The readers of Label and Narrow Web – label converters and their suppliers – drive our editorial content. After all, you are the experts. Often times we reach out to you for article input, whether it’s about how you’re converting labels for a certain market, branding, new products and technology, or how your machinery works. Many of you are more than happy to help, and we are forever grateful for that. But I can’t tell you how many times we’ll get a response to the tune of, “We’d love to help, but we’re just so darn busy right now. There aren’t enough hours in the day.”
Many of you have a mountain of work, and we understand that your priorities are where they should be – making money. Being busy is a good thing.
In our industry, the month of March was exceptionally busy – March Madness indeed. And the month’s activities did a good job illustrating how dynamic the industry is. For me, March began with a trip to Arizona for the TLMI Converter Meeting, where I had the opportunity to meet and spend time with some of our industry’s award winning and leading converters. The setting was perfect, and provided attendees with a learning experience and a celebration of the industry. The converters there were from a wide range of operations, of all different sizes, and they use a variety of print processes.
The meeting set me up for the dichotomy I would experience later in the month, attending the FTA Forum and INFO*FLEX the same week as HP’s Dscoop7. The week began in San Antonio, where thousands came to together to celebrate and get further educated on all things flexographic. Flexo people recognize digital printing’s strengths and how it can improve their business. But they also aren’t shy about touting the advantages their signature print process offers and how it continues to evolve and improve. They also have a pretty good sense of humor about the competition. Seeing Esko’s Mark Samworth and DuPont Packaging Graphic’s Mark Mazur charge to the podium in massive, inflatable sumo wrestling suits was definitely funny.
From Texas I went straight to Washington DC for Dscoop7, which is growing in scope year after year. With running machinery on hand at elaborate booths, the event had a Labelexpo-like feel to it. And the presentations were not only engaging and informative, but some were downright entertaining – real multimedia experiences.
In our Association News section, you’ll find coverage of all three of these events. Both the FTA and Dscoop are events that go beyond labels and narrow web printing. They cover mid- and wide web technology, and the printing of much more than just labels – books, posters, billboards, packaging and more. Both were well-attended, in light of it being “a drupa year,” a phrase mentioned quite a bit lately as the print industry at large is ramping up for it’s biggest event, which only takes place twice per decade.
I am not going to drupa this year, and have never been. But having just witnessed all this fanfare for flexography and digital printing, I can only imagine what a busy fortnight that will be, aside from exhausting. But I think it’s fair to say that we like being busy.
Steve Katz, Editor