Editor's Note: The More Things Change...

We’re all familiar with the age old saying, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” That was all the more evident last week when I received a very interesting email from one of my fellow editors, Mark Vruno, the editor of Wide-Format Imaging’s sister publication, Printing News. He had been speaking with one of his columnists, Joe Rickard, a long-time member of the printing industry.

According to Rickard, his love for the printing industry came from his wife’s family. In the email there were two documents attached: a newsletter from the 1921 Graphic Arts Exposition (the second annual convention of what is now the GASC’s GRAPH EXPO) and a story about the “incredible and amusing journey” a bunch of New York printers took by car to get to the exposition. “One of the printers was my wife’s grandfather, Gus Oakes,” Rickard said.

In looking over the newsletter and the article, it was interesting—and amusing—to see how much of the information from the 1920s still applied to today. For me, this is even more interesting because the Cygnus Graphic Media Group is currently working on the GRAPH EXPO Show Daily project for the GASC—and right now we’re coming into the “thick of it” as we move into August.

Why do we go to trade shows? We want to look for new products. We want to learn something more about the business. We want to be more effective in our jobs. We want to cut out waste and work more efficiently. We want to find ways to make more money. Volume one of the 1921 Graphic Arts Exposition newsletter says it plainly:

“How is it possible to keep abreast of your competitor if you don’t know how? At the Exposition you will see everything that’s done—and how to do it efficiently…The right sort of man will be at the Graphic Arts Exposition, ready and willing to talk about his product and your use of it. There will be men who can tell you how you can do things more effectively, more efficiently, more profitably.”

Sound familiar? It seems that the same themes still resound in today’s market. So, “head the old bus toward Chicago” and I’ll see you at the 2011 GRAPH EXPO Show.