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SGIA President & CEO Michael Robertson on the 2012 show

Published on October 23, 2012

Michael Robertson, SGIA President & CEO speaks with Eric Vessels about SGIA 2012 and having a record year for show attendance. They also talk about industry trends in wide format.

Eric Vessels: Hi, it’s Eric Vessels with WhatTheyThink and I’m here with Michael Robertson who is President and CEO of Specialty Graphics Imaging Association. Welcome.

Michael Robertson: Thank you. Glad to be here.

Eric Vessels: SGIA. And we’re at SGIA 2012 in Las Vegas and it seems like a busy show. I was wondering – I wanted to get your impressions on traffic. And can you share relative to last year to this year. Are we growing?

Michael Robertson: Yeah, great growth from last year. In fact, this is the largest show we’ve ever had in our history.

Eric Vessels: Oh my gosh. That’s awesome.

Michael Robertson: We’re at 22,500 people at last count and more coming today so it’s really exciting. It’s great for the community.

Eric Vessels: So those numbers are – those are deduped? Those are actually unique attendees?

Michael Robertson: It’s an estimate at this time so we will have a little bit more deduping but all of the preregisters are deduped before we get here. So the ones that are on site we have to go through but we’re talking hundreds, not thousands.

Eric Vessels: Right, great. Well and being down at the show and having attended last year it’s super busy and the buzz down there was that the show was busy and well attended and a lot of activity. There’s a lot of energy.

Michael Robertson: A lot of energy and it’s just really exciting. And like I say it’s great for the community. It’s great for the printers. It’s great for the suppliers. And just the optimistic buzz. We like to be part of that and we like to be that community center for that to happen.

Eric Vessels: It is great for that. And so in terms of themes what’s kind of a predominant theme that’s coming out of this show this year and maybe relative to last year or maybe combined building as a theme?

Michael Robertson: Well from our standpoint it’s a building theme and for us we’re very much a vertical market centered on wide format imaging, primarily digital wide format. And we’re saying great participation come from beyond our traditional market. So, for example, the commercial printer, the litho printer. Those that have an interest in wide format imaging to develop as a revenue stream are sending part of their team here. And to give you an idea of how effective it’s been of that 22,500, 39 percent are first-time attendees.

Eric Vessels: Oh, wow.

Michael Robertson: That’s pretty spectacular.

Eric Vessels: That is, that’s impressive. Well and that’s a theme that we’ve been getting in talking to vendors and attendees alike is the growth of this specialty and wide format inkjet signage wraps for commercial printers. Adding that to their existing business, getting into that market. There’s a lot of people here that are looking to do that.

Michael Robertson: That’s absolutely right. And it’s not just commercial printers. That’s – of the 39 percent, that’s the biggest group but the photo market is another group that’s really strong with us now and growing. And other people that produce graphics – they’re coming from a lot of different areas. But again our focus is looking at a set of products and methodology for creating those products and bringing other audiences to that central point.

Eric Vessels: Right. Well it sounds like a great show and WhatTheyThink is glad to be here and we appreciate you spending some time with us.

Michael Robertson: We’re delighted to have you with us and look forward to continued involvement.

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Wide Format Editor

Richard Romano

Richard Romano, Section Editor/Senior Analyst
Richard has written about communication, graphics hardware and software trends for the past 15 years.

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