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Vegas Lights: SGIA Expo 2018 Preview





As summer vacations pass along with the balmy weather, it’s time to look ahead to your next big trip that’s sure to blend work and play: the 2018 SGIA Expo. Returning to the Las Vegas Convention Center October 18-20 for its final iteration, this year’s show aims to offer each of its 25,000-plus attendees a new tip, trick, application concept, piece of equipment, or industry connection.

Whether your first or fifteenth show, the 2018 SGIA Expo will provide the perfect setting for connecting with industry peers, manufacturers, and thought leaders with backgrounds in garment decoration, printed electronics, textiles, outdoor advertising, DTG inkjet, wide-format digital print, and more. Explore ways to expand your market share at the 550-plus booths on the show floor and gain industry insight from the 72 educational sessions, Women in Print events, specialty luncheons, Wrap Team Challenges, and half-day workshops scheduled over the course of the expo.

Between the bright lights of the Strip and hustle and bustle of the tradeshow, it’s unlikely you’ll experience a dull moment at this year’s SGIA Expo. Here, Screen Printing presents a roundup of must-attend happenings for printers from all backgrounds. See you in Vegas!

The Show Floor
Thursday and Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Golden Image Submissions from more than 50 specialty imaging categories will be on display in the Golden Image Gallery on the show floor.

ASDPT Tom Frecska Student Printing Competition Graphic arts students in high school and college submitted their finest work to be judged by the Academy of Screen and Digital Printing Technologies in this contest, named for the late Screen Printing editor.

Wrap Team Challenge Two-person teams will compete for both glory and a cash prize at booth #4118 starting Thursday, racing to wrap the side of a car in 20 minutes or less. The championship round takes place Saturday; free to observe.
Wide Format 101: Essential Skills for Success
Wednesday, 1-4:30 p.m., room N114
This pre-expo half-day session narrows in on wide-format digital inkjet printing with four presentations focusing on technologies and equipment, market areas, color management, business strategies, and more.


Essential Small Business Strategies

Wednesday, 1-4:30 p.m., room N115
A half-day conference designed for new and/or small businesses, this pre-show event features action-oriented presentations covering employee engagement, sales strategies, brand development, online marketing, and business management.

Lunch and Learn

Take a break from the show floor; snag a tasty meal, learn from knowledgeable speakers, and network with other industry professionals.

•Functional Printing, Process, and Products Luncheon Thursday, 12-1:30 p.m.
•Brands Talking Sustainability Thursday, 12-2 p.m.
•Garment Decorators Luncheon Friday, 12-1:30 p.m.

Women in Print

Women in Print Alliance Breakfast Friday, 7:30-9 a.m. Start your Friday morning off right networking with some of the best and brightest in the industry with SGIA’s Women in Print Alliance. Speaker to be announced.

Women in Print Award Winners Panel Discussion Friday, 1:30 p.m., room N114. Join Big Picture Editor-in-Chief Adrienne Palmer for a lively panel discussion with winners of the 2018 Big Picture Women in Print Award. Learn how they got their start in the industry, the challenges they’ve faced, and the reasons they’re still here today.

Women in Print Award Celebration and Cocktail Hour Friday, 3 p.m., booth #1893. Celebrate this year’s Women in Print Award winners with Big Picture and the ST Media Group family of brands at booth #1893 after the panel discussion.


General Education

This year’s expo is accompanied by 72 education sessions offered in tracks covering graphic and sign, garment decoration, industrial printing, business management, graphics installation, commercial printing, and printed packaging. Here are some of our favorite can’t-miss sessions.


  • 9 a.m. room N116, “Product Customization/Personalization for Garment Decoration,” Levi Patterson, Spectrum
  • 10:30 a.m. room N116, “Preparing Artwork for Digital/Hybrid Printing,” Thomas Trimingham, M&R
  • 12 p.m. room N114, “How to Adapt DTG to Your Business,” John LeDrew, Melco
  • 1:30 p.m. room N117, “Accelerate Your Pipeline – New Ways to Sell More, Faster,” Mark Coudray, Coudray Growth Technologies
  • 3 p.m. room N117, “Trends and Conditions in Printed Electronics: A Panel Discussion,” moderated by Mike Wagner, Butler Technologies


  • 9 a.m. room N114, “Inkjet Maintenance: The High Cost of Inaction,” Travis Barcelona, Nazdar
  • 10:30 a.m. room N116, “Digital Marketing: Growing Your Business with Social Media and Email Marketing,” Aaron Montgomery,
  • 12:00 p.m. room N117, “How Good is ‘Good Enough?’ Tolerances for Color Matching,” Dan Reid, RPimaging
  • 1:30 p.m. room N119, “Changing Landscape for Foil and UV Coating Decorating Options,” Jeff Peterson, Foil and Specialty Effects Association
  • 3 p.m. room N116, “Digital Appliqué and Multimedia – Where Embroidery Meets Digital,” Jimmy Lamb, Sawgrass Technologies


  • 9 a.m. room N120, “Screen Printing Special Effects,” Kieth Stevens, International Coatings
  • 10:30 a.m. room N117, “Hiring the Next Generation,” Donna M. Painter, Millersville University

Hidden Gems

Looking for something fun to do outside of winning big on the Strip? Search no further; here are some lesser-known attractions in the City of Lights.

  • Try flyboarding (hovering six feet in the air with water jets) at Lake Las Vegas
  • Visit The Laundry Room, a 28-seat speakeasy only accessible by texting a secret number
  • Feed the MGM lions at Lion Habitat Ranch
  • Show off your pinball wizardry on more than 200 machines at the Pinball Hall of Fame
  • Zipline over the Mojave Desert at speeds surpassing 60 mph at Bootleg Canyon

Read more from the August/September 2018 issue



Watch Jay Busselle, Adrienne Palmer, and Jeremy Picker dive deep into DTG printing data, popular styles, and opportunities.

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Jay Busselle, marketing director, Equipment Zone, interviews two experts in apparel decoration trends: Adrienne Palmer, editor-in-chief of Screen Printing magazine, and Jeremy Picker, creative director and CEO of AMB3R Creative and Screen Printing Editorial Advisory Board member. Both share their insights on decoration trends, apparel styles, and some powerful data for DTG printing. Plus, Picker gives an exclusive look at his 2021 trend report. This is a follow-up webinar to Equipment Zone’s DTG Training Academy virtual event.

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