2/28/07 -- (WhatTheyThink.com by Cary Sherburne) -- According to Ralph Nappi, President of the Graphic Arts Show Company (GASC), the PackPrint show, originally scheduled to coincide with GraphExpo 2007 being held September 9-12, 2007, at Chicago’s McCormick Place, has been postponed. He said, “We went into this based on preliminary discussions with suppliers to the packaging printing market, the majority of whom indicated they would participate. But when it came time for people to belly up, there weren’t as many as promised. But they are not committing to other venues, either.”
Nappi describes the packaging printing market as “somewhat schizophrenic.” He says, “The other shows in this area are struggling, and we thought GASC might have a better short-term solution. But in the end, we didn’t feel we could do it at the level of excellence that GASC shows have become known for.” Nappi indicates that some 26,000 square feet of exhibit space had been sold to 35 exhibitors, against an ideal commitment of 50,000 square feet. He adds, “If we had done this as a Pavilion inside Graph Expo, it would have been considered a resounding success, and it was already bigger than one of our competitors. We considered moving it into Graph Expo, but we are already just about sold out for that show and didn’t have that kind of space available.”
When asked whether a potential future date for the show has been identified, Nappi indicated that it had not. PackPrint was originally targeted as an every-other-year show, so its next occurrence would have been in conjunction with Print09, and that timing is still a possibility, based on the outcome of additional market research that GASC will conduct. Another consideration relative to timing, according to Nappi, was the departure of Vice President of Shows Chris Thiel, who will be replaced on March 16th by Chris Price, who has been running Graphics of the Americas. He says, “Since the show will be Chris Price’s responsibility, we felt it was appropriate that he be involved in the rescheduling decision.”
Nappi points out that postponing the show brings a greater financial liability to GASC than going ahead with it would have, but reiterated GASC’s commitment to excellence in the shows it does conduct. He remains firm about GASC’s intention to reschedule the show, saying, “It is not a matter of ‘if,’ but ‘when.’ We will be involved in a packaging printing venue in the future. We just have to figure out the best way.”
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