Commentary & Analysis
SGIA Expo Heads to Atlanta
A plethora of educational opportunities, a packed show floor, and new product introductions are on tap for this ever-growing show.
By Richard Romano
Published: October 26, 2015
The annual SGIA Expo heads to Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center November 4–6 for its biennial East Coast appearance, with additional programs slated for Tuesday, November 3 before the Expo officially kicks off. The SGIA Expo covers the gamut of everything that can be considered “specialty graphics,” from traditional screen and pad printing to the latest wide-format, textile, and industrial printing technologies.
Interested in vehicle wrapping? Each day of the show, PDAA Master Certified Instructor Shane Courtney conducts a “Wrap Like a Pro” hands-on workshop for beginner to intermediate vehicle wrappers. For those who are ready to take their wrapping to the next level, there is “Extreme Vehicle Wrapping,” presented by Rob Ivers, that focuses on more complex wrapping projects.
Interested in printed electronics? Tuesday and Wednesday will feature the annual Printed Electronics Symposium, two days’ worth of sessions exploring a wide variety of topics related to additive printing and manufacturing—some of which can be highly technical—but one that caught my eye was “An Inside Look at the Stretchable Electronic Ink Enabling Truly Manufacturable Clothing,” presented by Michael Burrows of DuPont Electronics and Communications. Wearable electronics is a hot topic, especially in the context of “the Internet of Things.”
Interested in industrial printing? Tuesday and Wednesday will feature the first-ever Industrial Symposium, an overview of the technologies used for industrial printing as well as application opportunities and production strategies. New wide-format printing technologies like flatbed UV are making digital inkjet printing more and more suitable for industrial printing, printing that is done as part of a manufacturing process.
SGIA’s Rick Hartwig, a WhatTheyThink contributor, will also be conducting a 10-Hour OSHA Training Workshop, providing tips for employee health and safety and how to prevent accidents, as well as detailed information on understanding industry-specific OSHA regulations and compliance.
On Tuesday afternoon, SGIA is presenting a half-day workshop called “Wide Format 101: Four Steps to Profitability,” a guide to entering and succeeding in the wide-format inkjet market. SGIA’s Dan Marx begins with an introduction to wide-format printing, Colormetrix’s Jim Raffel talks about color management specific to wide-format, consultant David Goetter discusses finishing techniques, and MarketKing’s David King tells you how to price and sell wide-format output. It’s a soup-to-nuts look at the technology and the business of wide-format.
Thursday morning, bestselling author, standup comedian, and “influence expert” Garrison Wynn delivers the Expo’s keynote at a breakfast event titled “Influence and Value: Sales, Leadership and Changing Markets.” Wynn’s presentation will answer four essential questions: How do you get people to do what you want them to do? How can you make sure people see your personal value and the value of what you have to offer? How can you quickly adapt to changes in the imaging industry and help others overcome their resistance to change? And how can different generations help each other succeed? Wynn is said to put on a pretty good show, that is both entertaining and informative.
Every year, the SGIA Expo’s show floor keeps getting bigger—and not just because output is getting bigger. Serendipity is often the primary advantage of wandering the show floor, but for those with limited time—and even three days might not be enough time to take it all in—start with the show floor map and exhibitor list. Also take advantage of the various education zones—free (and sales-free) educational sessions—on the show floor. This year’s zones include the Digital Textile Printing Zone, the Garment Zone, and the Sustainability Zone.
Also on the show floor, there will be a number of new product announcements—some I can tell you about in advance, others I could but people would have me killed (NDAs are getting stricter and stricter). Inca Digital—whose Eagle 44 kicked off the flatbed wide-format market back in 2001—just announced the Onset X Series of large-format, flatbed UV inkjet printers (sold globally by Fujifilm). Mimaki just announced two new printers which will be making their debut at the Expo: the UJF-7151 production UV-LED flatbed printer and the TX300P direct-to-textile printer. And Oki will be showing off the ColorPainter line of solvent and eco-solvent wide-format printers, recently acquired from Seiko.
There will be more announcements during the course of the show. WhatTheyThink will be reporting from the show so be sure to check our dedicated SGIA Expo show page here.