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GraphExpo Considered Resounding Success by Many Measures

Press release from the issuing company

CHICAGO, IL - Exhibitors, attendees and management alike will remember GRAPH EXPO and CONVERTING EXPO 2002 as a very successful event for the graphic arts and converting industry. Nearly 38,000 total attendees descended on McCormick Place South over the four days of the show, projecting a very positive view of the condition of the graphic arts and converting industry. The show featured crowded aisles, full seminar rooms, well-attended product demonstrations by over 570 exhibitors covering over 380,000 square feet, highly qualified buyers from over 9600 companies. GRAPH EXPO and CONVERTING EXPO demonstrated that the graphic arts industry is strongly positioned to adapt to and overcome challenges to economic recovery. Exhibitors especially felt positive, based on the results they experienced at the show. One exhibitor reported that his company "sold everything they brought within an hour of the opening bell." Other exhibitors reported solid results, including one who noted "we had to call the office and arrange to fly in some additional sales help to handle the demand." Doris Brown, Vice President/Marketing, Pantone, Inc., said "We were quite pleased. The quality of the attendance has been very strong. We're seeing a tremendous volume of people. Each day was very strong in attendance, and the attitude of the people coming in was very positive and optimistic. We've had some wonderful discussions. We exceeded our sales goals in the first day and a half." Larger exhibitors reported strong lead activity and significant sales volume as well. Yves Rogivue, chief executive of MAN Roland, reported that his company generated good quality leads and a strong order book. Kevin Oakes, Central Regional Manager, Digital Publishing Solutions, Indigo Sales, Hewlett-Packard Company noted "From the time the hall opened until it closed each day our booth has been packed. We have two demo rooms, and they're both booked every hour and booked solid throughout the show. The quality and knowledge level of the prospects at this show is phenomenal. We're having phenomenal success in booking orders. I'm getting pulled in three directions at once. We literally could use twice the booth we have." Heidelberg executives reported booking significant business over the course of the show. "Over the first two days of the show, we accumulated an average of 500 qualified sales leads, which to me means that people are more confident going forward. This show exceeded our expectations. We are very encouraged and see only positive signs for an improvement in the industry's outlook." noted Niels M. Winther, president and chief executive of Heidelberg. After three days, Heidelberg showed orders of about $115 million on the show floor, $25 million more that it had expected. Xerox executives were equally enthusiastic about their results. "We're very pleased with attendance and visitor feedback. We've sold all the products on the floor, more than 20 systems and devices, and are looking forward to confirming additional sales in the next 90 days. What's more, we think people visiting our exhibit are asking the right questions about digital." said Kevin A. Shea, vice president of worldwide marketing for Xerox Corporation's Graphic Arts Industry unit, a part of Document Systems & Solutions. Many exhibitors noted that while their expectations of the show had not been reduced based on the current economic climate, they were nonetheless pleased with the quality of the attendees they encountered in their displays. Marc O. Johnson, marketing manager for off-press products for Presstek, observed, "We're seeing a lot more checkbooks than tire gauges." And Kathy Marx, Flint Ink's vice president for marketing and strategic planning, described show traffic as "solid all day" on day two and equally brisk on the third day. Additionally, she noted that "everyone I was speaking with seemed "sincerely interested" in talking about solutions. It's much better than I expected," she said. The success story doesn't end on the exhibit floor. Over 200 attended the 2nd General Session "Battle of the Industry Curmudgeons," on Tuesday, featuring moderator Professor Frank Romano of RIT, and panelists Bill Lamparter of PrintCom consulting, Ray Prince of GATF, and Richard Vinocur, of Footprint Communications. Overall, seminar registrations were at high levels. Popular seminars included Acrobat PDF: 101 Tips and Tricks, with over 200 registrants, Print Production Trends, with over 130 registrants, Building New Business with over 130 registrants, and Frank Romano's Variable Data Printing drew over 130 registrants as well. Overall more than 1500 attendees took advantage of the highly experienced group of experts to enhance their knowledge and skills. The international component of GRAPH EXPO and CONVERTING EXPO was also well-received. Latin America Day and Canada Day offered attendees the chance to explore opportunities for cross border trade and to expand their business through increased international activity. Exhibitors benefit from this type of far-reaching coverage as well. Bruce Oliva, National Marketing & Sales Director, Spinks Ink noted "It's quite encouraging to see the flux of printers coming in from coast to coast, from Virginia to California. When I can have a printer here from New Mexico, what does that tell you? I'm also impressed by the amount of requests I've had from Latin America, by people looking to set up dealerships." Another highlight of the show was the Wide Format Opportunities Pavilion, where visitors could see complete workflows featuring wide format digital inkjet output, starting with image capture and proceeding through processing and output to the final finishing stage, on a variety of substrates using a variety of systems and technologies. Visitors were treated to a variety of production situation and could get answers to questions pertaining to the portions of the workflow that most interested them. Visitors were able to watch an image being captured digitally, see the resulting file being processed and see the result being output and finished on the spot within the pavilion, making the whole process transparent and real to the attendee. "Solid attendance, strong sales performance, full seminar sessions, and abundant networking opportunities all characterized the annual event, creating the success for the industry that was sorely needed," was how Regis J. Delmontagne, GASC president summarized the event.