Beginning Oct. 26 and running through Nov. 12, the PRINTING United Digital Experience hosted more than 40 product launches and 100 educational sessions throughout its 14-day run. Hosted by Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) and Printing Industries of America (PIA), which officially merged in 2020, the digital platform highlighted different market segments from commercial, digital textile, graphics/wide-format and industrial printing application technologies. Despite the continuing spread of COVID-19, PRINTING United allowed market segments throughout the industry to remain united during a year filled with unprecedented challenges.
Throughout the event, industry experts presented on the latest trends, research and areas of growing opportunity – all offered at no cost to event attendees. Each day began with a special keynote address followed by a detailed schedule of educational sessions and panels, product spotlights and unveilings.
Some of the keynote presentations included “Building a Manufacturing Mindset,” addressing the rise in digital finishing equipment, as well as workflow software that has led to a shifting mindset among graphics and wide-format printers. “Electrophotography – Digital Print of the Past and Future” spoke to the renaissance currently happening with toner printing technology and products, becoming more competitive with inkjet. “Trends and Opportunities in Labels and Flexible Packaging” provided an overview of the label and flexible packaging segments, including the latest technologies driving innovations. “Workflow and Automation: From Date Night to Marriage” spoke to growing automation trends, specifically workflow and how to achieve maximum efficiency.
Other sessions of note included “Convergence Considerations: High-Speed Production Inkjet” on the advances in production inkjet technology making it an indispensable and flexible tool. “Essential Strategies for Equipment Purchases” covered key strategies including evaluation of need vs. want, opportunities for differentiation, ROI, total cost and more. Finally, “How Great Promotional Products Decoration Can Give Businesses an Edge in the COVID Economy,” which explores how great decoration elevates an ordinary giveaway or piece of banded merchandise into an item end-users will rave about.
Even with the new digital format, major OEMs and suppliers were able to launch technology on a worldwide stage. Attendees were able to view new technology from such companies as Canon, FujiFilm, Heidelberg, HP, Kodak, Konica Minolta, Rochester Software Associates (RSA), Ricoh, RolandDGA, Standard Finishing Systems, Xeikon and more.
“We built the PRINTING United Digital Experience as a way to keep the industry united and moving forward, as well as provide an elevated stage, as we traditionally do, for companies to debut the products they’ve worked so hard to bring to market this year,” said Mark J. Subers, president of PRINTING United. “During a year when launching new products has been a real challenge, we are thrilled to learn about the new technology featured on the PRINTING United Digital Experience platform from companies around the world. “It is especially exciting that the Digital Experience is being used as a springboard for plans by many of our partners for our in-person Expo in 2021.”
As COVID-19 continues to spread across the country – and the world – the ability to host events like PRINTING United on a digital platform have become crucial for keeping those in the industry connected and informed of the latest technologies and advances. While there are some limitations with an all-virtual event, one of the major benefits is that attendees can revisit each session multiple times since videos will remain available through Jan. 31, 2021.
PRINTING United 2021 is scheduled to take place Oct. 6-8, 2021, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. For more information, visit www.printingunited.com.