In September of last year, we wrote about our excitement as we traveled to the Labelexpo. Here’s a recap of Shelby Nash’s experience during her time at the exposition.
As the New Year starts and I begin to reflect on the one that just finished, my time spent at LabelExpo 2016 comes to mind. Every two years, LabelExpo comes to the Donald E Stephens Convention Center just outside of Chicago and brings in some of the biggest names in the printing industry, showcasing their newest innovations. With more than 455 exhibitors and over 17,000 visitors, LabelExpo is one of the largest label and package printing events in the area. This September, I was able to make the trip for the first time with a group of employees from Louisville Label.
I have to say, when I was asked to be a part of those going to LabelExpo this past year I was very excited. Most every time the event happens, there is a core group of people from the company that go, and they take along someone who has never been. Getting to be 2016’s “newbie” left me with a lot of anticipation and a lot of questions. Months before going, we were preparing for the trip, I was getting information from everyone who had been there; what the convention center is like, what kind of booths I would be seeing, who we would be mingling with during dinners at night. As the time crept closer, we got our itinerary, finalized our departure plans and I finished picking out and packing my attire for the trip.
After about six hours in the car, we landed at the Hilton Rosement Hotel and over the course of the next few days, spent hours weaving our way through the aisles of the convention center. Looking back, I don’t know how we made it through the whole convention center without getting continually lost! With over 201,000 square feet, the center was packed with information. I was able to see many processes work that I had not been able to see in person before. We passed many booths with new Flexo and Digital presses, saw a number of finishing units that could apply foil and laminate in-line with the die cutter, and got information on light booths, cylinder cleaning and other die and stock companies we had not used.
Other than getting to see the many booths, I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet with our suppliers. During the trip, we would spend time visiting their booths during the day and having dinner with them most evenings. It was nice putting faces to names and being able to build a relationship with them that was more than electronic. Along with that, I got many of my questions answered and ideas on new projects for the future.
LabelExpo 2016 was definitely a huge learning experience for me. I was able to see many different printing processes and smaller aspects to the whole that I never realized took place. We all came home with a huge bag (or two) of pamphlets and information sheets acquired during our trip, and a brain filled with new ideas for the future. Personally, I came back with a better understanding of the scope of label printing and where it is going. I have a better appreciation of the profession and those working in it and gained a sense of pride in the work we do at Louisville Label. If given the opportunity again, I would go back in a heartbeat.