Graph Expo Expectations

Jim Hamilton
Sep 8, 2015

Graph Expo 2015 (September 13-16, Chicago) begins on Sunday and whether you are able to be there or not, here are a few things you should know in advance.

Who Has the Biggest Booths on the Show Floor?

One good way of assessing the level of marketing spend that an exhibitor has made on a trade show is to measure the size of their booth. InfoTrends has been doing this for shows like Graph Expo, Print, IPEX, and drupa for many years. This year, the biggest exhibitors (by square foot of exhibit space as measured from the publicly available show floor map) are shown below.

Canon, as was the case at Graph Expo 2014, has the largest booth, followed by Konica Minolta. HP is in the number three spot, up from number six last year. Xerox dropped down a spot and is followed by Ricoh, EFI, Pitney Bowes, and Standard Finishing. KIP America breaks into the top ten at number nine. Last year’s number nine, Muller Martini, is not exhibiting. The top twelve is rounded out by Kodak, KBA, and Scodix. Traditional offset vendors (including some with new digital offerings) will be exhibiting, but not in the biggest booths (KBA is the only one in the top twelve). Offset system providers with booths include Goss, Komori, manroland, Presstek, Ryobi MHI, and TKS, but not Heidelberg, which hasn’t been a Graph Expo exhibitor since 2011.

Must See ‘Ems

The Graph Expo organizers do a nice job of identifying some new and recently announced products across a range of product categories. If you are going to be at the show, definitely pick up one of the Must See ‘Ems brochures. Most of the Must See ‘Ems winners have been made public already but there were two that have not been announced yet (because the products are still under wraps). One of these is in the Digital Press category and the other is in the Prepress and Premedia category. Keep an eye out for these announcements in the coming days (along with three or four more in the digital print space that we know are coming).

B2 or Not B2?

An interesting open question is whether certain products will actually be shown running on the show floor. Vendors have a tough decision to make about whether to bring a sizable and expensive piece of equipment, particularly in the early stages of its roll-out. It is quite possible that many of the new B2 products will not be on show floor. HP is likely to be one of the few, with the Indigo 10000, but the Delphax elan, the Fujifilm J Press 720S, the Konica Minolta KM-1, and the Komori IS-29 are not expected to be on the show floor. And what about Benny Landa’s B1-format S10? Landa is not exhibiting at Graph Expo but will have an extensive booth at drupa (May 2016 in Dusseldorf, Germany). Don’t expect to see Canon’s Océ VarioPrint i300 either. This cut-sheet B3-format inkjet product (best known by its technology name: “Niagara) is like many of the products mentioned above, either in beta test or early production, such that vendors find it to be a better use of the resource to have it placed in a customer site. Some Chicago-area suppliers may also have a unit in their demo facilities and will plan events there to coincide with the show.

The Proof Is in the Print Sample (Video)

A great reason to go to the show is to pick up print samples from the various systems on display. I just finished recording three new print sample videos of products that are sure to be highlighted at Graph Expo:

  • HP Indigo: HP sent out a great selection of samples, timed very nicely to arrive in advance of the show. The set highlights the range of capabilities in the Indigo line, including the B2 format of the Indigo 10000 and its ability to print on a range of stocks with up to seven colors.
  • Xerox iGen5: Xerox has added a 5th color station to the new iGen5 capable of running green, blue, or orange. In this video I compare the output between pieces produced with the fifth color and another that is four-color only. (See also this blog I wrote about the iGen5.)
  • Fujifilm J Press 720S: Fujifilm is now on the second generation of its J Press B2-format inkjet product. In this video I show a range of applications produced on the 720S

You may wish to have a look at the nine print sample videos I recorded after Graph Expo 2014 and you can find all sixty-seven of my print sample videos on the Jim Hamilton YouTube page.

In Closing

I’m expecting an interesting show and I hope that the attendance numbers will bear out significant levels of industry participation. The air traffic control tower fire disrupted travel plans for many who wanted to attend Graph Expo 2014. Here’s hoping the show can avoid any such issues this year. Next year, as you may have heard, Graph Expo makes the bold move to Orlando (Orange County Convention Center, September 25-28, 2016). Print industry aficionados will return to the McCormick Center Chicago the following year for Print 17 (September 10–14, 2017).

Follow me on Twitter (@jrhinfotrends) and also track the hashtag #graphexpo to keep up to speed on what others are saying about the show. InfoTrends clients looking to see the latest as gathered by our news editors should go to the ‘My News’ section of our password-protected web site and use the title search tool. A search on the term “Graph Expo” will bring up dozens of items.

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