With more than 80 educational sessions and nearly 17,000 industry professionals, PRINT 18 continued with its promise to grow business. In its 50th year, and with a new laser focus on making the event transformational instead of the typical transactional trade show, the event realized an increase by 38% of unique visitors per day.
“PRINT 18 was a great investment for Ricoh and we have already committed to participating in PRINT 19,” said Brian Dollard, Director of the Commercial & Industrial Printing Business Group at Ricoh USA. “We had significant booth traffic providing us the opportunity to showcase our award-winning products, solutions, and real-world applications that can be created with our portfolio. We continue to see the print community, including our customers and perspective customers, traveling to Chicago to see what is new and relevant in the print industry. The Association for PRINT Technologies continues to rethink their approach to trade shows. They continue to explore new ways to bring visitors to Chicago and to continually improve the event.”
“This year’s PRINT event demonstrated that the print industry is alive, well and relevant,” said Francis McMahon, Executive Vice President, Production Printing, Canon Solutions America. “Walking the exhibit hall you continue to see the investments and commitments that are being made through the entire print value chain to help businesses grow and thrive. We had a very successful event and look forward to continuing to partner with the Association for PRINT Technologies (APTech).”
PRINT 18 exhibitors confirmed they will return to Chicago for PRINT 19 because it is the event in the city buyers are sure to come to.
“One reason that PRINT 18 was successful is that the industry is looking for an event that is transformational, and that’s what only PRINT can and has delivered,” said Thayer Long, APTech president. “We will continue to build on this momentum as we ramp up for PRINT 19, which promises to be an even better and more transformational event. PRINT is THE place for ideas, inspiration and innovation where manufacturers, suppliers and print providers come together as equals to make deeper connections to grow their business.”
In support of this, the Association for PRINT Technologies announced that effective September 30, 2018 print service providers could now become active and engaged members of the association.
In addition to this new engagement with the printing community, APTech introduced a number of new initiatives this year that helped shape the event’s new direction.
New Keynote, Sessions and Exhibits
• Seth Godin, noted author and marketing visionary, presented PRINT’s opening keynote – sponsored by Xerox – offering nugget after nugget of marketing and print-related insights that both challenged and entertained the audience, resulting in rave reviews from many. As Denmaur Paper (@DenmaurPaper) tweeted: “#Marketing guru #SethGodin…kicks off #PRINT18 with a scorcher!”
• Industry experts gave educational sessions on industry-specific topics, followed by exhibit hall tours of relevant booths, adding dimension to the Learning Experience beyond the classroom format.
• First-time exhibits focusing on emerging technologies included a new RED HOT Opportunities booth featuring select vendors with game-changing technologies.
• With the new Virtual Reality area, visitors enjoyed a fully immersive experience interacting with presses in ways they never could in the real world.
• The first-ever Brand Inspiration Forum at PRINT, organized in partnership with the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council brought together marketers, creatives, engagement experts and print providers to spark insights to make customer engagement channels more effective, efficient and engaging.
New Technology Recognition Program
• The new RED HOT Technology Recognition Program helped visitors easily navigate the exhibit hall and find the newest technologies on display by PRINT 18 exhibitors. A total of 76 products and solutions from 45 exhibitors in 11 product categories were recognized. Nine of those products were further honored with RED HOT Technology Vanguard Awards, for game-changing solutions that are expected to have significant impact in the industry.
New Networking Opportunities
• New networking opportunities included a VIP lounge near the educational meeting rooms for between-sessions mingling, a “First-Timer’s Reception” for PRINT newcomers, and a Student Career Fair on the event’s final day.
• Greater awareness of the need to do business across borders was evident at the packed-to-capacity International Reception. CONLATINGRAF is now partnering with APTech to bring South and Latin American attendees from 60,000 print shops in 14 countries to PRINT.
New PRINT Publications Onsite
• LeadingPRINT debuted as the new flagship publication for print service provider members of APTech. The articles in the magazine provide a unique perspective from the view of the print service provider on how they have faced and overcome challenges within their businesses.
• APTech also debuted the new comprehensive onsite Official Event Guide.
More Positive Reviews on Social Media
Many positive comments posted on social media regarding the event demonstrate why PRINT Chicago is THE place buyers choose to attend every year.
“Based on #PRINT18, print is alive and well. Many factors; Millennial’s love of paper, the rise in manga’s popularity, the continued growth of political mailings, the resurgence of niche printing techniques, and advances in automation all bode well for printing.”—Wexler Packaging (@banding).
“A very successful #PRINT18 show! Great traffic at the booths and a full house for my annual @EnfocusSW #Switch trading class.”—Dwight Kelly (@dwightkelly), president, Apago, Inc.
“#PRINT18 did not disappoint! Great conversations with attendees and vendors – thanks @thePRINTevent for another outstanding event.”—Datalogics, Inc. (@Datalogicsinc).
“This annual event (PRINT 18) remains the foremost gathering place for graphic arts professionals and print service providers to learn about our industry,” tweeted Mark Hunt (@ThinkFinishing), director, Strategic Alliances, Standard Finishing Systems. “Thanks to our customers, dealers & partners for another very successful #PRINT18, and to show organizers @APT_tech (Association for PRINT Technologies).”