As of yesterday, Graph Expo 2016 is officially up and running. The hum of equipment such as digital printing, inkjet printing, packaging, wide format (to name a few), was in full effect today in the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. Orlando is a nice change of scenery from Chicago, IL and so far, it appears that the location change hasn’t impacted attendance.

 

I had the privilege of participating in a Print Media Centr Printerverse panel “Obi Wan-a Job: The Workforce Awakens” along with several others from around the print and graphics industry. It was so exciting to see college students from various schools including a few that Deborah Corn and I had the opportunity to speak with at Clemson earlier in the year. The goal of the panel was to highlight the needs and expectations of companies within the printing industry and provide real-life advice to the workforce of the next generation. We provided tips on how to create your “elevator pitch” and how to use social sites such as LinkedIn to network as well as research potential employers prior to interviews. There are still three more days of Printerverse events and panels. Deborah has done an amazing job bringing together varying perspectives to drive conversation and connectivity between the panelists, live attendees and those viewing from home. Even if you aren’t at the show, you can watch them all live on Livestream and join in the conversation on Twitter. Long after Graph Expo is over, people can continue to benefit from the Printerverse by building relationships and building the online print community.

 

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As if the night couldn’t get any better, the evening culminated in the most exquisite array of print excellence I have ever seen. The 67th annual Premier Print Awards hosted by Print Industries of America (PIA) showcased the highest level of print in the world. With over 2500 entries from around the globe, it is truly the highest honor when a printing company is awarded with the coveted Benny Award.  Domtar is a proud sponsor of Printing Industries of America as well as many local affiliates around the country and it was great to see so many of our partners and customers winning these prestigious awards. The highlight of the night was when the audience found out that the Best in Show award was dedicated to James (Jim) H. Mayes, Jr who passed away earlier this year. Prior to retirement, he owned and operated Colorcraft of Virginia and was an extremely active member of Printing Industries of Virginia (PIVA), Print & Graphics Association of the Mid-Atlantic (PGAMA) and PIA. He represented the epitome of print excellence and was committed to raising the bar year after year. Artron Art Group was the proud recipient of the inaugural James H. Mayes, Jr Memorial Best in Show Award. From all of us at Domtar, congratulations to Artron Art Group and to all of the other winners.

 

We can’t wait to see what the next few days bring. Be sure to engage in the Graph Expo conversation on twitter – Follow @PrintMediaCentr for all of the latest updates.