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Cary Sherburne shares thoughts on the opening day of Graph Expo 2012

Published on October 8, 2012

WhatTheyThink President Eric Vessels and Senior Editor Cary Sherburne talk about day one at Graph Expo 2012 and her early impressions of the show.

Eric Vessels: Hi, I’m Eric Vessels with WhatTheyThink.com and I’m with Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor of WhatTheyThink.com.

Cary Sherburne: I’m on the wrong side of the table here.

Eric Vessels: You normally do the first bit, don’t you?

Cary Sherburne: Yes.

Eric Vessels: We’re here at Graph Expo 2012 and I just wanted to get your impressions of day one. This is Sunday and I want to get your impressions of the traffic and the floor and what you have seen so far from who is exhibiting.

Cary Sherburne: I’ll tell you, traffic is an interesting topic because I had an 8:00 a.m. meeting this morning at a different hotel from mine and I had to fight my way through the Chicago Marathon. All the streets were blocked off and it took forever to get to the convention center. Everybody was kind of expecting that maybe it would be a little light today but the amount of time I have been able to spend on the show floor I have seen pretty reasonable traffic. Much more than I expected.

Eric Vessels: Speaking of marathons, we have to give a shout out to our own Cory Smith who ran the Portland Marathon this morning. It was his first marathon and he finished and made pretty good time. So, awesome job, Cory.

Cary Sherburne: Congratulations Cory.

Eric Vessels: I wanted to say that. We had to fight the traffic of the marathon to get here and he was actually running in one. So tell us about the exhibitors and things that you have seen so far and the impressions that you have of what we are seeing so far at Graph?

Cary Sherburne: It’s quite a different show from my perspective. You used to walk in and booth 1200, the first booth, Heidelberg. It’s Xerox now and Heidelberg is behind them with a much smaller booth, 7500 square feet. When you look at the lineup, especially on the front row in the prime spots, what you are seeing is a digital show. You’ve got Canon, Xerox, EFI. All across the row there is digital. Then HP has a huge booth. As I was walking through there I’ll tell you that people are busy. There were a lot of people having serious conversations. I think that’s great for the first day. Ralph Nappi told me yesterday that preregistrations were up. I think a lot of the reason that they have been able to continue to draw . . . they always say it’s up so who knows. The reason they continue to draw the volume is that they’ve worked really hard on co-located events. There were like 40 different co-located events here.

Eric Vessels: Forty-seven or 48 or something.

Cary Sherburne: So there’s two or three reasons for a person to come, for a printer to take time off from their business to come here. They go to these special meetings as well as the bonus of being able to go to the show. I also think the other important thing about this show is that it is the first opportunity for a lot of North Americans to see what happened at Drupa. Some of the stars of the show of Drupa aren’t here. Vinny Landa is here but he is not exhibiting. Not that many North Americans went to Drupa so there is a lot of stuff that they are able to see here for the first time and I think that’s really important this year.

Eric Vessels: We talked a long time about shows being a reflection of the industry and what is happening to the industry with consolidation and the digital transportation. Do you still see that?

Cary Sherburne: Definitely. Definitely. Just think about it. In 1997 I think Heidelberg’s booth was something like 80,000 square feet. It was big and now it’s a tenth of that size. It is a powerful message they are getting out. It’s a very interesting message from Heidelberg that says the whole both is organized around an integrated marketing campaign. Now, if you would have told me a year ago that they were going to do that I would have said, “What?” but it makes a lot of sense. I’m anxious to actually spend time on the floor and see some of the other things that are going on. Kodak has a nice presence even though they are having their difficulties. They’re here and they have smiles on their faces and all of that. I think it’s going to be a good show the rest of the week.

Eric Vessels: Good, thanks for giving us some of your early impressions and we’ll look forward to spending a bit more time at the show and seeing what we think on day two and day three.

Cary Sherburne: Great.

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