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.

Multiple Print Industry Online Events Scheduled in October and November

Organizations that typically host live print industry conferences and trade shows in the spring and fall pivoted to a slew of online events in the fall of 2020. Below are some of the print industry online events planned in October and November to help printing, graphics, and visual communications professionals make new connections, learn about new products, and gear up for a better 2021.

Scroll down to learn about events planned by the following organizations:

  • FM Future
  • APTech
  • Smithers
  • PRINTING UNTIED Alliance
  • International Sign Association

FuturePrint Virtual Summit
October 12-16, 2020

Hosted by FM Future

Week-long event includes 120 speakers from 15 countries delivering more than 70 sessions. Each day will feature education and networking in a specific categegory:

October 12: Young Guns in Print
October 13: Industrial Print
October 14: Wide Format Print
October 15: Packaging and Labels
October 16: Commercial Print

John Mills, CEO of Xaar, will outline how Xaar’s new bulk printhead will enable equipment manufacturers to push the boundaries of what’s possible with powerful, reliable, and efficient inkjet technology.

Global retail innovation expert Steve Lister will provide up-to-the-minute insights of what is happening in retail and how it could affect companies that produce retail-related print.

Georgia Parker, Innovation Manager of Fashion for Good, will talk about how digital is accelerating sustainable innovation in the fashion industry,

Nick Landa of Landa Digital Printing will take you on a tour of a Nanographic printing press and explain why its different than any other print process.

Young print entrepreneurs and other young print-industry professionals will help business owners learn how to make print-related careers a more attractive and deliberate choice for the next generation.

Other sessions will provide

  • updates on ink developments
  • a 2040 forecast for the packaging industry,
  • high-speed inkjet printing
  • the mysteries of pricing
  • multi-material inkjet 3D printing
  • new opportunities with 3D sublimation printing

Leading PRINT Summit
October 13, 2020

Hosted by Association for PRINT Technologies (APTech)
Fee: Free for members, $79 for non-members

Four-hour program (11 am to 3 pm ET) on post-COVID-shutdown business operations focuses on four key areas impacted by 2020 disruptive events: Culture, Operations, Sales, Business Development, and Customer Dynamics.

In a headline session on Print 5.0, print-industry expert and author Frank Romano will discuss how printing is evolving in 2020 and beyond. APTech’s Ken Garner will discuss the quest for the elusive, sustainable competitive advantage. Consultant Leslie Groene will talk about sales management for the new reality.

Other speakers will discuss how to

  • recalibrate your business to thrive in challenging times
  • navigate customer dynamics to develop a competitive position
  • prepare for our next-generation industry leaders, and
  • nurture and convert leads to sales.


Digital Print for Packaging US
October 12-14, 2020

Hosted by Smithers
Fee: $399

Online event for brand owners, converters, printing equipment suppliers, and packaging designers. Content will focus on the market need for digital print from the brand’s perspective.

Stephen Kaufman, Chief Product Officer for Esko, will discuss how workflows and color management can solve real problems.
Rob Day, CEO of Tonejet, will discuss Tonejet’s first end-to-end beverage can printing system that went live at the end of 2019.
Alexis Tonneau, Project Manager of Kurz, will discuss how to combine attractive package design and sustainability.

Other sessions will cover topics such as:

  • the efficient production of digital preprint for corrugated packaging
  • special requirements for pigments used for package printing
  • designs for canabis packaging
  • emerging technologies such as NFC, ioT, and AR cam will enable greater efficiencies in strategic packaging management
  • leveraging digital print to create one-of-a-kind customer experiences
  • how artificial intelligence can automate design for digital print projects

Case studies look at some of the pros and cons of integrating digital printing capabilities into an analog flexographic printing line and digitl designs for folding cartons printed on high-speed inkjet presses.

In addition to attending live and recorded presentations, you can join live Q&A sessions and/or facilitated virtual networking rooms.

Digital Textile Printing US
October 15-16, 2020

Hosted by Smithers
Fee: $399

High-level insights from textile printers, end users, fashion designers, retail brands, and equipment manufacturers, suppliers, and technology providers. Live and recorded sessions will focus on how business models, technology , and collaboration can accelerate the commercial adoption of digital print for textiles.

Speakers include: Gart Davis, CEO & Co-founder of Spoonflower; Luca Zaconi, Director of Raw Materials Print, Lululemon Athletica; Jena Nesbitt, Product Strategy Director, Pine Crest Fabrics; Reid Lutter, CEO and Founder, PodiumWear Custom Sports Apparel; Francesca Rosella, Chief Creative Director and Co-Founder, CuteCircuit; and Jessica Schreiber, Founder & CEO at FABSCRAP; Scott Aitken, Managing Director, SPGPrints.

Sessions will cover topics such as:

  • how color and the chemical evolutions are affecting new-century printers
  • how digital textile printing is pushing the boundaries of conventional textile printing
  • using digital print and high-end fabrics for team uniforms
  • innovation to fast track the textile industry to a circular future
  • pretreatment and pigment inkjet ink for textile printing
  • sustainability through innovative textile printing solutions
  • the role of testing in evaluating print textiles
  • color and pattern trends for fashion and apparel
  • color lifecycle management in printed textiles

Attend live Q&A sessions and/or facilitated virtual networking rooms.

PRINTING UNITED Digital Experience
October 26-Nov. 12, 2020

Hosted by PRINTING United Alliance and NAPCO Media.

During 14 business days of no-fee programming, print business owners, operations managers, and employees can choose from 100 educational sessions and 40 product launches. Each day will feature a different focus for educational programming and product demonstrations from exhibitors:

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
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
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

Some of the topics the program will cover include:

  • Building a manufacturing mindset for wide-format graphics
  • Opportunities post-COVID in production inkjet printing
  • Wide-format growth markets for 2020 and beyond
  • Thrive in a transformative marketplace with the sheetfed offset technology
  • Trends and opportunities in folding carton and corrugated packaging
  • Workflow and automation: from date night to marriage
  • Dazzling prints with digital embellishments
  • How to research new markets
  • Developing your sales team
  • Direct-to-consumer marketing leadership
  • Emerging direct mail trends for COVID 19 and beyond
  • Establishing today’s successful screen printing business
  • The rise of e-commerce in apparel printing
  • Driving profitability and efficiency in apparel decoration
  • Essential strategies for equipment purchases
  • Facing new competition in core markets
  • How a focus on finishing can help you finish first
  • How commercial offset printers are shrinking turn times to meet short-run demands
  • How high-speed digital production inkjet printing is redefining commercial printing
  • The digital future for labels and flexible packaging
  • By the numbers: KPIs. metrics, and ratios
  • Migrating into industrial printing
  • Modern strategies for stand-out package design
  • Industrial printing: What’s hot and where is it headed
  • In-plant printing trends in the midst of the pandemic
  • Production inkjet printing in the In-plant shop
  • The science and skill of graphics installation
  • Paperboard packaging: differentiation through digital
  • Effective selling through online portals
  • Managing client color expectations
  • How sustainability is driving the next generation of fashion
  • Finding success with digital toner vs. inkjet printing processes
  • Electrophotography-digital print of the past and future
  • Beyond wallpaper: industrial printing for home decor
  • How to build a digital textile business
  • Textiles and color assurance
  • The future of signs and graphics

To see the the full program and register, visit: https://digital.printingunited.com/

The Wrap Experience Digital
November 11-12, 2020

Hosted by the International Sign Association and the Wrap Institute

Networking, education, exhibits, and demonstrations will help wrap installers explore ways to expand into new products and use cutting-edge technologies.

Sessions will focus on design, visualization tools, and upsells such as architectural items, ceramic coatings, vehicle paint protection films (PPF), and more. In the after-hours Speakeasy Area, attendees can connect with some of the wrap industry’s top influencers and shop owners.

Dan Antonelli, of the KickCharge Creative small-business marketing agency, will discuss vehicle wrap design and related brand identity design topics.

The Wrap Institute, co-founded by installer/instructor Justin Pate, is regarded as the world’s top online wrap training program. For the past two years, the Institute brought hands-on instruction to ISA in-person events. In 2020, The Wrap Experience Digital will be part of ISA’s The Link series of virtual events to help sign, graphics and visual communications companies sustain and grow their businesses.

SGIA and PIA Merge to Form Printing United Alliance

Just as new types of printing and multimedia companies have been formed through mergers and acquisitions, long-time printing associations are joining forces to better serve the owners and employees of 21st century printing businesses.

The newest consolidation of associations was announced May 1, 2020 when the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) and the Printing Industries of America (PIA) officially combined to create PRINTING United Alliance. The new alliance is the largest, most comprehensive member-based printing and graphic arts association in the United States.

Members of PRINTING United Alliance will have access to extensive education, training, workshops, events, and research as well as government and legislative representation and guidance on safety and environmental sustainability issues. Plus, PRINTING United Alliance members can tap into the resources of NAPCO Media, which SGIA acquired in August 2019.

SGIA CEO Ford Bowers was elevated to President and CEO of the PRINTING United Alliance. The President and CEO of Printing Industries of America Michael Makin is now the Executive Vice President of the unified organization

“PRINTING United Alliance is a reflection of the invaluable partnerships and industry convergence that has evolved over time,” said Bowers.

“PIA is thrilled to join forces with SGIA, combining resources to serve every segment of the printing industry,” said Makin. “Pooling the extensive talent of both organizations, along with the media expertise of NAPCO Media, is a game-changer.”

Printing United Alliance logo

PRINTING United Alliance brings together two forward-thinking associations that have long histories of adapting to ongoing changes in printing technologies and markets.

SGIA History

Founded as a screen-printing association in 1948, SGIA was among the first to recognize how the evolution of short-run, on-demand printing technologies might affect the graphic, textile, apparel, and product decoration markets traditionally served by screen printing firms. First, they changed their name from the Screen Printing Association to Screen Printing & Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA).

After consolidating the Digital Printing and Imaging Association and the Screen Printing Technical Foundation, the SGIA became the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association and broadened its membership to include early adopters of wide-format digital printing equipment.

Today, SGIA membership includes professionals from multiple types of printing businesses, including industrial, graphic, garment, textile, printed electronics, packaging, and commercial.

In 2019, SGIA acquired NAPCO Media, a business-to-business publishing company serving the printing, packaging, publishing, marketing, retail, non-profit, and promotional products markets. NAPCO builds community between its clients and audiences through integrated media programs, research, video services, events, marketing services, and e-learning.

SGIA worked with NAPCO Media in 2018 and 2019 to produce the first PRINTING United expo, Oct. 23-25 in Dallas, TX. PRINTING United was an immediate hit, attracting more 680 exhibitors and 30,000 attendees from all segments of the printing business.

Since the acquisition, SGIA has operated NAPCO Media as an independent media arm. NAPCO publishes Printing Impressions, Wide-Format Impressions, In-Plant Impressions, and Packaging Impressions. as well as Promo Marketing, and Total Retail.

PIA Background

Founded in 1897, the Printing Industries of America and its local affiliated associations deliver services and products that enhance the knowledge, growth, and profitability of members through advocacy, research, education, and networking.

In 1999, PIA consolidated resources with the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF), the premier research, technical, and education association in the commercial printing industry.

PRINTING United Alliance Board of Directors

The new PRINTING United Alliance board of directors reflects combined leadership from the previous SGIA and PIA boards of directors, and compromises the following industry executives:

  • Chairman of the Board: Scott Crosby, Transcontinental Holland & Crosby;
  • First Vice Chair: Paul Cousineau,Dow Jones and Company, Inc.;
  • Second Vice Chair: Christopher Bernat, Vapor Apparel/Source Substrates LLC;
  • Third Vice Chair: Michael Marcian, Corporate Communications Group;
  • Treasurer: Dean DeMarco, IDL Worldwide;
  • Secretary: Brooke Hamilton, NPI;
  • Immediate Past Chair: Thomas Cooper III, WestRock;
  • Chair of Chairmen’s Advisory Council: Edward Cook, Jr., ECI Screen Print Inc.;
  • Associate Vice Chair: Scott Schinlever, Gerber Technology;
  • Ex Officio: Ford Bowers, President and CEO, PRINTING United Alliance.

Directors at-large include:

  • Brian Adam, Olympus Group;
  • Nick Buettner, American Cut and Sew;
  • Roger Chamberlain, The Cincinnati Insurance Company;
  • Kristen Danson, MitoGraphics Inc.;
  • Chris Feryn, Premier Press;
  • Kevin Gazdag, KG Graphics Décor;
  • Bryan Hall, Graphic Visual Solutions;
  • Lane Hickey-Wiggins, Douglass Screen Printers Inc. dba DPRINT;
  • Brian Hite, Image Options;
  • Michael Magerl, Trabon Group;
  • Brent Moncrief, FUJIFILM;
  • Joseph Olivo, Perfect Communications;
  • Edward Pidcock, Chillybears;
  • Heather Poulin, Ricoh USA;
  • Timothy Saur, Durst Imaging Technology US LLC;
  • Elaine Scrima, GSP Companies;
  • Michael Wagner, Butler Technologies Inc.;
  • and Joseph Lyman, President, Great Lakes Graphics Association, serving as Affiliate manager.

“In this time of consolidation, printer members and the supplier community at large are looking for a unified solution to the challenges they face in this era of rapid change,” said Scott Crosby, Chairman of the Board of PRINTING United Alliance. “The new Association will become the place to find answers for everything related to printing. It is a great honor and privilege for me to serve the industry as we look forward to a new beginning.”

PRINTING United 2020

Meet leaders of PRINTING United Alliance and see the results of their merger by attending the PRINTING United 2020 show October 23-25 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

You can also expect to see the widest array of printing technologies at any U.S. expo, including printing, and finishing equipment, supplies, and prepress and workflow software for commercial, functional, textile, apparel, wide-format, and package printing.

Whether you are seeking printing equipment for an in-plant printing shop or full-service integrated printing and marketing company, you will find plenty of options and ideas at PRINTING United. For more information about the Expo, visit https://www.printingunited.com/

Additional Information Sources

What they Think: Alphabet Soup of Trade Association Mergers by Mark Hahn

Printing Impressions VIDEO: Ford Bowers and Michael Makin Discuss Merger of SGIA and PIA