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FLEXO Magazine : July 2007
G iven the current state of things in the package printing & converting market, some would say that the days of the all-inclusive, all-encompassing trade show in North America have pretty much gone the same route as the computer disk drive measured in megabytes! They served their purpose at a point in time when other avenues for marketing a company’s products and services were somewhat limited. But as the world continued to “shrink” with the introduction of innovative, cost-effective means for producers to reach a worldwide reservoir of prospective customers, the real value of that colossal trade show has waned. That being said, one could always argue, “Look at drupa! It continues to grow show after show.” This model, in my mind, continues to defy all logic . . . drupa 2008 will break all previous records. With some 170,000 square meters of net exhibition space, I have no answer to this argument! The package printing & converting trade show and exhibition market in North America is currently going through a period of “redefinition.” There are a handful of events to select from with no clear venue that comes out on top. The events that seem to do the best these days are the ones that focus on a clearly defined niche market. INFO*FLEX, although not a true “trade show,” has filled a very distinctive need for companies looking to participate in a low-cost, easily-manageable exhibition. A signifi- cant percentage of the 1,700 INFO*FLEX attendees fill “technical” positions in their companies and therefore do not typically make the trip to other shows. The goal is to continue to build on the value that INFO*FLEX provides to the FTA membership through further dialogue with the various FTA industry leadership councils. I recently posed a number of questions to exhibitors and attendees about how trade shows fit into their company’s marketing plans. The one common element in their responses was that people certainly did feel a significant “void” in the marketplace. Although there was no uniform direction expressed, it was apparent that they are con- cerned with reaching new prospects at the rate they used to at industry shows. I can’t say if they miss having that all-encompassing machinery show from an objective business point of view or simply from a nostalgic perspective. My main point is not to try to sway anyone toward any particular show at this juncture. The management team and FTA/FFTA boards are more concerned with working to bet- ter understand current flexo industry dynamics and how we can assist the membership in reaching its networking, sales and marketing goals more effectively. Our team—led by Director of Business Development Jay Kaible—has begun assembling a focus group of exhibiting companies and prospective customers to speak in a unified voice, represent- ing the FTA, to determine the trade show and exhibition needs for the future. We can no longer continue to live by the “if you build it they will come” credo! If you have some thoughts on the topic, by all means take the first step and get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to express your opinion or suggest some direction. The only real way we can be successful in creating and sustaining an effective trade show business model for our members is if we get people together, listen to them . . . and truly hear what they have to say. So speak up for the good of your company and industry! engaging ideas aug. 2007 1 – 2 Clemson, SC FFTA/Clemson Seminar Series: Optimizing Digital Plates for Flexo 7-9 Rochester, NY FFTA/RIT Basic Flexographer - Level I 8-10 Broadview, IL FFTA/DiTrolio Flexographic Institute Advanced Flexo Course - Level 2 15-16 Kalamazoo, MI FFTA/WMU Mastering Flexographic Principles 21-23 Rochester, NY FFTA/RIT Color Management for Flexography Sept. 2007 18-20 Rochester, NY FFTA/RIT Flexographic Relationships & Variables 20 Bloomington, MN FFTA Regional Workshop: Productivity and Quality Implementation 26 - 28 Clemson, SC FFTA/Clemson University Flexographic Process Color Printing Symposium 26-28 Broadview, IL FFTA/DiTrolio Flexographic Institute Basic Flexo Course - Level 1 oct. 2007 1 - 4 Appleton, WI FFTA/FVTC Fundamentals of Narrow Web Press Operation 8 - 11 Appleton, WI FFTA/FVTC Achieving Consistency in Process Printing 9 Kansas City, MO FFTA Regional Workshop: Best of FFTA Forum 2007 23 - 25 Rochester, NY FFTA/RIT Basic Flexographer - Level I 24 - 26 Broadview, IL FFTA/DiTrolio Flexographic Institute Advanced Flexo Course - Level 2 Calendar Package Printing & Converting Trade Shows & Exhibitions What Are Companies Looking
Golden Anniversary Commemorative Journal