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FLEXO Magazine : December 2007
DESIRE TO LEARN According to Mark Cisternino, FTA president, sessions at both Seminars were highly advanced. "Based on what I've seen, the Mexican and Latin American marketplace is really on par with North America, Europe, and the rest of the world. As such, there is a strong demand for higher level information," he said. Cisternino noted that feedback from attendees has shown there is a desire for continuous improvement and advanced edu- cation. Attendee response this year proved this to be true. Milena Flores, FTA's Latin American Seminar coordinator, said, "People were saying that speakers were well prepared." Cisternino and Flores also indicated that discussion of initi- ating a seminar that focused on sales and business aspects of flexographic printing/converting arose. "There is talk of creating a high level program that is for owners and CEOs on running an effective business, the pressures in the marketplace, vari- ous issues with importing and exporting, etc.," said Cisternino. "Such an event would be hosted independently of the technical seminars." Response was equally as positive in Colombia, where attendees demonstrated a strong hunger for information. "There was a real thirst for knowledge," said Cisternino. "After the first session, the tabletops were picked clean of literature. It was amazing. There was a rush of people, trying to get as much information as they could." Flores claimed, in Colombia, the sessions were filled to capacity until the very end of the event. RAISING AWARENESS FTA's Latin American Seminars, which the Association has been hosting for more than 25 years, have proved to be of great value not just to the flexo industry in the region, but also the global flexographic community. "Most countries in Latin America are in growth modes," said Cisternino. In that respect, the international event is as much an opportunity for North American companies as it is for Latin American firms. "One of our objectives is to offer benefits to the companies that participate in the presentations and the tabletops, thereby assisting them in gaining the networking opportunities in Latin America." Flores insisted that, in both countries, there was a desire to improve one's ability. "If you look at the quality that is coming out of this area of the world, it has really taken off and become more consistent," added Cisternino. "The world is shrinking. There are definite opportunities globally for the smallest of companies. The more we can do to bring people together to share and exchange ideas and technologies, it raises everybody up." All in all, the FTA Latin American Seminars proved a great success. Cisternino extended a tremendous word of thanks to Proveedora Flexografica S.A. de C.V. and DuPont de Colombia for their assistance. "They helped out a lot with the details at the ho- tels, as well as with the promotional work."n