A Tale of Three Industry Trade Shows

February 4, 2009

January was a very busy month for me. In addition to hosting the CorelDRAW Unleashed Boot Camp Cruise, I also attended three industry trade shows and/or conferences. Each covered a specific market area where Corel has a presence. I will tell you a little bit about each show, but I’ll also talk about Corel’s involvement in the show.

It all started with Imaging USA 2009, an event geared towards professional photographers. This is not an event I would normally attend, but I couldn’t skip it since it was held in Phoenix. Adobe did not have a booth, but they did host a number of seminars on getting more from Photoshop. There were also numerous vendors of plug-ins and actions that would only work with Photoshop. Corel did have a small both where they were showing off Corel Painter. In addition to the various software-related products, there were numerous booths with cameras, accessories and other products a photographer may need. Definitely a fun show for me to see the many tools available for photographers.

Immediately after returning from the cruise, I checked into my hotel and headed over to the Long Beach Convention Center for the Imprinted Sportswear Show. I had heard from many people over the years about this show, but had never attended. Thanks to the scheduling quirk of the cruise returning at the same time and in the same city, I got my chance to check it out. CorelDRAW was everywhere at this show. I saw computers in vendor booths running CorelDRAW 9, 12, X3 and X4. There are also numerous packages of embroidery software that use CorelDRAW as a graphics engine. This includes Wilcom DecoStudio e1.5 where the Corel representatives were in the booth. I was told by several vendors that the ISS show is used as a benchmark for how things in the industry will go in the upcoming year. They were all very encouraged by the healthy attendance at the show. It sure seemed to me that some of the vendors I know best were getting a lot of attention and sales. Of the booths I visited, I think I saw one that was promoting the use of Adobe products. In short, this is an industry segment where CorelDRAW is extremely strong.

The day after ISS, I headed down to San Diego for the Signage and Graphics Summit. This was purely a conference with the “trade show” portion limited to a couple of literature tables. Most in the audience were involved in the management of a sign-related business or representing a company making products for the sign industry. In addition to the educational sessions, networking between attendees was highly encouraged. It was great for me to make contacts with so many people from this industry. One cool thing I learned about was the G7 Color Calibration workflow. I’ve started to research to see how it can be implemented using CorelDRAW. Corel was one of the sponsors of the conference, Adobe was nowhere to be found. In talking with attendees, most of them seemed to be using the Adobe suite with a small percentage using CorelDRAW. What surprised me the most was that products like CADlink and Flexisign were never mentioned. Even though people were using the Adobe suite, they were opening to looking at CorelDRAW. So it looks like Corel’s sponsorship of the event may pay some dividends down the road.

I really enjoyed the opportunity to experience each of these shows for the first time and to see all of the products being created with graphics software. Now I just need some time to relax after all that crazy travel.

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Foster D. Coburn III

Foster D. Coburn III is author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences. His first Web site was built in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013.

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