UV (ultraviolet) printing has been available in the offset market since the 1960s, and these days, the process is demonstrating its merits for digital output as well. UV’s upsurge in popularity in recent years has produced a corresponding increase in trade media coverage, educational material from UV technology providers, and UV-focused sessions at industry expos. Oddly, though, this high-value-adding process hasn’t spawned a dedicated conference of its own—until, that is, the premiere of Print UV 2008, an event that will take place at the Wynn Las Vegas resort next week, March 2-4.

Billed by its organizers as an intimate, peer-oriented conference designed to help UV printers explore new ways to implement and profit from UV printing, Print UV 2008 will propose that UV printing is no longer a niche technology but a mainline process that is transforming the printing industry. As a meeting theme, this assertion rings wholly true. Thanks to steady technological advances that have allayed most of the early concerns about UV printing’s safety, cost, and practicality, the process has come into its own as a nonpareil method of beautifying and protecting printed matter of almost every kind. But when it comes to mastering UV production and successfully selling its products, steep learning curves remain. This is an information gap that Print UV 2008 seems very well prepared to fill.

A glance at the agenda reveals a comprehensive program that combines presentations and panel discussions by commercial and packaging printers working with UV, as well as equipment and other suppliers to the UV market. After a welcome from Hans K. Ulland, co-founder and executive vice president of Air Motion Systems, Darrell Jursa, founder and managing partner of Liquid Intelligence, will keynote on “Taking It To the House – Selling UV to the Influencers.” Other sessions include “Packaging UV for Profit”; “Achieving UV Standards of Excellence”; “Shades of UV Green: Eco-Friendly Printing”; and “Perfect Plastic Makeover.”

The conference is supported by a small but influential lineup of sponsors that are hoping to attract owners and senior executives; directors and managers in sales, prepress and manufacturing; and master printers and process engineers concerned with UV technical issues. And while the timing of the gathering isn’t ideal, overlapping as it does with On Demand amidst all of the distractions of a drupa year, we think that Print UV 2008 has the makings of a welcome and valued addition to the industry’s calendar of events. We look forward to giving the conference the full measure of editorial attention it deserves at its second edition next year, when we certainly will try to arrange to attend.

For those who can’t wait for a short but intensive course in UV printing, there’s still time to register for Print UV 2008. Complete information is available at www.printuv.com.