Organizers declare this NEW, first-of-its-kind event, laser-focused on all aspects of print finishing, a success. It’s good to be back at an in-person event again!
Franklin, TN—The inaugural Amplify event took place June 14-16, 2022, at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the heartland of America’s print industry. This first-of-its-kind, in-person gathering and innovative technology showcase for all involved in the print finishing and embellishment value chain more than achieved the aims of its producers, the Association for PRINT Technologies (APTech) and the Foil and Specialty Effects Association (FSEA), by connecting and reengaging the major players and brands in the industry.
“It was amazing to see the networking occurring on the event floor, with attendees connecting with each other and with our supplier partners,” said Jeff Peterson, executive director of the FSEA. “The live technology demonstrations generated significant interest as our industry comes out of a period of cautious investment, and we heard over and over again that the conversations on the exhibit floor were productive and engaging.”
Thayer Long, president of APTech, echoed that message. “The printers, print finishers, binders, brand owners and designers who attended this event were active, interested participants in the Amplify educational sessions. True value was given to those looking to grow their business impact in print, packaging, and direct mail. And, the message was received loud and clear – finishing and embellishment processes are valuable, sustainable and attention-grabbing.”
Amplify kicked off Tuesday, June 14, with Get Amped! This fun and fast-paced welcome to the Amplify program, emceed by Ken Okel, featured quick introductions to some of the fabulous people who were speaking, sponsoring, exhibiting, and attending the show including Thayer Long (APTech), Jeff Peterson (FSEA), Tom Murphy (CARDSource), Deborah Corn (Print Media Centr), Kary Radestock (Hippo Premium Packaging), Sabine Lenz (PaperSpecs), Kevin Abergel (Taktiful) and Trish Witkowski (Fold Factory). The grand opening of the exhibit floor took place immediately following this program. Special “Get Amped” artwork was created for a social media presence before and during the show. Thanks to all who participated.
In the Exhibit Hall and in the Educational Programming, Amplify was a celebration of all things print finishing, analog or digital, can nowadays achieve. The vibrancy of the colors. The beauty of the embellishments. The glorious shimmer that metallic and foil finishes can achieve. The intriguing and intricate designs. The feel, the touch of the paper and the finish. The simplicity of an envelope or the intricacy of a fold. Across the event floor, just under 1,000 attendees discovered innovative product solutions essential to drive their business success and inspirational creative ideas and know-how to take back to their customers to deliver profit-driving results.
While embellishments are the creative and emotive elements—the outcome of an astute and creative marketer, designer or print services provider—none of this could happen without the expertise of the skilled technicians who create them, raising the standard for foil and coatings, diecutting, laser cutting, embossing, folding, and gluing, binding, and direct mail.
Jeffrey Bates, national sales manager with W. H. Leary, was very satisfied with the event, “You and your entire team have done a great job and everything was First Class, Spot ON! It’s great that the world is somehow getting back to normal and for us to all come together again.”
On the event floor, those who run the equipment and the machinery and those who create the machinery and the equipment were excited to be back at a trade show, connecting with customers and demonstrating their many specialties and multiple machines and equipment working in harmony.
The Amplify Exhibit Hall was sold out before the event began with close to 80 exhibitors across the floor. In another first, Amplify attendees were treated to live demonstrations of equipment from various manufacturers including KURZ, Sakurai, KAMA/Absolute Printing Equipment, Rollem, Duplo, Skandacor, Nobelus and Best Graphics. Other equipment at the event included additional machinery from vendors participating in the live demos as well as equipment from THERM-O-TYPE, B&R Moll, Cutworx, Standard Finishing Systems/E. O. Johnson, and Xerox. In all, 25 pieces of machinery were on display.
Commenting on the event, David Lukshus, president and CEO of packaging development and prototyping company Cog, LLC, said, “This was a great show for Cog. While we’ve collaborated for years with several of the embellishment companies that exhibited, this conference provided an experience of focus and community that surprised me.” He continued, “There are other conferences we attend that are valuable to our business, but yours is the first we’ve encountered that directly focuses on achieving consumer delight across all packaging formats.”
FSEA Gold Leaf Awards
On Tuesday evening, June 14, FSEA celebrated the association’s 29th Annual Gold Leaf Awards. Awards were presented to more than 80 entrants over 30 categories out of more than 250 original entries. Two Best in Show awards were presented: one awarded to the best digitally finished piece and one to the entry displaying the best use of conventional finishing techniques. Best of Show: Best Use of Digital Embellishments was awarded to Print Panther Direct, Ontario, Canada. Studio On Fire, St. Paul, Minnesota, was awarded the Best of Show: Best Use of Foil and Embossing for “theory11 Beatles Box Set.” For a full list of winners, please see the FSEA website at: https://fsea.com/.
Addressing today’s critical topics on environmental responsibility, the Sustainability Summit, hosted by FSEA on the day before Amplify, featured a 3-hour program dedicated to examining sustainability issues in print and packaging, especially around the recyclability of products with special finishing applications. Featured speakers included Terry Weber (AF&PA); Jeff Peterson (FSEA); Mike King (Eagle Systems); Cara Bommarito (RadTech); Scott Tacosik (KURZ Transfer Products); and Calvin Frost (Channeled Resource).
Amplify’s top-notch programming covered topics across the breadth of print finishing, including the latest trends and technologies; UV coatings; direct mail; applications and opportunities for digital decorating technologies; metallic decorating; value-added sales for print; new markets, such as cannabis packaging and its current growth; growth and opportunities for embellishments; workflow improvements with high-volume folding carton finishing, and bindery efficiencies in both digital and conventional processes.
According to Deana Conyard, worldwide product marketing manager, Global Offerings – Production Solutions at Xerox, “Amplify was a great show that focused on a key growth audience and market segment for Xerox – digital embellishments and creatives / graphic designers. The quality of engagements was top notch and it was refreshing to get back to face to face events.”
Sessions encompassed the practical and the inspirational exemplified by Andrew Bailes-Collins (Ultimate Technographics) on PDF Best Practices for Finishing and Embellishment and Trish Witkowski (Fold Factory) on Direct Mail in a Different World. From The Bottleneck Eliminator: How to Build a Modern & Efficient Bindery Operation discussed by Jeff Bockelman (Duplo) to Multi-Generational Marketing in the New Now from Daniel Dejan (Dejan Associates).
Other speakers and panelists included Andy Fiore (Standard Finishing Systems); Rick Salinas (Duplo); Al Scolari (APS Imaging & Supply); Kary Radestock (Hippo Premium Packaging); Deborah Corn (Print Media Centr); Dennis Bacchetta (Diamond Packaging); Ben Levitz (Studio on Fire); Kevin Abergel (Taktiful); Christine Yardley (Print Panther); April Lytle (Scodix); Jennifer Heathcote (GEW Limited); David Rose (Sakurai); and Kevin Cambin (UV Specialties).
Digital Embellishment Workshop
This 3-½ hour workshop was dedicated to designing and creating accurate files for digital embellishments for print. Industry experts Kevin Abergel (Taktiful); Christine Yardley (Print Panther); Zan Banks (Konica Minolta); and April Lytle (Scodix) took participants through everything from discussions on sensory marketing and why touch matters to incorporating digital embellishments in your design and working directly with artwork to create files for digital embellishments. The class also included an event-floor tour where attendees could see firsthand how digital embellishments are applied and executed.
Commenting on the event, Kevin Abergel, president, Taktiful said, “We were very impressed with the turnout at the inaugural Amplify event. It was wonderful to see so many people coming together to support ‘Sexy Print,’ and it felt great to reconnect with our embellishment tribe. We are grateful to everyone who came out and could not have asked for a better platform to have launched our company.”
As the first-of-its-kind event, Amplify really met expectations. The event began with an idea before the pandemic began and the organizers have worked steadily with the support of the industry to craft an event that lived up to its name. What’s more attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors have all responded positively. As everyone came together, Amplify was indeed a showcase of their capabilities and their strengths. A big thank-you to everyone who took part or attended. We look forward to seeing everyone at the next Amplify!
ABOUT THE ASSOCIATION FOR PRINT TECHNOLOGIES
APTech provides a forum to inspire the development of new and valuable print products. We educate, provide market research, and foster collaboration between those who create and those who make. We are the industry association that is focused entirely on the future of print. Our members are the creative minds that love to innovate, and the leaders who stand ready to build the future. We facilitate the evolution of physical experiences in our increasingly digital lives. For complete information about the association, its programs, and its member companies, visit: PRINTtechnologies.org or phone: 703/264-7200.
ABOUT THE FOIL & SPECIALTY EFFECTS ASSOCIATION
The Foil & Specialty Effects Association (FSEA) provides a wide range of resources to help companies remain profitable and gain market share through the use of print enhancement technologies such as foil stamping, embossing, specialty coatings, binding and more. From cost-saving programs and educational opportunities to green initiatives proving the sustainability of foil decorated paper/board, the FSEA strives to provide its members with ideas, resources and solutions to grow in today’s marketplace. For more information, visit FSEA.com or phone: 785/271-5816.