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Labelexpo Americas Overcomes Obstacles to Succeed
ROSEMONT, IL, USA—Despite a tough economic climate, with memories of 9/11/01 hanging in the air, Labelexpo Americas 2002 managed to generate excitement and draw 12,424 visitors to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL, September 10-12.

The show, which organizer Tarsus Group calls “the most successful North American labeling event to date,” featured 458 exhibitors, including 65 showing for the first time. An adjoining conference program with 65 speakers drew 540 attendees.

Looking Back, Looking Ahead
No one forgot the sad anniversary that fell on the middle day of the show: Prayers and bagpipe music were heard at 8:46 a.m. on September 11, and three minutes of silence were observed at noon. But it was also time to look ahead. PFFC's editors took the opportunity to ask some industry players how their businesses have fared during the current economic situation and what they see for the future.

Tony Kimball, CEO of Slitterblades.com, Rome, NY: “We feel the economy has started to turn. Our indicators are really good globally and especially in the US.”

John Eulick, president of Mark Andy, Chesterfield, MO: “I think there is some pent-up demand for new technology, for new capabilities, so even though the economy itself has been spotty in terms of the data we read about, I think the c, the label industry, the packaging industry have continued to grow. And, if they're going to continue to grow, they're going to need some more equipment eventually, and I think we finally caught up with that cycle.”

Jim Hulman, senior account executive, Bosch Rexroth, Hoffman Estates, IL: “In today's economic conditions, a lot of the end-users are looking for more creative ways to achieve efficiency and better accuracy in their printing. The issue is they cannot afford the investment of the new machinery, so they're looking at their existing installation base and how they can work with that and improve that.”

Mark Streets, technical sales, Charter Films, Superior, WI: “As a relatively new company within this industry that focuses on quality and service, from a demand standpoint, we've experienced very little impact. We hope it's going to be even better.”

Joel Rosenberg, president, American Printing Converters, Uniondale, NY: “When you start to see huge organizations and the people who work for them lose their life savings and their jobs, this has a terrible trickle-down effect on the rest of the economy. It's going to take some time before it starts to pick up. We need to get through these tough times with all the big problems these large companies are having, but eventually we're going to get to a level where everybody's going to feel confident we've reached the bottom and it's time to start working our way back up again.”

By the end of the show, Tarsus reports, more than 92% of exhibitors had re-booked for the next Labelexpo Americas, which will take place at the same venue Sept. 14-16, 2004. For more information contact Tarsus at +44 (0) 20 8846 2700; tarsus.co.uk.

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