The 2012 Graph Expo in Chicago was extremely successful, according to Graphic Arts Show president Ralph Nappi. The four day event showcased changes in the printing industry and had numerous educational sessions and seminars designed to help push businesses forward.

According to Nappi, who spoke with Cary Sherburne of WhatTheyThink? – a website devoted to printing industry news – there were 48 vendors this year, which was the largest amount so far.

The two major things that Nappi said he took away from the Expo was that no matter how challenged the printing industry might be, no matter what the economic situation, there are individuals who want to keep it going strong. For example, over the four-day event, some 25,000 people showed up, half of which he estimates to be actual customers.

It will be a few weeks yet before solid numbers can be put out, he said, but there’s clearly a need for an industry event. Businesses still want to network and learn, Nappi explained. Now, there are more companies coming than ever before and they want to be there.

“I hope the enthusiasm continues for the rest of the year,” he said. “The people here are a glass is half full type of people … they are clearly seeing a change in the industry. They’re ready to invest again and grasp the new reality of our business. It’s going to get better, but it will get better differently.”

Invest in quality equipment to keep business flowing

In addition to adapting along with changing technologies, companies need to ensure that they are taking the time to invest in quality equipment to add to their finished printed product.

For example, laminating machines will provide prints and images with extra protection, helping them withstand multiple handlings or even public display. Additionally, binding equipment and supplies can help show booklets and pamphlets in a more professional way than a simple paper clip or staple.