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Andy Tribute's impressions after day 2 of Graph Expo

Published on October 5, 2010

Andy Tribute: Hi, this is Andy Tribute from WhatTheyThink.com.  I'm here at Graphi Expo.  It’s the second day at Graph Expo and luckily it appears that the people have started to come.  Yesterday was a pretty quiet day and I think probably a lot of people were worried in terms of was this going to be a quiet show like many other things have been recently.  But no, it’s been pretty good today.  There are a lot of people here, a lot of interest.  And I think that it’s showing that the market is picking up, that there have been concerns, particularly when you see some of the big guys, like Heidelberg and Komori have pulled out and many other people have got relatively small stance in comparison to what we’ve been used to.  But basically we are seeing a good response. 

It’s actually interesting; this is a fascinating trade show.  It’s one of the first major trade shows I’ve been to, but I literally have had to search the halls to find an offset press.  They are here, Press Tech’s here and there is also a Chinese press and that’s about it. 

Even the big press vendors who are here, like KBA and Man Roland have not bought presses.  So this is very much a digital show and you’re seeing the rise of digital and the importance of digital in the overall print process. 

And what I’m finding is the printers are starting to change and realizing their business model has to change, whereas, a few years ago, if you talked about printers having to be multiple media communications companies, people looked at you rather strangely.  Now it’s an accepted fact and they are working out how to do that.  And there’s a lot of exhibitors here who are showing exactly what is possible, what tools are there to allow this to happen. 

So I would say that what you are seeing is, this is a show where the internet meets the ink jet or as Frank Romano once said many, many years ago, “Where the World Wide Web meets the wide web press.”  Unfortunately, ink jets aren’t that wide web yet.  But essentially we’re getting to that sort of situation. 

So is it a good show?  Yes, I think it is.  I think it’s one that the organizers will be reasonably happy about having had concerns about how successful it was going to be with some of the big players pulling out.  Have I changed my opinion which I’ve made before about is there a need for Graph Expo?  No, probably not.  I still think it’s unnecessary perhaps to have quite so many shows once a year of this sort of size.  But again, the industry will tell us, the vendors will tell us what sort of responses they are getting.  The printers will tell us this is what they want. 

But so far, so good; a very interesting show, a digital print show, not an offset show. 

So that’s where it is.  This is Andy Tribute from WhattheyThink.com and I shall go back and see what’s happening on the show floor. 

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