By Dianna Brodine, managing editor, UV+EB Technology
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 – from printers, print finishers and binders to brand owners and designers.
“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.”
In the exhibit hall and during educational programming, Amplify was a celebration of all things print finishing – analog or digital – can achieve: the vibrancy of colors, the beauty of embellishments, the shimmer of metallic and foil finishes, and the intricate designs. Nearly 1,000 attendees came to view the latest in foil and coatings, diecutting, laser cutting, embossing, folding, and gluing, binding, and direct mail.
The Amplify exhibit hall was sold out before the event began with nearly 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 THERM-O-TYPE, B&R Moll, Cutworx, Standard Finishing Systems/E. O. Johnson, and Xerox. In all, 25 pieces of machinery were on display.
Addressing today’s critical topics on environmental responsibility, the Sustainability Summit, hosted by FSEA on the day before Amplify, featured a three-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).
Other Amplify programming covered topics across the breadth of print finishing, including the 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 growth opportunities for embellishments.
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.
Amplify will return in 2024. For more information, visit amplifyprint.org.