We spent the first weekend of October in Chicago at the annual GRAPH EXPO, a meeting of the minds for professionals across the world of Printing, Communications & Marketing. We’ve been attending for years, and it’s always a sight to behold: not only is it the latest and greatest in print and design technologies with vendors who come from around the world to show off their goods, but its also where a lot of new cutting edge technology is previewed for the first time.
It’s been amazing to see how the expo has changed just in the past few years. What was once a display of new offset presses & bindery equipment has become a presentation of the latest in digital technologies, including digital printers, printing & personalization software, and mobile apps (plus a lot more).
Like in years past, we watched some amazing equipment demonstrations. We also continued another tradition that we’ve found useful over the years: meeting up with like-minded print shop owners to share common challenges.
The connections we’ve made with fellow print owners over the years have been one of the most valuable parts of the whole conference experience. The trade show and speakers sessions are great—but after the flash and dazzle die down, it helps it helps to talk with people who are down in the trenches like we are. We talk about how we might adapt new technologies to our workflows and how we’re responding to industry trends—as well as the day-to-day challenges we all face.
We’ve made friends who come from everywhere from Seattle to Louisville, and tend to see the same faces year after year. Our interactions have been so valuable that this is the part of these conferences I’ve come to look forward to most of all.
High-tech trade shows have a way of making you feel like you’re behind unless you’re on the cutting edge. But genuine connections with our peers remind me that we’re all in this together
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