GRAPH EXPO: A Learning Emporium

Want to learn what it means to be a marketing services provider? Interested in incorporating digital printing or QR Codes into your production toolkit? Need to know more about interactive documents, leveraging social media, or the latest in newspaper publishing trends?

GRAPH EXPO is all about continuous learning, whether you’re an industry professional with more than 20 years under your belt, a neophyte beginning your journey in the world of graphic communications, or a member of tomorrow’s workforce. While the trade show is recognized as the industry-leading event for discovering the most advanced technology and equipment, it is also equally known for the top tier, variety of learning experiences offered. GRAPH EXPO’s educational spectrum not only includes seminars, and free market-segment specific and exhibitor presentations, one-on-one consulting with industry experts, and computer labs, but also co-located education events from across the graphic communications field, including the Xplor Conference, Print Buyers International 6th Annual Print and Media Conference, G7 Summit, and the MOGO Media ePublishing Media Conference.

Printing Industries of America, NPES, and NAPL—the industry associations that comprise the Graphic Arts Show Company (GASC)—contribute in a host of ways to the GRAPH EXPO educational experience, whether it’s sponsoring seminars, conferences, or having experts on hand to discuss a broad range of topics significant to attendees and/or vendors.

“Printing Industries of America is always pleased to add our training expertise to the educational events at GRAPH EXPO,” says Michael Makin, President and CEO of Printing Industries of America. “Starting with the EXECUTIVE OUTLOOK (held Saturday, September 10) to the daily seminars, attendees will find our subject-matter experts complementing the full agenda on topics encompassing mailing, digital printing, color, and troubleshooting, as well as newer areas such as QR codes, augmented reality, and social media. In addition, the Teacher’s Conference (held September 10-12), funded with a grant from GASC, is our annual event, which more than 80 teachers attended to hear the latest updates on the industry.”


Education Main Street

An integral part of GRAPH EXPO’s education focus is Education Main Street, which connects industry executives and interested students to representatives of graphics communications colleges and universities and industry organizations. “Education Main Street offers GRAPH EXPO attendees and vendors the opportunity to learn about the academic area of graphic communications all in one location,” says Dr. Ervin A. Dennis, Managing Director of the Accrediting Council for Collegiate Graphic Communications, Inc, (ACCGC).

Adds Dr. Dennis, “It’s a sincere thrill for me to arrive at GRAPH EXPO; walk to the GAERF exhibit booth which my wife, LaVada, and I operate within Education Main Street, and see the numerous collegiate graphic communications related exhibits. The professors and their students, who have prepared and work these exhibit booths, are excited about being at GRAPH EXPO and wish to talk with and explain their academic programs to interested attendees and show vendors. Everyone, attendees and vendors, at GRAPH EXPO 2011 should take time to walk Education Main Street and learn about what is happening in graphic communications education. With their support—financial/equipment/supplies contributions and, very importantly, hiring their next employee(s) from one or more of the academic programs present on Education Main Street, graphic communications education will continue and flourish.”


Career Awareness Day

Speaking of students, you may notice a few more on the show floor today. Nearly 800 high school students from throughout the greater Chicago area, as well as the neighboring states of MI, IN, and WI, are participating in this year’s Career Awareness Day, an event that the Graphic Arts Education and Resource Foundation (GAERF), in collaboration with the GASC, has staged for more than two decades.

An award ceremony honoring the GAERF 2011 Student Design Competition’s first place winners will kick off the program today, Wednesday, September 14, 2011, at 10:30 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom of McCormick Place. (See sidebar for details.) Immediately following, the SkillsUSA graphic communications gold medalists will receive awards from Susan Nofi, Senior Vice President, Heidelberg USA, Inc. Christina Hillman from Effingham County High School, Springfield, GA who took the gold at the secondary level, and Jonathan Hand from Appalachian State University, Boone, NC who placed first in the post-secondary division, will be honored.

Sam Glenn, a nationally-acclaimed corporate speaker, will conclude the program, giving students the chance afterward to visit the show floor and see firsthand the latest technologies.