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What’s In a Name? Printing!

Published on February 14, 2020

Will apps replace printed show directories? Frank shows off his drupa 1972 show directory and some other recent directories—and an app that served as the directory for a recent show. He has had his drupa directory for 48 years. Will today’s trade show apps be readable in 48 years? He feels that any trade show with the word “PRINTING” in its name should have a printed directory.

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By Robert Godwin on Feb 14, 2020

How many of the companies in the 1972 directory still exist? Frankly (SIC) it would likely read more as an obituary. Other than pure nostalgia, what practical use is it.

The longevity of such directories is the same as the distance to the recycle bin at the exit of the exhibition.


By Gordon Pritchard on Feb 14, 2020

Robert Godwin wrote “Other than pure nostalgia, what practical use is it.” Yeah, who needs history other than history teachers? LOL


By Robert Godwin on Feb 14, 2020

What have you done wth all your Yellow Pages directories???


By Gordon Pritchard on Feb 14, 2020

It's in my kitchen drawer. ;-)
But is that really the point?
With digital, information tends to disappear over time either because the websites are no longer supported by their originators, or their search function doesn't, or , in time because of browser incompatibility. It's lost.
Whereas print has a much greater degree of permanence and accessibility.
When it comes to print shows, it's one thing to read about a technology online and quite another to have a sample in one's hand. I have Penrose Annuals that go back to the late 1800s and have page after page of printed samples for me to examine, learn from and enjoy. That experience and rich documentation of print is missing from the digital record.


By Adam Dewitz on Feb 15, 2020

Instead of an old school directory how about something along the lines of yearbook which would include: listings/map of exhibitors, commentary and analysis about the show, industry trends, and other facts and figures all in a cool design using the latest print, embellishment and finishing technology. And print and finish it on-demand at the show.


By Robert Godwin on Feb 15, 2020


A directory is pre-event. A yearbook as I understand, is post-event. Interesting idea if topics of value and persons of interest were in attendence. The static cost for a yearbook is an economic plus; a website can be a dollar vampire over time, and begs to be justified everytime a payment is made.

Perhaps the panel discussions and presentations would merit such documentation, and would make a nice post event benefit to those who attended, possibly encouraging future participation.

Ok, That's all I can think of as to why anyone should bother with this at all...


By Adam Dewitz on Feb 17, 2020

@Robert my idea of a yearbook is more inline with the yearbooks NFL teams put out each year. They come out at the beginning of the season and include a directory of players, interviews, commentary on strategy, and other content about the season.


By Warren Werbitt on Feb 17, 2020

Hi Frank,

I couldn't agree more with you. We are in the printing business and we should always be printing a show guide. I love my phone & technology, but guess what, when the battery dies, I'm lost. With PRINT that never happens. I will always have my directory & map to help get me around.


By Robert Godwin on Feb 17, 2020

@Adam Yes, and that is a preview. Assuming that trade shows and the informative and educational tracks that are part of the program should be documented; a post event documentation is appropriate. Wouldn't hurt to have statistical data on demographics of attendees, actual sales recorded at the show, transcripts of the panel dscussions and educational presentations.
All these items are post event. A pre-event directory is marketing; its message shelf-life is short. Post event has reference value and has a longer sheklf-life. My two cents...


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