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How was the show?

I'm asking about Labelexpo, of course, although some folks extended their visit to Chicagoland in order to attend and exhibit at Print 18. I can only imagine how exhausted these people were after back-to-back busy trade shows.

To me, Labelexpo is more than just a trade show, particularly the Americas edition. It's my Super Bowl--my chance to see both converters and suppliers all in once place. It's the ultimate opportunity to place my finger on the pulse of the industry. And my diagnosis--based on my firsthand account as well as the conversations I had with exhibitors and attendees--is things have never been more exciting.

While all of the specific details will be in our November/December issue's Labelexpo Post-Show Report, I'll share some feedback:

One ink company exhibitor, and someone who has been in the industry many years and has experienced many shows, said, "Tuesday and Wednesday were probably the best two trade show experiences I can recall for my almost 40 years in the industry. The number and quality of the visitors to our booth was exceptional!"

Among the other descriptors people used in describing Labelexpo 2018 were: Great, Incredible, and Amazing!

One of my Twitter followers reached out and said,"My first Labelexpo after 14 years in the industry. It was just all over amazing for me."

There was high praise all around for the big show in Rosemont. And a lot of the energy and ensuing accolades had to do with what has emerged as far and away the industry's hot topic. That's right, you guessed it--digital printing.

So much has changed since my first Labelexpo in 2008. Not only are digital press launches garnering lots of attention, but so are the finishing machines being purchased to complement them. Meanwhile, materials suppliers are developing more and more digital-compatible products.

Another area garnering a lot of interest is flexible packaging. This was a $31 billion industry in 2017, and more and more people are noticing and want a slice of that pie. Meanwhile, sustainability seems to be making a comeback of sorts, and it looks like linerless labeling is picking up steam.

It's an exciting time to be a part of the narrow web printing industry. I'd love to hear more feedback, so feel free to send me an email, tweet, or hit me up on LinkedIn.

Steve Katz, Editor

Twitter: @LabelSteve

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Title Annotation:EDITORIAL
Author:Katz, Steve
Publication:Label & Narrow Web
Date:Oct 1, 2018
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