by Terri Spaulding

Graph Expo is full of energy even before you step onto the showroom floor.  Oh the sights, sounds, buzzes, hums, groups of smiling people, piles of awesomely displayed swag, and endless twists and turns of carpeted booths! I have to admit I was a little overwhelmed, where does one start?  My first stop upon arrival in Chicago was to a place I couldn’t wait to check out:  The Printerversetm.

Amidst all that showroom “noise” was a concept dreamed up by Deb Corn from Print Media Centr, it promised to be a more intimate space where people could connect.  A unique idea, especially to a show like Graph Expo, but one that sounded like heaven to a social media geek like me. Who wouldn’t want the chance/space to meet up with others in the graphic arts industry that regularly use social media, or who belong to the LinkedIn Girls Who Print group?

The Printerverse is exactly what Graph Expo needed to bring people like me to the party. I had spent 24 years in the paper and printing industry and managed to avoid ever going to Graph Expo. The thought of having to feign interest in the inner workings of bindery equipment, or answer questions about what product models we currently have, or what we might need in the future, filled me with dread.  I’m all about the big picture, so I quickly get lost in all those intricate details. What I needed from Graph Expo is exactly what the Printerverse gave me, more manageable portions of information directed at the creative, social, and relationship sides of this business. The sides that interest me most.

I truly appreciated the soft couches, the sponsored lunches, the intimate presentations, and all the great future possibilities I learned about in The Printerverse.

Some highlights from my 2012 Graph Expo experience:

  • The Graffiti Wall in The Printerverse sponsored by Kodak and DocuMobi which gave me a glimpse into the future of how printed pieces will be made interactive.
  • Julie Shaffer’s  Printerverse Pecha Kucha presentation about Neuro Marketing –really cool stuff—and her 50 hot tips for social media Graph Expo seminar rocked as well.
  • Experiencing the first National Girls Who Print day celebration with MaryBeth Smith and all the girls, where I made some new friends and added some valuable industry contacts.
  • Meeting industry legends like Phil Riebel from Two Sides/US,  Benny Landa, inventor of the Indigo and Nanography, Molly Rosenthal & Joe Schember of Mohawk Paper , Jennifer Cisney of Kodak, and of course Printerverse innovator herself, Deb Corn.

Thanks Print Media Centr & The Printerverse for enticing me to experience Graph Expo 2012. I hope The Printerverse is back next year with more presentations, more great information and with a TON of creative folks in tow. For a lifelong learner like me, all roads do indeed lead to The Printerverse.

About Terri

Terri has made a career out of surrounding herself with insanely creative people. For the last 24 years she has had the pleasure of sharing her love of all things paper with the West Michigan design community. While still a paper geek at heart, Terri recently made the switch over to Brightformat, a forward thinking company who specializes in digital printing and direct mail. Her official title is Brand Ambassador but she also answers to Cruise Director, helping to ensure every interaction with Brightformat is a stress-free one. Brightformat is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan and runs HP Indigo Digital Equipment.

Follow Terri on Twitter: @Brightformat_ts or @spauldingterri