A total of approximately 62,000 people, including a large international contingent, took part in September’s PRINT 05 & CONVERTINGSM 05 in Chicago. Exhibitors hailed the show as “fantastic,” “phenomenal” and “tremendously successful.”
The show was the largest in the world for commercial, package printing and converting in 2005, and took place September 9-15 at the McCormick Place Complex. 954 exhibitors mounted displays, up from 893 in 2001, filling nearly 750,000 square feet of booth space.
Seminar attendance broke a record, with more than 2,260 people registering to participate in one or more of the 80-plus educational sessions offered at the show.
International attendees exceeded 7,200, or 11 percent of the total, up from 7,100 at the last PRINT show in 2001. These attendees represented 99 nations, up from 75 in 2001. The global theme of the show could be seen throughout the show floor. Tours were offered in various languages, international visitors could be found throughout the displays, and a series of well-attended presentations and networking events dedicated to specific global regions each day highlighted the international nature of this event.
According to Regis J. Delmontagne, president of GASC, the show’s producer, “This show exceeded many of our expectations as well. The positive response to our initiative to significantly enter the package printing sector and the success of those exhibitors serving that sector, the increase in international attendance and the continued success of the educational program all contributed to a very successful event overall for everyone involved.”
Busy aisles, well-attended seminars, full pavilions, and overwhelmingly well-qualified and well-informed participants were the hallmarks of this impressive event, and exhibitors were extremely pleased with their experience at this global event.
“The traffic has been superb and the quality of the prospects is fantastic,” said Darren George, Central Regional Manager at Ryobi/xpedx Import Group. “We’ve done between $9 million and $10 million in sales and generated 400 to 500 quality leads. We’ve also established contacts in a number of vertical markets in the high-end packaging and specialty printing industries. We’re very happy with the results.”
Joe Gano, Sales Manager, Midwest Territory for VUTEk Digital Printing Systems, reported that “We’ve made at least $3 million at PRINT 05. Break-even isn’t what we’re looking for. We’re looking for 10 times the ROI, and I’m confident that we’ll get it as a result of business we’ve generated from this show.”
At Bielomatik, Senior Vice President Thomas P. Laurino commented that “The traffic here has been fabulous, absolutely thick with qualified leads and buyers. We’ve sold at least four machines and we’re going to sell more before the show is done,” he added. “You get a very nice bang for your buck, and it’s not just an initial hit. It’s a hit for future business.”
Exhibitors reported high success both in gathering leads for future follow-up and in closing sales right on the show floor - sometimes to customers they had never seen before.
“We made one multimillion dollar sale to somebody we’d never met who just walked in,” said Jeff Marr, Vice President/Sales at Colter & Peterson. “We’ve also made some large sales here which normally would take much longer to close. Within half an hour of the show opening, we were buried in visitors. The show results exceeded our expectations.”
KBA’s booth also welcomed unfamiliar faces, said Vice President of Corporate Marketing Eric Frank. “Sales were excellent,” he said, “and some of our sales were unexpected. There were new customers here this year.”
New faces also featured in the show experience at Gämmerler Corporation, where Marketing Manager Leslie Figler said that “we have definitely closed sales we did not already know about. With some shows, the benefit doesn’t come until afterward, but here, we’ve closed a lot of business right at the show. The people that come here have been extremely qualified.”
Korber Paperlink also gained both leads and hard sales from its booth.
“Virtually everyone who’s a player in the market is here, so we’re able to get ourselves exposed to the right people,” said Kevin Rolfe, Senior Vice President. “We’ve generated at least a couple hundred leads, sold a $1.4 million machine and had a lot of high interest in our products.”
GBC had “a phenomenal show,” reported Cindy Pilch, Senior Brand Manager. “We had tripled our sales goals for the show by the fourth day. Monday was very, very crowded. It was a challenge to get everybody into our booth.”
It was also a challenge for some exhibitors to maintain supplies of basic necessities. “I’ve run out of business cards, which is an indication of how good this show has been,” said Alban West, president of West Products Company. “The leads I got through this show have been higher quality than those at some other shows. This show has more of a presence, it’s more heavily advertised and it draws more international investors.”
The experience was similar at Brandtjen & Kluge. “Twice we’ve run out of sales literature and had to fly in some more,” said company President H. A. Brandtjen III. “We had 51 qualified leads the first day of the show, 57 the second and 81 the third. Do you know how much money it would cost me to go out and visit 51 people? The value of this show is very high.”
At FujiFilm Sericol, Marketing Director Bob Linck said, “We print for seven hours a day straight during the show, producing hundreds of sample substrate images for attendees to take home. At the end of each day, there are no materials left. This is our first time here and this is a relatively new market for us, and we’ve been very pleased with the show.” Haddon Stevens, Vice President, Sales Aztek, Inc., noted “Aztek does many trade shows throughout the year in both the printing and photo finishing industries. PRINT 05 was by far the best show of the year for us!”
Eugene Schultz, Chicago branch office manager for Mimaki USA, Inc., expected that “Our dealers will probably close between $750,000 and $1 million as a result of PRINT 05 & CONVERTING 05, and that’s a conservative estimate. This is our first time at this show, and we’ve already signed up for a larger booth next year. We’re very pleased with the quantity and the quality of the leads we’ve gained.”
Standard Finishing Systems had “a tremendously successful show,” said Marketing Manager Don Dubuque. “The people coming to the booth were the right people, and we’ve filled the pipeline with hundreds of qualified leads. This is a place where customers can see our full line of finishing equipment in one place as well as a live theater presentation five times a day. For us, this is the biggest graphic arts trade show we’re involved in, hands down.”
Michael C. Aumann, vice president/sales and marketing at Streamfeeder, sounded the same theme of heavy traffic and strong sales.
“During the first four days, we have exceeded our pre-show lead goals,” he said. “The show has been fantastic. It’s superior to any other show we do.”
The next PRINT show will be held in 2009. Next year, the annual GRAPH EXPO and CONVERTING EXPO will be held on October 15-18 in McCormick Place South in Chicago. Complete information about what the PRINT 05 & CONVERTING 05 show offered is online at www.print05.com.
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