New industry trade show—a good idea?


Staff member
SGIA & NAPCO have partnered to offer a new print centric trade show: PRINT United. It’s scheduled to kick off in Dallas, October 23–25, 2019.

This will be a new event, encompassing the current SGIA show and focusing on the present print industry today, brought about by the convergence of technology & applications: industrial, packaging, mailing, digital and inkjet. This is probably a good idea considering how fragmented the industry shows have become.

We’ve seen this all before when various regional shows once morphed into East & West events as well as shows aimed at singular technologies. Here, I’m thinking about some former trade shows that were dedicated to specific platforms or storage mediums. With the ongoing footprint shrinkage of Graph Expo / PRINT—XX, and the proliferation of technology-specific shows such as Label Expo, and manufacturer-held events, it a wonder to me that it’s taken so long to bring technology & applications all together into one all encompassing, major show-and-tell.

I believe this may provide more information & convenience for both the printer and the technology purveyor. Your thoughts?


Well-known member
It seems that conventional trade shows are perceived as having value and are attended when the show focusses on a segment that is seen to be growing and where innovative solutions and new technologies are being developed - as was the case with the recent LabelExpo in Brussels. When a segment is perceived as being stagnant or even receding (as is the case with offset) then there is little incentive for companies to spend the money to have employees attend. And from the vendor's point of view there is little incentive to have a presence at a trade show - as the shows do not provide a good or effective sales/marketing opportunity compared with other methods of reaching prospects - which is why the main vendors are often noted by their absence at these events.
I don't see a be-all one-stop inclusive print trade show (as PRINT United appears to be) as being an attractive event for either printers or vendors to invest their time and money in attending.
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I think this is a great idea. I always search for printing industry related trade shows. You can find things that are useful to increase productivity and most of all, you get to meet people from the industry.


Well-known member
Combined shows would be great. Being a supplier and from Chicago, I often wished Graph Expo/Print and Labelexpo Americas would join forces. Between budgetary restrictions and the shrinking footprint of the former it makes sense. PRINT17 was disappointing, turnout was dismal on Sunday and waned after Tuesday. A combined show would be good annually, separate shows are justifiably every other year events.

The excitement and crowds at Labelexpo Americas in Rosemont every other year , though in a smaller venue, remind me of the "old days" at McCormick Place. The emphasis at GraphExpo/Print is not on offset and traditional iron anymore, so why not ? A PRINTING show really should encompass all facets of how the image is put on paper, vinyl, carton, t-shirts, etc. anyway.

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