Free Special: Noel Ward Previews Graphics of the Americas 2004
Press release from the issuing company
January 21, 2004 -- (Special by Noel Ward, Managing Editor of WTT Trade Show Coverage and Executive Editor of OnDemandJournal.com) -- You probably think I'm about to drag my frozen New Hampshire carcass to Miami Beach for the 29th iteration of Graphics of the Americas just to get out of the cold. But you'd be wrong. While the warmth of South Florida is always welcome this time of year, the first reason is that this show is a bit different than other print shows and is an energizing way to start the year.
The Latin flavor of Miami Beach imbues a unique feeling absent at On Demand in New York City or GraphExpo in Chicago. It makes a fine backdrop for GOA and its focus on Latin American and Caribbean markets. Plus, since the show is produced by the Printing Association of Florida (PAF) it is put on by printers for printers, further seasoning the overall feel. As Frank Romano has pointed out, "Graphics of the Americas is a good barometer of the state and mindset of the industry as we begin the New Year."
Print is still doing well under the tropical sun and GOA 04 exemplifies how these markets are poised to become ever more vital segments of the digital and offset printing industry. Monochrome digital printing has been strong across much of Latin America for several years, but high-end color digital printing as done using presses from HP/Indigo, Kodak VersaMark (formerly Scitex Digital Printing), NexPress, and Xerox, is much more limited in Latin America. But that is about to change, as the technologies these firms offer are gradually finding their way south.
Bigger, Better, Smarter
The second reason for heading south this year is that GOA 04, running at the Miami Beach Convention Center January 23 through 25, is undergoing a substantial expansion in several key ways. To begin with, it is a larger show. Leading vendors like Adobe, Hewlett-Packard, Xerox, Ryobi, and Kerning Data Systems, and many others have increased their floor space, the better to showcase their offerings to a growing market. Adobe, Create Magazine and creativepro.com, for example, are sponsoring Design City, a series of knowledge-packed presentations on many different aspects of graphic design and production. Some sessions are being conducted in both English and Spanish, covering such topics as PDF Workflows, Design Tips for Digital Printing, Color management solutions, Design Tools for Photoshop, on-demand and short-run books, and the all-important relationship between training and profits.
Showing off the good stuff where many of those practices are applied is the Printer's Showcase, sponsored by Print Buyer Today and PAF. In this show-within-a-show, the award-winning work of numerous print providers will be showcased for the many print buyers who attend Graphics of the Americas.
GOA Goes Beyond Print
Next, GOA 04 is going beyond putting ink or toner on a page. Surveys from GOA 03 indicated mailing and fulfillment equipment was the number one area where attendees wanted to see more.
With that in mind, enter the ZONE. The Mailing Systems Zone, aka MSZ, is sponsored by the United States Postal Service, Mailing Systems Technology Magazine and AIMED. It will be replete with equipment, software, and products to support print providers adding mailing services to their operations. The USPS will have professional staff on hand to provide information and answer questions related to Direct Mail Marketing, Mailing/Package Services, USPS On-line Services, Rates, International Mailing and Specialized CRM Tools. The USPS will also run informative sessions on best practices for direct mail users and printers. Postal system automation consultant Mary Ann Bennett of The Bennett Group says GOA attendees can realize tremendous savings and productivity by learning to maximize USPS' advanced systems.
"Over the last quarter century, the USPS has gone high tech to such an extent that it stands as one of the world’s most technologically advanced institutions," says Bennett. "Along with state of the art processing and distribution equipment and systems, it has developed a broad worksharing structure which provides for over 4,000 postage discounts. Learning what these saving incentives are and how to claim them by utilizing today’s mailing industry software and hardware is key for the attendees of GOA 2004."
Chris Price, VP and General Manager of GOA 04 says the scale of the USPS commitment is evidence of the service’s resolve to help business take full advantage of the efficiencies that print/mail campaigns offer. "Their participation as a sponsor and exhibitor will help them reach and educate broadly and deeply into the graphic arts community."
Raising the Consciousness of Convergence
Another focus of the show will be convergence with respect to converting, commercial printing, package and label printing,digital printing and fulfillment. These are no longer necessarily separate undertakings, and customers are asking print providers for these services. Showing printers how to add the necessary capabilities is the focus of the Package Printing and Converting Pavillion sponsored by Conversion magazine. Companies like Mark Andy-Comco (which sold six presses here in 2003), Accuratech, Bielomatik, and R Tape will show how to take advantage of this side of convergence.
Learn More, Plan Better
GOA has long had a variety of seminar sessions, but GOA 04 is upping the ante with TrendVision, a new conference sponsored by Electronic Publishing magazine and founded and chaired by RIT professor and industry guru Frank Romano. Running Thursday, January 22 and Friday, January 23, TrendVision is billed as "A conference for graphic communications professionals (printers, publishers, and creatives) that focuses on a changing graphic communications industry and key future trends --the information and insight you need to stay one step ahead."
"TrendVision Conference is not another attempt to cash in on industry confusion and a down economy," says Romano. "It's the first conference to bring together all the major "thinkers" who research and analyze the printing and document industries. It is the first conference to emphasize trends as its content focus."
He says TrendVision has been designed to send people home with an equal mix of enthusiasm and anxiety. "If we do our job correctly, TrendVision will be a nagging presence in one’s brain, day after day, decision after decision, purchase after purchase."
In addition to the inimitable Romano and his son Richard, who also represents TrendWatch Graphic Arts, TrendVision speakers and panelists include Charlie Corr from CAP Ventures; Keith Hevenor of Electronic Publishing; in-plant reprographics expert Jack Klasnic; John Leininger, professor of Graphic Communications at Clemson University; Vince Naselli, director of TrendWatch Graphic Arts; Jack Powers, director of the International Informatics Institute; Bob Rosen, the graphic arts industry's master of mergers and acquisitions; John Windle of State Street Consultants; and John Zarwan director of J. Zarwan Partners, a leading provider of market research and strategy, implementation, product planning and positioning. A full schedule and description of the sessions is available at the GOA web site at http://www.graphicsoftheamericas.com.
Down to the Tropical Sun
With the kind of agenda awaiting me in Miami Beach, not to mention the chance to warm my feet in the sand and walk on a beach (after all, my frozen New Hampshire carcass could use a little sun) missing GOA 04 would be crazy. If you can't break out of the office to get down there, keep an eye here on WhatTheyThink.com for my reports from Miami beginning January 23 and continuing into the following week. Then you can pull your halogen desk lamp a little closer and pretend you are sitting under a warm Florida sun while you read about GOA 04.
GOA Facts to Know and Tell
• GOA is the second largest graphic arts/communications trade exposition in the Western Hemisphere, attracting between 22,000 to 25,000 industry decision makers annually.
• GOA is the largest annual Latin American graphic arts show.
• GOA is the largest annual international graphic arts show in the United States.
• GOA is the largest tradeshow held at the Miami Convention Center.
• The typical geographic attendee break down is 60% United States and 40% from Mexico, South America, Central America, Caribbean and Canada.
• GOA has quickly expanded in the number of exhibiting companies and products introducing and selling digital solutions. This includes: Automated Workflow Solutions, JDF, CiP4, Software, CTP systems, pre-press equipment and products, digital presses and DI press technology.
• HP has become the largest GOA exhibitor, showing the success and high interest level in this segment.
• Other outstanding companies premiering digital products include: Adobe, Creo, Enfocus, Glunz & Jensen, Heidelberg, Presstek, Ryobi, Xerox, and many more.
• All signs point to CTP and various digital applications being sought as one of the hottest product “TO BUY” at GOA2004.
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