“Hi. I’m with Ken VanHorn from Mimaki USA, here at the SGIA booth. You’re slinging coffee.” I’m slinging coffee. I am serving people off. That’s why I’m here for, you know.
“I didn’t realize you were a barrister and a printing guy.” I make the sounds too.
“Tell me a little bit about the show. How’s it going for Mimaki?” It has been a fantastic show. Coming into the show, coming into Atlanta, I’m form here. I love this city. But, you never know how a trade show’s going to go off in the Atlanta area. This has been phenomenal. It’s fantastic. Just seeing all the people coming through. The interest in, not just this traditional signage printing, which we certainly serve, but the interest in the contract manufacturers who are coming through. People who are doing a very niche product that they’re looking for a specific solution to be able to do that, and Mimaki building purpose-built solution to able to help them out has been great. Having those conversations, helping somebody figure out, ‘How am I going to do this in my business?’ I love that. It’s such a huge honor for us.
“Have you been speaking with a lot of attendees that have been coming through the booth?” Yes. Definitely. And, it’s been across the spectrum. People that are looking at UV printing. People that are looking at solvent printing, latex printing. We launched a new textile printer here, and the textile interest has been tremendous. But again, it’s been – The attendees that I’ve been speaking to, I can’t say that any one of them are the same. So, there’s a huge diversification in the group. Packaging is huge here as well, I think, for the first time ever. And, I can’t say enough great things about the show.
“I kind of think, just walking around, that if I was to identify a trend, it would be direct-to-garment printing. So, it sounds like you have a machine in that arena too, now.” We’ve always had a machine for that, but we introduced a new machine that goes twice as fast, gives you higher image quality, gives you ability to print directly to fabrics, whether it’s garment or whether it’s for exhibition graphics or for banners or what have you. It gives you that ability to print directly to it and avoid the head strikes, so you’re not wasting a lot of fabric with prehairs.
“And, why do you think it’s becoming popular all of a sudden, or is it just all of a sudden in my world, because everyone’s booth now, has one of those machines?” So, that’s one of the big things, right, is you see all the signage that is starting to convert to fabric. It’s lightweight, it’s easy to install, it’s extremely vibrant and ships very inexpensively, so it’s easy to ship. For in-store display, it’s easy for somebody that’s working at a major store that is folding clothes and selling clothes all day. They’re not putting up signage. But, by putting a Ziploc in there, they’re able to go in and quickly change out the signage from selling jeans to selling shirts to selling shoes or what have you. So, that’s driving it as well. It’s becoming easier, you know, we’ve taken a lot of mystery out of printing directly to fabric, and so that’s driven it as well.
“And, I’ve seen backlit fabric displays here. There are some of them that are just literally popping off the wall. There’s a company somewhere in the back that has a diamond up, and you can see the prism effect in each of the little rivets of the diamond. It’s amazing. So, let’s just talk about a little bit about the organization, and I know that you’re busy. If you were to pitch somebody on why they should become a member of SGIA, what would be your elevator pitch on that?” Training, first and foremost. SGIA has a fantastic training program. So, you’re in business, you’re in the trenches every day. A lot of times, you don’t have time to go out and develop new business practices or understand how to make this banner better or how to make this sign better or what have you. So, the training that SGIA provides is key. Also, I mean, let’s face it, there’s a lot of legal issues with creating a sign or creating a new print, and the legal help and support that SGIA has is second to none. So, that’s fantastic as well. And then also, all the regulatory, being able to make sure that you’re a sustainable company, you’re a green company and everything. You know Mars? He does a fantastic job with that. So, all that support that you get as being a member of SGIA is priceless. So, it’s very much worth it to process a membership every year.
“Thank you so much. And, just to reiterate, www.mimakiusa.com. Thank you very much. There are people who want some coffees, so I got to get back to work.
“Okay. Thank you so much.”