The 2013 Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) expo, which took place October 23 to 25, 2013 at the Orange County Convention Center, filled up 212,600 square feet of space with the show floor 100 percent sold out. As of 12 p.m. on October 25, 2013 22,400 registrants had walked through the doors to visit 534 exhibitors. Statistics available at press time estimated a 45 percent increase in sign maker attendees and a 13 percent increase in lithographer attendees.
In the Zone
More sign shops are looking to expand services and offerings to their customers. SGIA educated and inspired throughout the duration of the show by including seven educational zones found on the expo floor, with the newest—the Strategic Sustainable Solutions Zone—catching the eye of many.
Another busy section was the Digital Textile Zone, which truly emphasized the effect of digitally printed textiles on the industry. Of note, we enjoyed watching the Matic Cronos Plus automatic sewing machine hard at work stitching and finishing fabric panels at record speeds.
And sitting in the comfortable, eye-catching chair outfitted in Pacific Coast Fabrics’ Ultra Suede allowed us to experience a close to real-life scenario of digital textiles. SGIA was co-located with IFAI this year, which further reinforced the usage of textiles in the digital space.
While textiles were a popular sight, another trend throughout the exhibit hall was window media. Media and hardware manufacturers and distributors cleverly showcased these films and vinyl in their own booths or in the main entrance of the convention center to highlight the quality and durability of these products.
The clear materials we saw highlighted the fact that white ink is hot, and these types of applications are truly at their best when printed with white. Several manufacturers toted white ink sets in addition to speeds and feeds with their newest product introductions and enhancements.