Why We’re Not at GraphExpo

This year WebsitesForPrinters.com decided not to exhibit at GraphExpo in Chicago. I have really come to love Chicago and GraphExpo, I really wanted to be there, but it just wasn’t meant to be this year. It was a tough decision, but I’m certain it was the right decision.

Our decision to not attend has found many of our clients asking, “Why not?” This blog entry is for you … here are the two main reasons.

Reason #1: Last year’s show (Print 09) was OK, but from the exhibitors’ perspectives it certainly didn’t have the excitement of other shows. Learning that Heidelberg, Komori, and others would not be attending GraphExpo 2010 made this year’s investment seem even more ominous.

Reason #2: This is the biggie. There are big positive changes coming around the corner for clients of WebsitesForPrinters.com! These improvements are taking a lot of resources … much of which (if handled correctly) will be invisible to our clients and prospects. It really came down to this choice: Do we put all this positive change momentum on hold for a few months in order to chase down new prospects at GraphExpo, or do we keep our focus on the positive change so we can build a more powerful solution for our existing clients? No contest. We’ll choose to honor the loyalty of our existing clients.

So what are these big changes? You can get a feel for what’s coming by visiting MarketingIdeasForPrinters.com. All our individual companies and product lines will be doing away with their autonomy to create one new, powerful company. Everything that everyone already knows about WebsitesForPrinters.com and Ink Inc. will continue to be there, but it will be there better under the MarketingIdeasForPrinters.com banner.

It’s really coming together. Joining WebsitesForPrinters.com and Ink Inc. is The Buzz, which is a service designed to allow printers to reach out to their prospects and clients through social media channels. It’s worth a look: SocialMarketingForPrinters.com.

I miss the hustle and bustle of Chicago … but at the same time I’m glad we decided to stay here in Fargo, keeping our focus on our existing customer base. It’s a tough time for a lot of printers, we’ll continue to do everything we can to help them … even if that means skipping our annual trip to Chicago and GraphExpo this year.

6 Responses to Why We’re Not at GraphExpo

  1. davehultin says:

    I’d like to add a P.S. to the original post. Earlier this week I talked with a WebsitesForPrinters.com client who in addition to his printing business also produces a niche product for the trade. He also traditionally exhibits at GraphExpo, but decided not to exhibit this year. However, he still went to GraphExpo as an attendee. He said that the back third of the hall was hidden behind the movable wall, and that there was a lot of eating space. He reported brisk traffic on Sunday, but perhaps it just looked brisk because the show was condensed down to a smaller area.

  2. tom clifford says:

    The show was smaller, no Heidelberg, smaller footprint all around, but it was PACKED!!!

    The inkjet market is hitting its stride…

    But will the show be back to Chicago next year? The cost of having a booth is HUGE!!! Do the costs outweigh the benefits?

  3. davehultin says:

    Yeah, I know what you mean about booth costs. It’s not costly only in terms of money, but also in terms of time … time to prepare everything that goes into putting on a great show.

    I suspect the show will be back. It’s my understanding that Heidelberg is planning on coming back again next year. It’s starting to feel more and more like an every-other-year show (alternating with the Print show), and if Heidelberg starts an every-other-year routine, I suspect that will be the tipping point.

  4. Scott says:

    Going forward, I would not be so quick to use Heidelberg as a benchmark. The future of this industry will be very different than the past.

  5. davehultin says:

    Good point, Scott. I can’t help but think what Mr. Gutenberg would say if he would be able to walk the show floor these days…! I am amazed at all the transformation I’ve seen in my short lifetime. (At least it used to be a short lifetime! Things look different on the “plus” side of 40!)

  6. davehultin says:

    Last week I picked up another GraphExpo comment from one of our clients. In his e-mail he said:

    On another note, I wanted to let you know that you missed absolutely nothing at Graph Expo this year. It was a miserable showing…one that I hope to never see again in my career!

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