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Top 10 things you can do at PRINT 09

Jul 1, 2009 12:00 AM

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PRINT 09 will take place in Chicago from Sept. 11-16. Here are some suggested activities:

10. Roll up a poster, pretend it is a lightsaber and demonstrate the Three Styles of the New Jedi Order up and down the main aisle of the convention center.

9. Enter a booth, point to the largest piece of equipment and say, “I'll take six of these. How soon can I get them?”

8. As you enter the show floor, compliment the security guards on their excellent badge scanning techniques.

7. During the Q&A following the General Session, introduce yourself as an Amway independent business owner and ask the group if you can interest them in some high performance home cleaning and laundry care products.

6. Rappel down the Sears Tower using rope braided from lanyards collected throughout the PRINT show floor.

5. Pick up 3,562 pins, badges and ribbons to challenge Larry Warter's all-time record.

4. Instigate a fight between Dr. Joe Webb and Frank Romano.

3. Say “I've changed my mind” as you return a stress ball to the vendor you got it from at Graph Expo 2008.

2. Ask if you can use the UV lamps on the presses and wide-format digital printers to work on your tan.

1. See the equipment! See the equipment! See the equipment!

But seriously…

The event is being promoted with the tagline “My PRINT 09” to emphasize that attendees — which will include commercial, quick, wide-format and specialty printers, designers, print buyers and many others — can expect a personalized experience.

For me, PRINT 09 is almost like a family reunion. Virtually all of the print and online journalists know each other. In addition to my friends from the U.S., Canada and Mexico, I'll connect with my Latin American, Asian and European counterparts.

On the vendor side, I'll catch up with the top executives, sales, marketing and technical crew. Since much of my job is done over the phone and via e-mails, I really value this face-to-face time.

I particularly appreciate the massive array of equipment and software. The Graphic Arts Show Co. (GASC) is offering special discounts to encourage exhibitors to bring more machinery. Early reports indicate we will see a healthy representation of press iron, digital output devices, wide-format printers, bindery equipment and more.

All of the experts will be at PRINT 09. From technical questions to management advice, you literally could throw a rock and hit the best minds in the business. (As a practical matter, however, plan on bringing your own rock, as that's the one thing you won't find at McCormick Place.)

I'm looking forward to seeing NAPL consultant and Tech Tips contributor Ray Prince at the show. If they gave an award for being a class act, Ray would be my top nominee. Education is his passion — I have joined him at the Education Summit as well as at special events for graphic arts educators.

Ditto for Frank Romano. Everyone knows Frank, and I do mean everyone. During one cab ride from the convention center, I learned my driver, a student in the graphics art program at a local college, had taken one of Frank's online classes. During my booth visits, I have met many RIT graduates — Frank's former students — now working in the industry.

I would love to spend the show following Castle Press' Susan Kinney and Suttle-Straus‘ John Berthelsen around McCormick Place. From environmentalism to education to just plain management advice, they have always been an excellent sounding board. They support the industry in so many ways — they are two more of my print heroes.

This has been a tough year, the toughest I have known in a dozen or so years of covering the printing industry. But I'll be at the show and I hope a lot of our AMERICAN PRINTER readers will join me. I've told you about my PRINT 09, let's hear about yours!

Environmental Excellence at PRINT 09

Winners of AMERICAN PRINTER's Environmental Excellence Awards will be honored at a special ceremony on Sept. 11, 2009 at PRINT 09. We will be in the new GreenSpace area and are looking forward to congratulating our 2009 honorees!

You can follow me on Twitter at as well as on my new blog: KOB on Commercial Printing at