I have just returned from sunny Florida and SGIA’s Congress of Committees. Except for the snow, I am excited about the new developments to our educational programs coming to this year’s SGIA Expo in Atlanta, GA from November 3rd to the 6th at the Georgia World Congress Center. The show is nearly 90% sold out at this time and if the last two years are any indication, this year should be another strong year of attendance, education, and equipment/material sourcing for the industry.
Many people from the Industrial and Printed Electronics industry who follow SGIA, know that for nearly 25 years it has provided a Technical Symposium for the advancement of the technical printing industry. What began as the Membrane Switch Symposium in collaboration with Flexcon in Massachusetts that first year, grew until the event surpassed 350 attendees, and 20 exhibitors, which in those days, the symposium was held at its own time and place in smaller locations in the country. Now it has been incorporated into the SGIA Expo forum, which adds continuity and the opportunity for many more people in the industry to learn as much as possible about technical aspects of Industrial printing.
Over the last 5 years, the Membrane Switch Symposium has morphed due to a diverse and changing marketplace for specialty and functional screen printing suppliers. First, it became the Printed Electronics and Membrane Switch Symposium (PEMS) to incorporate a wider swath of technology and interests in the ever changing and demanding needs of Electronic and Functional printing. Two years ago it settled in on Printed Electronics Symposium (PES) and co-located last year with Flextech in Las Vegas. There were many more presentations in the two day event, including Academia, as well as the long standing “How-to” content of the SGIA’s premiere technical symposium. However, we still found, through audience surveys, that there is serious need for alternative, yet technical printing, not necessarily having to do with Printed Electronics. We have known for many years that there is a large contingent of Industrial Printers in the field, and the need for an educational forum on technologically advanced printing methods, and training is at an all-time high within the community.
That being said, I am happy to announce that the SGIA Industrial Applications Committee is expanding its Educational content at this year’s SGIA Expo, offering to present an inaugural Industrial Imaging Symposium, this year in Atlanta, on November 3rd and 4th. The tracks will follow the same scheduling matrix as the Printed Electronics Symposium, which will be held at the same time, but will offer industrial printers who specialize in Nameplate, Product Identification, Specialty marking, and other aspects of technical printing – a place to Learn and Network with the Industries’ top leaders and suppliers.
I am excited that the SGIA understands the marketplace and commits to the Industrial Printing Community with such strong support. As we have seen in the industry over the last 10-15 years, Digital printing has not disrupted all of the screen printing, but in fact, the industry has grown due to advancements in electronics and deposition technology allowing for more manufacturing alternatives than ever before. The SGIA, in doubling down on the educational symposiums, is supporting the need of the community.
See you at the Expo in Atlanta this fall!
President/ CEO – ECI Screen Print, Inc.
Second Vice Chairman – SGIA Board of Directors