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Graph Expo 2007 Sold Out, WhatTheyThink Exclusive Talk with Ralph Nappi

Press release from the issuing company

August 13, 2007 -- Reston, VA (See special analysis by Senior WTT Editor Cary Sherburne below) -- Graphic communications professionals will find a plethora of new equipment, products and services – and first time exhibitors – at this year’s sold out GRAPH EXPO to be held in Chicago’s McCormick Place South, September 9-12, 2007.  Showcasing an all-inclusive blend of offset and digital printing equipment, products, software and supplies, this year’s total count of 640 exhibitors welcomes over 120 new vendors to the 460,984 net sq. ft. of exhibit space and reconfirms GRAPH EXPO’s status as the largest graphic communications exhibition and conference in the Western Hemisphere.
With the number of exhibitors and amount square footage sold exceeding 2006 numbers, this year’s GRAPH EXPO promises visitors to the event an unsurpassed opportunity to see and explore “everything print” with live running applications throughout the show floor demonstrating every step of the print process from prepress, to finishing, to converting and package printing, to wide format printing, to mailing and fulfillment, and the latest new profit opportunities utilizing digital technologies.
“The dynamic environment created by the growth of this year’s GRAPH EXPO offers even more opportunities for show goers to connect with industry vendors to learn about the latest technologies and explore new business opportunities,” noted Ralph Nappi, President of the Graphic Arts Show Company (GASC).  “The presence of so many new exhibitors on the sold out show floor underscores the depth and breadth of the cutting-edge technologies and ideas that will be on display at the show,” he added.
Many of this year’s GRAPH EXPO exhibitors will also participate in two new special themed events designed to help graphic communications professionals better understand and capitalize on rapidly expanding market segments. ‘Books & Bound Documents Day’ on Sunday, September 9, will showcase applications aimed at nearly all types of print providers that demonstrate how digitally printed books and bound documents from manuals and directories to training materials and consumer titles can deliver lucrative new opportunities for today’s printers.
On Tuesday, September 11, ‘Customer & Marketing Communications Day’ will feature technologies that combine direct marketing with transactional mail.  In demonstrations across the show floor, attendees will see and hear how to create and produce powerful bills, statements, direct mail postcards and customer communications that can shift printing from cost center to profit center.
Visitors to GRAPH EXPO can also expect to find ever-popular show favorites, such as the 12th Annual EXECUTIVE OUTLOOK the day before the show opens on September 8, which highlights “must see” emerging technologies, the Wide Format Pavilion and Innovation Gallery, and the Mailing & Fulfillment Center, which now exceeds the size of the mailing industry’s own dedicated tradeshow.  Rounding out the numerous educational offerings at GRAPH EXPO 2007 is the brand-new Print Buyers Conference on Tuesday, September 11 along with a complete and diverse seminar program of nearly 70 interactive sessions.
Complete information and registration are available online at: www.graphexpo.com.

Graph Expo 2007 Slated to Be One of the Largest Ever
By Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor
This early sell-out of Graph Expo space is good news for the industry.  It is especially good news for GASC in a pre-drupa show year that could have suffered from that competition.  Also there are well-known players who waited too long to commit to the show and now can’t get booth space.
WhatTheyThink spoke with Ralph Nappi, who is in his second year of GASC leadership, to learn what attendees can expect to see at McCormick Place this year. 
According to Nappi, there are four key areas he is particularly excited about for Graph Expo 2007, in addition to the usual attractions.  Those include:
- Graph Expo’s digital presence.  Nappi points out that Graph Expo represents two and a half times more space devoted to digital than the largest digital-only show in North America.
- Mailing & Fulfillment.  According to Nappi, the Mailing & Fulfillment Pavilion is larger than the largest mailing industry trade show.
- Book and Bound Documents Day.  On Sunday, September 9th, the show company is encouraging all of the exhibitors who have solutions related to books and bound documents to focus their demonstrations on that day toward that area.  This will give attendees an opportunity to learn as much as possible about this area of the business.
- Customer Marketing & Communications Day.  Similarly, on Tuesday, September 11th, exhibitors are encouraged to focus their demonstrations on variable data and transpromotional applications.  Transpromotional, or TransPromo, applications refer to the use of personalized marketing messages incorporated into transactional documents such as statements, invoices, confirms and the like, a rapidly emerging convergence of transactional and promotional printing.  Research firm InfoTrends tags TransPromo printing with a 91% growth rate.
Another new technology that will be highly visible at Graph Expo is Microsoft’s XPS document viewing and sharing format that was developed as part of Vista.  WhatTheyThink has written extensively about XPS and its potential future impact on the printing industry. It is exciting to see exposure being given to this technology at Graph Expo in a mini pavilion the show company is calling XPS Land Showcase. This mini-pavilion consists of manufacturers and suppliers utilizing XPS in their workflows and will feature a welcome desk to greet and inform show attendees about what XPS is, and how to learn more and see XPS driven applications in action. From document creation to CTP, print attendees will have the first unique comprehensive look at what all the XPS hype is about. Live offset and digital jobs will be printed using XPS, and attendees can talk with manufacturers who are integrating XPS into their offerings. There is also the XPS Land Theatre where show visitors can take in diverse presentations aimed at educating graphic communications professionals on all aspects of XPS.
Nappi also told WhatTheyThink that Package Printing Magazine conducted a survey among its readership to learn, among other things, what trade show or shows package printers most frequently attend.  Interestingly, Graph Expo emerged as the most popular destination, surpassing its closest competitor by a full ten percentage points.  Nappi says, “That result was heartening, and it reinforces our decision to postpone launching PackPrint in conjunction with Graph Expo until we can be sure it will be a quality event.  The truth is, we have lots of packaging solutions already on our show floor, as evidenced by the results of this survey and the value that package printers find in attending.”
All in all, Graph Expo 2007 is shaping up to be an exciting show.  WhatTheyThink will begin pre-show coverage the week of August 27th, so stay tuned!