The SGIA Expo has concluded, and if you didn’t make it there, here are some highlights from three huge days of activities. The SGIA Expo in Orlando welcomed over 22,400 registrants, and 534 exhibitors. I’m going to do a little Julie Andrews thing here and share with you my favorite things from the show.
My Favorite Statistic
In this interview on What They Think, SGIA President Michael Robertson chatted with Richard Romano about the Expo. He talked about how they saw a lot of sign makers at the show, and litho printers who were interested in adding wide-format digital printing to their capabilities.
What jumped out at me was the statistic Robertson quoted: Half of the attendees at the show had never been to the SGIA Expo before. He attributed the glut of new sign-ups to “new markets coming to us, and new people coming to wide-format as a start-up.” Newcomers mean people see growth potential.
My Favorite New Market Trend
Robertson noted that more markets, including litho printers, are investigating wide-format digital printing. But the real hot spot is digital textile, including soft signage.
The show highlighted how printing on textiles is impacting the business, including intangible areas such as shipping. It’s why SGIA was co-located with the IFAI Specialty Fabrics Expo.
My Favorite New Technology
A company that caught my eye was Apprintus. They showed off a unique printing process that brings full-textured fine art prints to market using a full-color, print-on-demand process.
If you haven’t seen the technology before, it’s amazing. Created from a 3D scan of an original work or a digitally created file, a print is made in full texture, replicating the original, full-color brush strokes of the artist.
Seeing this up close, you find it hard to believe you’re not looking at the original. As we evolve more and more into the world of 3D printing (or variations of it), the importance of substrates and our partnership of IPW and FLAG become more and more apparent.
My Favorite Piece of Advice
It goes to Deborah Corn of the Print Media Centr, who spoke about social media and inbound marketing, two items that are the basis of the LaManna Alliance’s marketing efforts. One of Deborah’s points is that it’s best to share your expertise and experience on social media. It’s not a place to sell, but to educate. I couldn’t agree more.
My Favorite New Speaker
Don Hutson delivered the SGIA keynote, and his message about selling value was spot-on. Don is an author and a lecturer, and stressed the importance of developing relationships and bringing value to the table.
Of particular note was Don’s insistence on doing a need-analysis with a client, very similar to our own approach with Solutions by the Numbers. He also talked about the four-step process with a new business relationship – customer, client, advocate and confidant.
Perhaps the message that hit home most of all was the story he shared about training your people. He was lecturing on the topic when someone in the audience asked, “Why should I train my people? What if they leave?”
Don’s reply: “What if you don’t train them and they stay?”
My Favorite Part of SGIA
It had to be the buzz. I may be a trade show junkie, but I truly find the experience electrifying. The new technologies, new equipment, and most of all, the new opportunities; it’s all intoxicating. But most of all, I love the people.
In our digital world, we lose track of the fact that behind the computers and smart phones, people are pushing the buttons. Our industry has taken some lumps in the past year, and it’s exciting to step onto the floor where people are adapting to the new environment right before your eyes. A special thanks to the SGIA for another great Expo, and for supporting the LaManna Alliance and it’s initiatives!
How about you? Did you have any favorites from the SGIA Expo?