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SGIA Expo: Wide Format in the Desert

(September 2010) posted on Mon Aug 30, 2010

Las Vegas event takes place October 13-15, and will feature new Expert Advice Zones and much more. Visit The Big Picture magazine at booth 3479.

click an image below to view slideshow

By Paula L. Yoho

Product of the Year Awards: Recognizes the top equipment and supplies currently on the market “that are advancing the specialty imaging industry.” Winners represent the best-judged consumables and output devices for the wide-format market. Major categories include Media for Digital Inkjet; Inks; Business and Workflow Software; Finishing; and Output Devices (must print a test image). Deadline is September 24; only exhibiting companies may enter. Winners are announced and awards presented at the SGIA Thursday night Dinner Party.

SGIA Howard Parmele Award: Recognizes the ongoing commitments of a professional “who has advanced specialty imaging's products, services, and overall image.” Accomplishments may include technical developments in methods or materials, or more general successes that enhance the perception of the industry. Nominees do not have to be Association members to win. Award presented at the Thursday night Dinner Party.

Tom Frecska Student Printing Competition Awards: These awards honor superior imaging work within a variety of categories; entrants represent secondary (high school and vocational) students and post-secondary (technical school, college or university) students. Named in honor of Tom Frecska, the late editor of Screen Printing Magazine, sister publication of The Big Picture. Winning submissions will be displayed during the SGIA Expo.

Where the Locals Go
When people think of Las Vegas, they often think of the flashy lights and glitzy shows of the strip. But just outside the city lies an entirely different world—one of natural beauty, recreation and, for some, quiet dinners, sans show girls.

For Las Vegas native Doug Newson, president of The National Print Group (, getting back to nature is a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life, and from the rigors of the trade show floor. When he wants to unwind, Newson heads to Red Rock Canyon, a scenic area of desert rock formations just 15 miles west of town.

“It’s a national park hardly anyone knows about and it’s beautiful beyond words,” says Newson. “There’s hiking, trails, rock climbing, repelling, wild life, wild burros, desert tortoises.”

Situated on nearly 200,000 acres, the conservation area includes a 13-mile scenic drive, more than 30 miles of trails for hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking, and a nature center with book store.

Newson’s also a fan of hitting the links after a long day at the office: “Golf is phenomenal here in the fall and, within 30 minutes of the strip, there are a bunch of very nice courses. Badlands ( is probably my favorite course. It’s probably 15, 20 minutes from the Strip at most. It’s a challenging course, but it’s a phenomenal golf course and the scenery is just breathtaking – you can see the strip from part of it. It’s really a fun golf course.”

The hotels can arrange golf outings for SGIA guests, he says, and many of them offer shuttles, so a rental car is unnecessary.

For thrill seekers, Newson recommends the city’s newest thrill attraction—SkyJump—an 855-foot free fall from the 108th floor of the Stratosphere Hotel and Tower ( Billed as the “only sky jump in North America and the highest in the world,” the newest addition to the Stratosphere’s collection of attractions for adrenaline junkies is similar to a vertical zip line. Jumpers are harnessed in and attached to a cable that is connected to a “descender” machine. Guide wires keep the skyjumper on course and on target and, just before reaching the rapidly approaching ground, the skyjumper is slowed down for a controlled and safe landing.

“I haven’t done it yet, but I’ve seen people do it and my son’s done it,” Newson says. “It’ll scare you to pieces.”

What better way to end an adventurous day than with a mouth-watering meal? When company comes to visit Newson, he takes them to Rosemary’s on West Charleston ( Named in 2007 “Best Gourmet Restaurant” by the Las Vegas Review-Journal and recipient of an Award of Distinction from Wine Enthusiast magazine, Rosemary’s offers “French-inspired, creative American cuisine with regional twists from New Orleans, the Deep South and the Midwest,” according to its owners, chefs Michael and Wendy Jordan.

“The service is out of this world,” says Newson. “Two of you can go in and have dinner, but you’ll have four servers waiting on you. They fall all over themselves to help you. It’s a favorite of a lot of locals. It’s a great place to go and the food is fantastic.”