Specialty Graphic Imaging Association

Our client

Shepard, a full-service event production company, works closely with their client, the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA), a trade association that unites the commercial printing community. To deliver a more organized and seamless show to their client, Shepard needed to make the exhibitor experience easier and more efficient.

The event

Last year, hundreds of exhibitors from all segments of the printing industry converged on Dallas for Printing United, the largest event of its kind in North America.


The Challenge

SGIA and Shepard needed to coordinate with hundreds of exhibitors coming to Dallas from all across the country, all with the same basic questions—“Where do I order my electrical drops?” “When is move-in?” “What can I carry in?” etc. And while many of those questions would be predictable and repetitive, every exhibitor would still have unique needs and expect customized solutions.

SGIA and Shepard needed a tool that could deliver answers instantly to both exhibitors and event staff, streamlining the show experience and freeing up the service team to focus on exhibitors’ more individualized needs.


We worked closely with Shepard and SGIA to launch Ping, an ExhibitorBot that could provide instant answers to exhibitors via text and web chat.

Ping was live 24/7 from July 4th to October 30th, for over two thousand hours of real-time exhibitor support.

Scheduled and ad hoc notifications introduced Ping to exhibitors. They could then text back the same number and instantly receive answers to their questions.

Ping provided exhibitors with a checklist and a schedule to help keep them organized. And by offering immediate answers via text, Ping gave exhibitors a fast and easy alternative to asking questions via email, phone, or onsite, and empowered staff to deliver consistent, accurate answers.

Impact and lesions learned

With no downloads or logins, Ping made it easy for exhibitors and staff to get the information they needed, when they needed it.

Texts have a 98% open rate, so SGIA and Shepard could be confident exhibitors were getting the notifications and information they needed.

Several of Ping’s features made it especially easy for exhibitors to stay organized:

  • The Interactive Checklist helped exhibitors keep track of important deadlines and tasks.
  • The Exhibitor Schedule clearly laid out the entire event timeline from move-in to move-out.
  • The Concierge Service saved exhibitors from having to search the show floor for help, empowering them to get customized solutions with a single text.
  • And the Exhibitor Search helped exhibitors connect with each other, making networking easier than ever.

And Ping didn’t just offer one-time solutions. Exhibitors and staff came back to the links Ping provided again and again to keep them organized throughout the event.

Ping helped Shepard and SGIA deliver a seamless, streamlined exhibitor experience. And an easy, organized show made exhibitors excited to come back to Printing United next year.


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