October 8, 2003 -- Graphic Communications Day, the official expo-seminar event for the New York-New Jersey metro region, returns to Madison Square Garden in midtown Manhattan on November 6.
Presented by the Association for Graphic Communications (AGC), Graphic Communications Day will feature educational sessions; vendor exhibits; an executive panel discussion led by Dr. Frank Romano; a “Design Island” showcasing digital prepress and production technologies; and a special design competition for New York City high school students to benefit the Literacy Partners organization. The event, convening at Madison Square Garden for the third time, has the support of more than 30 exhibitors and is expected to draw more than 1,000 highly qualified attendees. Corporate sponsors include Xerox, International Paper, and Stora Enso.
Attendees can register online at http://www.agcomm.org, where complete program information is available. Discounted early-bird registration fees will be offered through October 15.
A Focus on the Front End
Diane Romano, chairman of the board of directors of AGC, notes that the program will appeal strongly to creatives, buyers, and specifiers in the graphic media as well as to printers and other providers of graphic services.
“Graphic Communications Day is the must-attend event of the year for everyone whose business or job involves creating, producing, buying, or selling print or graphic media,” says Ms. Romano, president of AGT• Seven, a leading provider of digital media services and one of the event’s founding exhibitors. “Our planning committee had a mandate to build an agenda with something for everyone in the value chain, and the program we will offer attendees on November 6 is unlike anything found at any other industry event.
“Graphic Communications Day is the crossroads for professional development, business-to-business opportunity, and personal networking in the metro area,” says Ms. Romano. “This year, we’ve paid special attention to the needs of the people at the front end of the process—graphic designers and other creative personnel whose skills are essential to the success of every project in print and non-print media.”
The 11 educational sessions cover a variety of technical and business topics from digital design and print buyers’ expectations to sales strategies and “best practices” for quality management. The sessions will be led by expert instructors from AGC’s Center for Graphic Arts & Education and by technical representatives from Adobe Systems Inc., Printcafe Software, Xerox, and other vendors.
“Frank Talk” by RIT’s Romano and Friends
The program leads off with a breakfast session moderated by Dr. Romano, a prolific author, a renowned educator, and the industry’s best-known commentator on technology developments and business trends. He will facilitate a wide-ranging discussion by a panel including Frank J. Steenburgh, who spearheaded the development of Xerox’s DocuTech and DocuColor iGen3 product lines; Robert J. Stabler, president of Agfa North American Graphic Systems; Frank J. Campagna, founder and publisher of Print Buyer Today; Jann Levesque, group publisher, Cygnus Graphics Network; and other senior executives.
The exhibit area will open after the breakfast session concludes at 9:30 a.m. and will remain open until 6:00 p.m. Participating vendors include printers, paper merchants, equipment manufacturers, industry publications, and trade service suppliers. Exhibit space remains available and may be reserved by contacting True North International, the event’s management group, at (410) 923-6579; [email protected]
Madison Square Garden, a unique venue for trade shows, has proved to be an important factor in the success of Graphic Communications Day. Its universal recognition, its hub location in the heart of Manhattan, and its comprehensive event-hosting facilities have helped AGC to attract repeat attendance and new registrants since the first edition of the event in February of 2002.
A special feature of the exhibit area this year will be “Design Island,” a set-aside portion of the show floor where Xerox and several other vendors will demonstrate production workflows from creative design to finishing. Xerox will equip the demonstration with an integrated document production line, including a color digital press and in-line binding equipment, similar to the technology that it recently displayed at Graph Expo in Chicago.
Local Students Vie for Design Honors
“Design Island” will be the backdrop to another highlight of the day: the judging of AGC’s First Annual Graphic Arts Design Competition. The aim of the competition is to showcase the skills of metro area high school students who have been invited to design and produce promotional materials for Literacy Partners Inc., a New York-based, not-for-profit organization advancing the cause of adult and family literacy.
Under the supervision of a sponsoring advertising agency, each student team will create a project demonstrating competence in design, copywriting, prepress workflow, and printing. Judging will take place at Graphic Communications Day, where the winning designs will be exhibited. The work of the first-place team will be used in an advertising campaign for Literacy Partners. (For information about sponsoring a student team, contact Marshall Mermell at MarketingWorks Inc.,  888-8289.)
One-to-one interaction will be encouraged throughout the day with a networking luncheon and a closing reception for all registrants. The reception will include a Champagne-and-cake festivity for the 75th anniversary of Printing News, one of the event’s media sponsors. Other media sponsors are The Graphic Arts Blue Book, Print Buyer Today, and Graphic Design usa.
According to Susan G. Greenwood, president of AGC, the third edition of Graphic Communications Day proves that the event has found and fulfilled an important need for the graphics industry in the New York-New Jersey metro area. AGC, which conceived and sanctions the program, is the regional affiliate for Printing Industries of America.
“When our planning committee first proposed bringing back an expo and seminar event to the metro area, we knew that many people would say that it couldn’t be done—that New York City could no longer support a trade show of its own,” says Ms. Greenwood. “But if it’s true that the third time’s the charm, and that good things really do come in threes, then there’s no doubt in our minds that Graphic Communications Day has found a home right where it belongs. It’s going to be a fabulous experience, and it’s an event that we’re looking forward to presenting for many years to come.”
In fact, the planning committee has already selected a date for 2004, which will be formally announced at Madison Square Garden on November 6.