Published: July 26, 2022
Cary Sherburne previews the upcoming Americas Print Show 2022, scheduled for August 17–19 in Columbus, Ohio, which will offer an opportunity for commercial printing professionals to once again gather in person after a long pandemic hiatus.
The Americas Print Show 2022 (APS22), scheduled for August 17–19 in Columbus, Ohio, will be an opportunity for commercial printing professionals to once again gather in person after a long pandemic hiatus. It’s location in the heart of the country where there are many printing firms located makes it easy to access and it is in driving range for a large number of printing companies.
The show already has more than 1,000 registered attendees (not including exhibitors or support staff) and already has 70 committed exhibitors, including well-known names as well as first-timers.
We spoke with one of those first timers, Mike Leciejewski of Add-Jet, located in Cincinnati, to gain insight into why he felt this was an important show.
“I think this show is going to be kind of a sleeper show,” Leciejewski said. “I think we will be surprised at the outcome. We are a regional company that covers seven states in the Midwest. We have about 15 employees and distribute products from MCS, Bluecrest and others, and we cater to the printing and mailing industry, strictly commercial printers. We are neophytes coming to a show like this. We don’t normally do shows, and we don’t do shows at this large of a scale. We have a 30×50 booth and are bringing close to a million dollars’ worth of equipment. I think people are hungry to go to a print show. They want to go, but they don’t really want to have to fly. They want to get into a car, and they want to be able to bring some of the people, but they also want to keep costs down. I think we will see a lot of people driving in, spending four or five hours at the show, and perhaps spending the night to drive back in the morning. I really thing the show is going to be a surprise!”
Leciejewski will be showing a Bluecrest high-speed inserter that produces 26,000 inserted envelops per hour with the ability to spray a corresponding address on the outside. He will also be showing and MCS Merlin K14 inkjet printer, an affordable sheetfed press that does not require a click charge and prints at about 8,000 sheets per hour. Finally, he will be showing an MCS color inkjet envelope printer that he says will help commercial printers better manage production time and costs for envelopes in light of the paper shortages.
Add-Jet is just one of many exhibitors at the show that will be showing new and existing solutions that printing business owners, managers and staff will be able to see firsthand and gain an understanding of how they might help their businesses grow.
In addition to the exhibit hall, the show will feature educational sessions with a wide range of current topics and speakers. We spoke with one of the presenters, Jim Russell of New Direction Partners, who said, “As the preeminent mergers and acquisitions firm working exclusively in the printing, packaging and labels industries, we are happy to be presenting two seminars at the Americas Print Show and are looking forward to welcoming attendees to these and other learning opportunities that are being made available. We are also glad to be getting back to in-person events where there are many networking opportunities as well, so important for the health of the industry.”
Americas Print Show will also provide a venue for many co-located events, including meetings hosted by 17 different printing associations, including most of the former PIA Affiliates. We spoke with Melissa Jones, President of GAA, who has been working hard to put together the Affiliates’ Summer meeting. In a piece of news she shared with us, the Affiliates organization will now be known as Americas Printing Association Network (APAN). The summer meeting will be held prior to the show, from the 14th to the 17th, and will culminate with a tour of the Canon booth on the first day of the show. APAN will also be hosting a welcome reception the evening of the 17th, to which all attendees are welcome, starting at 5 p.m. At 6 p.m., she proudly shared that the first annual Americas Print Show awards will be presented. “We have collected 15 top winning entries from each of 11 Affiliates for this competition,” she says, “and the entries are amazing. We are really excited about starting this tradition and recognizing the terrific work APAN’s membership produces.”
The summer meeting will also include two keynote speakers, WhatTheyThink’s President Eric Vessels, who will share ideas on how APAN can work with the media to mutual benefit; and Tim Minton, the Executive Vice President at the North Carolina Home Builders Association. Jones explains that Minton grew the association to the largest state home builders’ association in the country and will bring an outside-the-industry perspective to the association business.
For more detail about this upcoming show, we spoke to Jim Cunningham, who is President of Americas Print Show, and Jules Van Sant of Bubble & Hatch, who is doing marketing for the show.
Printing News: Explain to us how the show is structured. I understand there is quite a bit of exhibitor square footage already reserved.
Jim Cunningham: Yes, there is still some space available, but it’s pretty well booked. On the education front, every morning there are two sets of sessions being presented by industry influencers and thought leaders on topics like sales, valuations, cyber security, sustainability—across the board with topics that are very relevant for print businesses today.
PN: And in person, after a long hiatus!
JC: Yes. We have had webinars all over the place, but to be able to actually engage in person, I think there is an elevated opportunity to dig in. That’s the idea of bringing everyone together to collaborate and connect during the show. Attendees will be able to visit exhibitors on the floor throughout the day, and many vendors will be making presentations as well on some of their newer technologies or other opportunities attendees can be looking for.
PN: Jules, any other aspects you would like to highlight?
Jules Van Sant: We will have a workforce development area where we will host a summit and a lunch panel talking about those current challenges and hiring trends. We will showcase opportunities from the PGSF standpoint, with printers, suppliers, educators and recruiters joining together to better understand how we collectively elevate our game. We are also hoping to do speed dating interviews with prospective employees, and we are working with the universities and schools in the region to bring students here and perhaps others that are looking for a career change. We are thrilled to be including a tour at Hopkins Printing in conjunction with PGSF on August 18.
PN: That’s so important. The printing industry isn’t alone with difficulty in hiring, but maybe we have some different problems because of the perception of the industry that needs to be changed. When people see that a printing operation is a clean, high-tech environment with fair pay and good hours, it can make a difference.
JVS: The industry is having a conversation about that, and perhaps we have not been very good at selling that idea, and that we need to give employees an upward mobility opportunity within our companies. I’m excited about helping people to think a little broader in how they recruit.
PN: I also heard that there will be a lot of co-located meetings and events during the show.
JVS: Yes. A lot of the regional printing industry affiliates will be converging at the show and conducting their summer meetings there. There will also be a lot of social events for regional groups to come together, as well as other opportunities to connect, collaborate and rebuild the community in a way we have not had a chance to do for the last couple years.
Another event that is near and dear to my heart is the Girls Who Print luncheon. We are finalizing details for that luncheon which will take place on the 18th. Deborah Corn and Kelly Mallozzi, Girl 1 and Girl 2, will be helping facilitate that event.
The show is in a location that is easy to get to, and everything is reasonably priced.
PN: Jim, how about visitors? Do you have any information on registration so far? I know it’s early, especially since people might be waiting a bit to see what the next phase of COVID is.
JC: Yes, it is still a little early, but we are shooting for a minimum of two to three thousand attendees. It will be an intimate enough opportunity show that you are really going to be able to connect, but a big enough opportunity that you are going to be exposed to a lot of information. It won’t be something where you will walk in and be overwhelmed and not know where to go. We’ll have something for everyone and enable them to connect the dots as they plan for the future. Six hundred people have already signed up for sessions, which are filling up fast. So, we encourage your readers to take a look at the program and sign up for sessions they are interested in.
PN: One of the show trends we have seen of late, even before the pandemic, was perhaps fewer people attending the shows, but a larger percentage of attendees are decision makers and key influencers. But because of the central location, and because a lot of people are likely to drive there, maybe they can bring a production manager or CSR or sales.
JC: That’s a great idea. Again, there will be something for everyone, and the education sessions topics could bring great value to a number of different people in the company. We really invite individuals and firms to take a look at www.americasprintshow.com, where they can find more information about the show and register to attend! We’ll look forward to seeing everyone and getting together in person again!
PN: Thanks again, Jim, Jules and the rest of the team, for all of your hard work in pulling this event together!
About Cary Sherburne
Cary Sherburne is a well-known author, journalist and marketing consultant whose practice is focused on marketing communications strategies for the printing and publishing industries.
Cary Sherburne is available for speaking engagements and consulting projects. To get more information contact us.
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AMERICAS PRINT SHOW
Greater Columbus Convention Center
400 N. High St. Columbus, Ohio 43215
August 17-19, 2022