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2017 International Awards & Personalization Expo Recap

2017 International Awards & Personalization Expo Recap

The International Awards & Personalization Expo in Las Vegas, NV has continuously, hands-down, been the best show for IKONICS Imaging each and every year. There’s nothing quite like the APA community and all the events surrounding the International Awards & Personalization Expo. The face-to-face time is priceless and is always a refreshing reminder of the importance of the human connection.

IKONICS Imaging had back-to-back events and meetings throughout the entire week of the show. It can be a whirlwind but absolutely worth it. A few members of the IKONICS Imaging crew headed out to Vegas early for booth setup on Sunday, February 5th. With a total of six large sandcarving and washout machines, along with preparations for the APA hands-on classroom training, the IKONICS Imaging team worked their tails off in unloading, unpacking and setting up the 20×30’ island booth. A lot of love and labor went into booth setup! Peter Norman and Wes Barton’s CrossFit skills were put to good use along with Jessie Ryan’s hockey stamina and determination. The crew treated themselves to Guy Fieri’s famous Trashcan Nachos at the Rio Hotel, well-deserved team. The booth set-up continued into Monday, February 6th.


Education day finally arrived on Tuesday, February 7that 8 o’clock in the morning. Darin Jones, Wes Barton, Mike VanOvermeiren and Peter Norman taught a thrilling, hands-on training session on how to, “Diversify with Sandcarving.”The full class of 40 attendees were an absolute blast! It was so much fun working with all the students, both new and familiar faces. You could feel the buzz and excitement in the air about sandcarving. Each participant gained valuable knowledge about the sandcarving industry along with acquired skills to add to their ‘back pocket’ out in the field.





After the hands-on sandcarving class, the IKONICS Imaging team headed back to the exhibit floor to finalize and touch up any loose ends in the booth. Next event was the Awards Associates of America presentationthat afternoon. The IKONICS Imaging crew charged off to The Palms Hotel. Peter Norman, Darin Jones and Wes Barton talked about IKONICS Imaging along with all the sandcarving markets and new sandcarving equipment including the new CrystalBlast™ Pro X2 sandcarver and the AquaBlast™ Pioneer automated washout unit. Did you know IKONICS Imaging offers both dry process photoresist film, RapidMask, along with the traditional array of washout photoresist films? The IKONICS Imaging team also went over the Lake Superior and LSG HollowWare crystal and glass line – IKONICS Imaging offers over 700 pieces! It was a pleasure and honor to present at the Awards Associates meeting. Later that evening, select IKONICS Imaging Reps made their way to the Awards Associates Supplier Appreciation Reception– a fantastic way to end the night and prepare for the first official day of the Expo.



The first day of the International Awards & Personalization Expo, February 8th, was busy and the IKONICS Imaging booth was jam packed. There was a lot of interest in the new CrystalBlast Pro X2 cabinet and sandcarving in general. Bob Robinson from Media Blast & Abrasive, the pinnacle and brains behind all CrystalBlast sandcarving machines, graced the IKONICS Imaging booth the entire show. Robinson is a hidden gem and an extreme wealth of knowledge when it comes to machines and how they work. There were many hands-on demonstrations in the booth. The first day of the show came to an end at 5pm. A hand-full of the IKONICS Imaging team headed up to the APA Country-Western Shindig to connect with customers and other exhibitors. Later that evening, as a celebratory dinner, the IKONICS Imaging crew hit up Freemont Street and enjoyed a sleek gastropub, The Smashed Pig. IKONICS Imaging is making that a new tradition.





The second day of the International Awards & Personalization Expo was another fantastic day. The rest of the Media Blast & Abrasive crew arrived at the IKONICS Imaging booth. Ron Storer and Bob Gonzales greatly contributed to the success of the show. IKONICS Imaging also had Professional Mask help out in the booth, those guys are AWESOME! Another bustling day between the show floor and APA meetings. After the show ends, IKONICS Imaging begins the evening at the APA Awards Gala Reception. Peter Norman, IKONICS Imaging Corporate Account Manager, also a Board Member of the Awards & Personalization Association, had the delight of announcing a couple of the Gold Obelisk winners. The Gala Reception was beautifully put together. From the delicious food, drinks and presenters, everything was spot on!





All good things must come to an end. The last day of the International Awards & Personalization Expo had arrived, Feb 10th. The IKONICS Imaging crew started off the morning at the fabulous APA Member Breakfast & Annual Meeting along with the fantastic Inky Johnson speaker – quoted the “best motivational speech ever!” The last day in the IKONICS Imaging booth was much more quite compared to the first two days. A small team of the IKONICS Imaging crew remained for booth tear-down. After all was said and done, five out of the six machines were sold during the show. Sales also continue to come in after the show! IKONICS Imaging team wrapped up another successful Expo and enjoyed every single moment! It was a great pleasure connecting and meeting everyone within the Awards & Personalization Association community, not only working with new faces but also reconnecting with old and familiar faces as well. Cheers to a successful show and we cannot wait until the next International Awards & Personalization Expo.