make gigantic backdrops for theaters, arenas, concert venues, trade shows, and public spaces.

—Digital signs showing 3D content (without requiring the viewer to wear glasses);

—On-demand box-making equipment for shipping print-on-demand products; and

—A preview of Canon’s innovative UVgel printing technology for roll-to-roll printers.

–Automated finishing equipment that can convert printed corrugated boards into three-dimensional displays.

Judging from the number of first-time attendees and diversity of the exhibitors, the SGIA Expo has earned a reputation as a printing show for entrepreneurs and early adopters.

“The SGIA Expo has provided a dramatic increase in new customer opportunities for us,” reports Chris Guyett of Durst Image Technology US LLC. “The attendees we were able to speak with showed great interest and desire to build their business with Durst.”

James Raffel, CEO of ColorMetrix Technologies LLC told SGIA Expo organizers, “You guys are on fire — this marketplace is full of opportunity right now.”

The 2017 SGIA Expo will be held October 10-12 at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center.

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Graph Expo Preview: Must See ‘Ems and Executive Outlook Conference

Even in this age of “printvergence,” printing-related trade shows continue to have different audiences, cultures, and traditions. In this Graph Expo preview, let’s look at two outstanding traditions: the MUST SEE ‘EM Awards for innovative products and the Executive Outlook pre-show conference. Together, these traditions make it easier to understand what new products are most exciting at the show and why they are being introduced.

Graph Expo

PrintGraph Expo is the largest print-centric trade-show in the Americas. Graph Expo 16 will be held September 25-28 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

Here, you’ll see products and services related to inkjet, digital, offset, flexo, gravure, and hybrid printing. And, you can network with attendees from a variety of fields, including: commercial, transactional, package, and in-plant printing; mailing; publishing; marketing; and signage and display.

Graph Expo is produced by the Graphic Arts Show Company (GASC) for multiple printing-related trade associations.

2016 MUST SEE ‘EMS

To help show-goers learn about some of the most innovative new products, the Graphic Arts Show Company publishes a list of “MUST SEE ‘EMS.” The list is compiled by a committee of anonymous industry experts. They evaluate and rate new products submitted for consideration by Graph Expo exhibitors.

MustSeeems_2016The 2016 MUST SEE ‘EMS in 11 major categories are listed below and will be described in detail during a free webinar on August 25 at 1 pm EDT:

Sales and Order Entry

Infigo Software Ltd.: Catfish-Mega-Edit

Pixopa: Web-to-Print Solutions

Radix Software Services: Unified W2P Advanced B2B nConnect

Prepress and Premedia

CGS Publishing Technologies: ORIS Flex Pack // Web Visualizer

Electronics for Imaging: Optitex Collaborate

Ultimate TechnoGraphics: Impostrip Automation v10 AutoNesting

Xerox: Xerox FreeFlow Core version 5.0

Xerox: Xerox FreeFlow Digital Publisher

Color Management and Quality Control

Canon U.S.A.: PRISMAsync Color Print Server – G7 Calibration

Electronics for Imaging: EFI Fiery Color Profiler Suite G7 Calibration and Verification

Lake Image Systems: Discovery Roll Inspector

Variable, Transaction, and Multi-Channel

Electronics for Imaging: EFI Digital Marketing Automation Platform

HP Inc.: Link Technology

XMPie, a Xerox Company: Campaigns on Demand

Pressroom: Analog Presses

RYOBI MH Graphic Technology: RMGT 920ST-5-A+LED-UV

Pressroom: Digital Presses

Canon U.S.A.: Océ VarioPrint i300

Electronics for Imaging: EFI Nozomi C18000

HP Inc.: HP Indigo 12000 Digital Press

HP Inc.: HP PageWide Web Press T390 HD

MGI USA: Meteor Unlimited Colors Press Series

Xeikon: Trillium One

Xerox: Xerox Brenva HD Production Inkjet Press

Pressroom: Wide-Format

Electronics for Imaging: EFI AquaEndure Inks

Electronics for Imaging: EFI Armor Erase UV Coating

Epson America: Epson SureColor S80600

Postpress and In-line Finishing

C.P. Bourg: Bourg Preparation Module

MGI USA: JET Varnish 3D Evolution

Scodix: Scodix Ultra Pro Digital Print Enhancement Platform with Scodix Foil

Imprinting, Mailing, Shipping and Fulfillment

BCC Software: Integratec API Platform

Neopost USA: MACH 6

Neopost USA: Neopost AS-650

Solimar Systems: Inkjet Mailing and Efficiency Solution

Management Systems

Electronics for Imaging: EFI and Esko Integrated Workflow for Digital Packaging

Electronics for Imaging: EFI Corrugated Packaging Suite

HP Inc.: Print OS

Xerox Direct to Object Inkjet Printer can print on three-dimensional objects.
Xerox Direct to Object Inkjet Printer can print on three-dimensional objects up to 1 cubic foot in size.

The Future of Print

MGI USA: AIS SmartScanner

PrinterPresence: PrinterPresence App for Zapier

Xerox: Xerox Direct-to-Object Printer

Executive Outlook Conference

At the Executive Outlook Conference from 8 am to noon on Sunday, September 25, the “Best of Category” winners in each of these categories will be revealed. A “Legacy Award” will be given to a previous MUST SEE ‘EM award winner that has had a lasting and profound impact on the graphic communication industry.

The Executive Outlook Conference is a fast-paced overview of technologies and marketing trends that are affecting the printing business. Experts provide up-to-the-minute economic and marketing information and technological reports that can give you a better understanding of the huge range of products and services you will see in the Graph Expo show floor.

“Finding New Markets” is the theme of this year’s Executive Outlook Conference. Hal Hinderliter, principal of Hal Hinderliter Consulting Services, will talk about “Finding New Markets: At Home and Abroad.”

Keynote presenter Doug Grant, president of Westamerica Communications, will talk about “Winning the Omni-Channel Challenge: Inside Westamerica’s Journey.”

Nick Bruno, owner and president of Harris & Bruno International, will discuss “Breaking Barriers: Doing Business Internationally.”

Clemson University instructor Erica Walker will give “The ROI Report: The Case for Offering Creative Services In-House.”

Gary Rikes, president of SproutLoud Media Networks, will be interviewed about “Creative Success in an Omni-Channel World.”

Other speakers include: Thayer Long, president of GASC, Andrew Paparozzi, Chief Economist, Idealliance, Cary Sherburne, senior editor of WhatTheyThink.com.

The Executive Outlook Conference concludes with the presentation of the 2016 Positively Print Award. The award honors companies that are promoting the power of print in the media mix.