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SGIA 2009: N'awlins Opportunities

(September 2009) posted on Wed Sep 09, 2009

The annual expo -- to be held October 7-9 in New Orleans -- offers something for everyone.

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By MaryKate Moran

Also, the keynote breakfast will be held on Thursday, October 8, from 8:30-10 a.m. in the convention center’s La Nouvelle Orleans Ballroom. Keynote speaker Marc Miller, CEO of Sogostics and author of Selling is Dead and A Seat at the Table, will present “Driving Revenue with New Selling Strategies,” which examines the skills, strategies,
mindset, and steps required for successful sales.

Exploring and networking
From 2007 through 2008, manufacturers/suppliers, print shops, and installers “adopted” New Orleans’ Canal Street and worked with SGIA to beautify the corridor from the Convention Center to the French Quarter. While you’re in town for the expo, you can see the results of this volunteer project, designed to heighten the street’s
visual impact by providing and installing large-format graphics featuring scenes of the city.

SGIA reports that print-provider participants included: Alabama Graphics (Birmingham, Alabama), Gillespie Graphics (Wilsonville, Oregon), Markley Enterprise (Elkhart,
Indiana), Miller-Zell (Atlanta), New Vista Image (Golden, Colorado), Pixus Digital Printing (Lafayette, Louisiana), Selecto-Flash (West Orange, New Jersey),
Stella Color (Seattle), and Vista Color Imaging (Cleveland). Vendor participants included: 3M Graphics Market Center, Alcan Composites, FlexCon, Gerber Scientific
Products, MacDermid ColorSpan and Nur America (both now part of HP), and Ultraflex Systems.

There are plenty of networking opportunities at the expo as well. You can kick off the expo on Tuesday, October 6, with some golf on the Gulf. The Stonebridge Golf Club will host the John M. Crawford Golf Tournament at 8 a.m., including a caddy shack party at the conclusion of the round. Cost: $140 for SGIA members, $160 for non-members.

And what’s New Orleans without some partying? Thursday, October 8, from 6:30-10 p.m., is the Crescent City Cocktails and Connections soiree. A $35 ticket gets you
into the Napoleon/Versailles Ballroom in the Hilton New Orleans Riverside for drinks and dinner, not to mention a night of networking.

Shaking off the doldrums
Still debating whether you want to make the trip? Consider these comments by SGIA’s Michael Robertson, which should serve as incentive:

“It’s time to shake off those recession doldrums and focus on the growing business opportunities in the imaging marketplace. The specialty-graphics community has more going for it than any other printer sector. Margins are certainly tighter since the recession hit, but specialty-graphics producers have avoided the commoditization trap mainly because of emerging technology.