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Previewing SGIA Expo 2013

In Orlando, the width and breadth of specialty imaging will be on display.




The tag line for this year’s SGIA Expo is “More exhibitors, more answers, more face time.” Taking place October 23-25 in Orlando, the annual event hosted by the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association certainly appears to have established a show lineup that’s set to deliver on all those points and more.

Says Michael Robertson, SGIA president and CEO: “In addition to new Zones and receptions for the growing specialty imaging community, the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) will be co-locating with the 2013 SGIA Expo. SGIA Expo participants will have full access to the IFAI show where fabrics are used to create a host of products. The co-location provides a great opportunity for graphics producers to generate new ideas and connections.”

And, of course, SGIA Expo remains very much focused upon the arena of wide-format print and related technologies.

“The SGIA Expo is the one place to see the full range of wide-format imaging options, including the largest production-focused flatbeds and roll-to-rolls,” says Robertson. “All the major manufacturers will be there with their latest technologies. If you are serious about wide-format, you need to be at the SGIA Expo. The expanse of equipment on display is complemented by the SGIA Zones which provide a valued learning experience for attendees.”

We've spotlighted nine Expo points of interest from our point of view – you’ll likely discover your own additional highlight or two while in Orlando. For more information on the event, visit See you at the show.

Ready, Set …
The 2013 edition of SGIA Expo takes place at the Orange County Convention Center, South Building.
• Tuesday, Oct. 22: Printed Electronics & Membrane Switch Symposium
• Wednesday, Oct. 23: Expo show floor opens; show hours are 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
• Thursday, Oct. 24: Show hours are 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
• Friday, Oct. 25: Show hours are 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


A pass for the expo show floor costs $35 (non-members and SGIA members); attendees of the SGIA Expo can access the IFAI Specialty Fabrics Expo with their SGIA Expo badge. Registration fees for individual educational sessions are $45 each ($35 for members), but special pricing is available for three- and six-session packages. In addition, a Full Business Package is available for the entire event (expo, all educational sessions, Symposium, more) for $440 ($360 for members).

Finding Your Best Tools and Products
No matter new piece of hardware, software, or consumable you’re looking for, you’ll likely find it here. The floor plan encompasses nearly 220,000 square feet and will showcase a broad range of companies, products, supplies, materials, technologies, and applications in the digital, screen printing, graphic, garment, industrial, and installation sectors of the specialty-imaging industry.

At last count, more than 450 exhibitors (including 50 first-time exhibitors, SGIA reports) were slated to be on hand at this year’s show. An interactive floor plan as well as a searchable up-to-date list of companies is available on the event website ( Stop by The Big Picture at stand #835.

Becoming a More Learned PSP
SGIA Expo offers more than 40 Classic Expo Educational Sessions plus free presentations in the various Zones (see “Get Zoned Out”). The Classic sessions are segmented into four major tracks: Graphics & Sign, Garment Decoration, Industrial Application, and Business Management. Here are just a few of the sessions (note that all Classic sessions take place Wednesday and Thursday only):

• “Strategies and Opportunities in Wide-Format Inkjet”
• “Wide-Format Textile Overview”
• “Selling Wide-Format Made Easy”
• “Inkjet Heads: State of the Art”
• “Essential Business Metrics”
• “Use the Right Sales-Compensation Plan”
• “3D Printing and Prototyping”
• “Digital Decoration of Ceramics”
• “Garment Dye-Sub Printing”

Get Zoned Out
SGIA has established seven special Zones at this year’s Expo, all of which offer free educational programming to learn more about the following specific areas of interest:


* Strategic Sustainable Solutions Zone: New this year, experts discuss pathways shops can take to become more sustainable – from energy and recycling strategies to becoming a zero-waste facility. Plus: sustainable media applications in the marketplace; the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership; and more.

* Digital Textile Printed Zone: This zone is also new for 2013. Technical and design requirements, recommended workflows, color-management tips, finishing techniques, and recommended best practices for various ink-and-fabric combinations. Also: Visit with students and faculty from the Textile Design Program at Philadelphia University's School of Design and Engineering.

* Digital Apparel Production Zone: Represents a wide-range of solutions for all types of decorating options to produce fully customizable apparel in markets like outdoor retail, teen sports, urban fashion, runway-ready apparel, and more.

* PDAA Graphics Application Zone: informative presentations, live demonstrations, and hands-on training in vinyl installation from the Professional Decal Application Alliance; tips and tricks from installation trainers and materials experts.

* Color-Management & Workflow Applications Zone: Attendees can learn about color-management tools and techniques, as well as RIP technologies, quality assurance, color certification, and more. Also: “Ask the Color Expert.”

* Digital Signage Innovation Zone: How digital signage can be used to convey messages, present variable or scheduled information, and add a dynamic element to broader graphics projects.


* Screen Printed Apparel Training Zone: All the trends in garment screen printing, including high-end printing techniques, pre-registration systems, manual and automatic presses, and more.

Building a Community
On Wednesday evening, SGIA will be hosting “community-building receptions” at the Expo for seven specialty-imaging sectors. Sectors will include: SGIA Graphic Printer Community; PDAA Community; Garment Decoration Community; Printed Electronics and Industrial Communities Reception; Latin American Community; Canadian Community; and the Pro Imaging Golf Championship Reception. (Note: For these receptions, registrants automatically receive a ticket in their registration materials; otherwise, attendance is by invitation only, or contact SGIA to participate.)

Thursday morning, attendees can start off their SGIA Expo experience with the event’s keynote address by Don Hutson, author of “The One-Minute Negotiator,” “The One-Minute Entrepreneur,” and “The Sale.” Attendees will also be able to participate in a Thursday afternoon educational session with Hutson, “The High-Performance Selling Edge.” He’ll focus on sales strategies and tactics to differentiate a company in a highly competitive marketplace.

Viewing ‘Golden’
Looking for the crème de la crème when it comes to output? SGIA’s Golden Image Award competition allows imagers of all skill levels to show off what they can do and select winners are then formally recognized in the Golden Image Gallery on the show floor. The competition annually recognizes innovative work in the digital and screen printing marketplace. Competition judges evaluate contenders on specific criteria, such as: image definition, job complexity, registration, overall impression, and other factors. Golden Image

Gallery hours are 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, and 9:30 – noon on Friday.
Also announced at the show are the Product of the Year Awards (open to SGIA member exhibitors) and the awards in the Tom Frecska Student Printing Competition, which honors excellent student work in the specialty-imaging field.

Fantastic Fabrics
Co-locating with SGIA Expo this year are the IFAI Specialty Fabrics Expo and Advanced Textiles Trade Show, both organized by the Industrial Fabrics Association International. The Fabrics Expo event showcases awnings, digital printing, graphics, tarps, tents, and more; the Advanced Textiles show addresses products such as aerospace, engineering, geosynthetics, medical, safety and technical, as well as military goods. The Advanced Textiles Conference will feature a keynote presentation by NASA’s Brooks Kimmel, who will focus on specific textiles and fabrics NASA has utilized in an effort to protect astronauts and ground-support personnel; in addition, the show will feature an informative aerospace display including a flight suit and covers used to protect the space station. The registration fee for SGIA Expo allows entry to the IFAI Expo as well.

A Gathering Point for Printed Electronics
If printed electronics are your thing – or you think they might be in your future – the two-day 2013 SGIA Printed Electronics & Membrane Switch Symposium begins the day before the SGIA Expo opens. It’s designed to serve as a gathering point for printed-electronics and membrane-switch professionals looking for the latest technology updates and new innovations, the association reports.

The Symposium’s educational program’s sessions include: “Good Manufacturing Practices for Regulated Products,” “Printing on Light Guide Panels,” “The Journey from Nameplates and Labels to Printed Electronics,” “The Next Frontier in Printed Circuits,” “Current and Future Opportunities for Film Insert Molding,” and others.

Going Social
The following social-media sites will not only get you hyped for SGIA Expo, but also keep you informed and involved throughout the show:
Twitter: @sgiaexpo
Facebook: Specialty Graphic Imaging Association
LinkedIn: SGIA



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