By Cassandra Balentine
A new trade event is coming to the print industry. Packaging up from PRINT 19, worldwide lockdowns and travel bans were not anticipated, but we knew the industry was in transition. Demand for shorter runs, more SKUs, and added effects like UV spot coating and metallic inks were on the rise, and COVID-19 only highlighted the trend.
To serve this growing demand, two prominent organizations within the industry, The Association for PRINT Technologies (APTech) and Foil & Speciality Effects Association (FSEA) collaborated to present a new trade show, Amplify, which invokes a new community with this focus. It is scheduled to take place at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, MN from June 14 to 16, 2022. “About two years go, we realized there was a gap in the industry for a community and event dedicated to one of the most exciting segments within the print industry—print finishing and embellishments,” says Thayer Long, president, APTech. The two firms began discussing the opportunity to start a new brand focused on the products, processes, and organizations setting the standard for excellence in print finishing and embellishments. “Thus, Amplify was born,” he shares.
APTech is dedicated to supporting the entire printing value chain. “We focus on the evolution of printing products in an increasingly digital world and provide a forum to inspire the development of valuable print products through education, market research, standards development, and more,” says Long.
FSEA has worked towards industry awareness and growth since its inception in 1992. It serves as a resource and education platform for decorating technologies, including foil stamping, embossing, cold foil technologies, specialty coatings, laminates, and laser cutting.
“The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the launch of our event, but we’re looking forward to Amplify being the print industry’s return to large-scale, in-person industry events in June 2022,” says Long.
Above: Demand for shorter runs, more SKUs, and added effects results in Amplify, held in MN from June 14 to 16, 2022. Skandacor is among the exhibitors slated to attend the event.
Is it for You?
The goal of Amplify is to bring print finishing and embellishments to the forefront, connecting all contributors to the cycle, including carton and label manufacturers, digital and offset printers, print finishers and binders, direct mail service providers, greeting card and invitation manufacturers, book and publication producers, creatives, and brand owners.
Jeff Peterson, executive director, FSEA, notes that the value add to print is increasingly happening in the print finishing area, making this segment of the market compelling for the industry. “From conceptualization to final product, any individual involved in the finishing process will benefit from attending Amplify and leave with a better understanding of the features that catch the eye of the consumer, how to create brand recognition, and opportunities for delivering profit-driving results.”
APTech and FSEA both have well-established memberships and audiences through years of experience as member organizations. Additionally, APTech benefits from relationships it has built with the industry over the decades as the premier organizer of GRAPH EXPO and PRINT shows.
For the inaugural Amplify event, Long estimates about 3,500 attendees over three days.
In terms of a virtual component, they are currently weighing the options. “From conversations with our sponsors, exhibitors, and partners, we know the industry is eager for a safe return to in-person networking and educational events. We understand some individuals may still have hesitancies, so we’re evaluating ways to make our educational sessions available on demand following the conclusion of the event,” shares Peterson.
Long is hopeful they will be able to safely host Amplify in-person, but will continue to monitor CDC guidelines and opinions from exhibitors and attendees on an ongoing basis.
Having a long-term plan is essential for a new event like Amplify. “2022 will mark the kickoff of Amplify, but we’re committed to making it an ongoing, yearly event,” says Peterson. “A trend we noticed prior to COVID-19 that accelerated during the pandemic is the need for more hyper-focused events, educational programs, and networking opportunities. By creating a targeted event around one of the print industry’s fastest growing and most unique segments, we believe Amplify will be successful for many years to come,” offers Peterson.
Long says its goals extend beyond an annual event. “Ultimately, we’re planning to develop Amplify into a lasting and engaged community. We also see immense potential for this community to bridge the gap between printers/manufacturers and creative agencies/the design community.”
What to Expect
Amplify has a strong list of expected exhibitors already, including Canon Solutions America, Kurz, and Sakurai as platinum sponsors. Other exhibitors include Baumer hhs, Harris & Bruno International, Infinity Foils Inc., K Laser Technology Inc., Skandacor, UNIVACCO, Universal Engraving, and W.H. Leary Company.
In terms of topics covered, APTech and FSEA have considered the educational portion of Amplify to ensure it will be an immersive and unique learning experience for attendees. On the showroom floor, the Technology Zone will feature dedicated equipment demonstrations and programs.
It will also feature more than 18 educational seminars, which will be led by industry experts and cover a variety of topics including sustainability, UV coatings, digital embellishments, direct mail marketing, packaging, creative, workflow automation, sales, and specific markets like cannabis.
See You There
We’re excited to head to Minneapolis this Spring, and we hope to see you there!
Feb2022, Digital Output