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Now in its third year, WRAPSCON, the annual event put on by wrappers to celebrate the graphics installers industry, visited the Left Coast for the first time and by all accounts it was a hit.
As part of THE NBM SHOW, WRAPSCON was held in Long Beach, California, after spending its first two years in Indianapolis.
“The move to the West Coast proved to be a great move in the eyes of exhibitors and attendees alike,” says James “Ruggs” Kochevar, publisher of Sign & Digital Graphics and WRAPS magazines and the event’s organizer for National Business Media, the parent company of those magazines.
Kochevar says the event’s reputation continues to grow internationally, as evidenced by this year’s attendees, who came from many countries, including Germany, Hungary, the UK, Japan and Brazil.
“We got a pretty good international flavor at WRAPSCON this year,” Kochevar says.
This was the first year ever for the WRAPSCON Wrap Olympics, a multi-round elimination competition that pitted two teams against one another. The first prize winners were The Hungarian Outlaws: Istvan Hargittai and Kiss Lajos, who took home prizes worth more than $13,500 each. Second place finishers in the Wrap Olympics were the Wisco Jims: Joshua Marquardt and Tod Olloff, who took home prizes worth nearly $3,000 each; and the third place finishers were The Notorious W.R.A.P.: Charlie Trujillo and Dimas Brasil.
A big WRAPS thank you goes out to all of our contestants: Lorich Brothers: Chris Lorich and Tyler Lorich; Voigt/Munoz Morales: Russell Voigt; Rafael Munoz Morales; Wrapfellas: Joseph Rodriguez and Marvin Solares; Minimonigraphics: Omar Paz and Armando Rodriguez; And-alae: Mikalae Harden and Andres Perez; JV: Joe Venegas and Barbara Rodriguez; DH Graphics: Jeff Checcia and Dan Horner; MacWraps: Casey Mackay and Philip Valdez; Lik-n-Stix: Martin Medill and Jacob Pike; Team Wrappitup: Wellington Brandao and Luiz Agostinho; Brilliant Auto Skins: Vincent Staats and Kyle Osmitz; Samurai: Tadashi Kariya and Keiichi Hasegawa; Headstrike: Blake Madsen and Nash Kirchoff; BlackDogGraphix: Charlie Marano and Adam Wall; Gecko Wraps: Vinnie Ciaglo and Shane Lloyd; Gille Designs: Kris Gille and Billie Jo Gille; Who’s Your Daddy: Cher Brewer and Vinnie Ciaglo; and Wrap Godz: Carlos Martinez and Ricky Madrano.
Thanks to all of the Wrap Olympics judges: Carl Brewer of The Wrap Installers; Jen Carney of Carbon Wraps; Luis Tirado from WBC Graphics; Starla Miller from Miller Decals; and Keith Vu from Savage Wraps. Our emcee this year was Kevin Kempf of PG NOLA.
And our thanks to the sponsors of the WRAPSCON Wrap Olympics: Mutoh; ORAFOL; Roland DGA; The Wrap Institute; Mimaki; Hexis; HP; KPMF; YelloTools; ImageOne Impact; Master Appliance; BladeCage; The Bad Wrap; SmartWrap; and ProVehicle Outlines.
Michael Althoff of YelloTools, one of the sponsors of the Olympics, says he and his team had a great time at this year’s WRAPSCON.
“OMG ... we had a blast!” Althoff says in an email. “Bringing the WRAPSCON to the West Coast was really a great idea. We would like to thank all of the people who made that event such a great success. … A big thank you to all customers, wrappers, vinyl installers and sign makers out there, who share and support our passion for our amazing industry! NBM Long Beach 2018? Count us in!”
Two popular features of WRAPSCON continued in 2017: WRAPSCONNECT, which is a free-wheeling, breakfast-time panel discussion featuring some of the preeminent wrappers in the world; and “Meet the Masters,” a casual, happy-hour style event featuring wrappers of all levels meeting and speaking one-on-one with wraps royalty.
“WRAPSCON solidified itself as the go-to event for the wraps market,” Kochevar says.
Platinum level sponsors of the event were DUB IR; Mimaki; Mutoh; ORAFOL Americas; Roland DGA; The Wrap Institute; and Wrapify; Gold sponsors were Grimco; Hexis; HP; KPMF; Montroy; and OKI Data; and Silver level sponsors were 3M; and General Formulations.
“A special thanks goes out to our sponsors,” says Kochevar. “Without their sponsorship there is no event.”
As WRAPSCON has grown in popularity, satellite events have sprung up around it.
One such example is the Wraps VIP Cruise, hosted by WrapperMapper, TWG Wraps and Paint is Dead. Hundreds of industry professionals enjoyed a nighttime cruise of the scenic Long Beach Harbor and got a chance to network and celebrate the industry they all love.
Wrapify hosted what it dubbed a “Wrap. Earn. Live.” wrap competition at WRAPSCON. Acording to Josh Doeringer of Wrapify, he and his team spent weeks preparing for the competition and they were nervous right up until the time of the first heat.
“After the first heat, we collectively gave a sigh of relief,” Doeringer tells WRAPS magazine. “The judges were on point and the competitors were riveting to watch. I was at the edge of my seat for the whole 30-minute heat. The first two competitors, Vincent Staats and Jeremy Conner, were neck and neck until the end.”
John Duever was the emcee for the event and Carolyn Shaw and Austin Smith served as Wrapify’s judges. The winner, taking home a $2,500 check, was Istvan Hargittai. Other contestants were Dimas Brasil, who finished in a close second, according to Wrapify; Jeremy Conner; Vincent Staats; Chris Lorich; Will Eldam; Steve Carney; and Kiss Lajos.
“THE NBM SHOW with WRAPSCON was the perfect venue,” writes Doeringer. “Long Beach brought a new crowd that might not have been able to travel so far in the past. All the leaders of the industry were on hand, ensuring its recognition as the most relevant industry event.”
And DUB IR held a design contest, with the winning design brought to life during a live installation in their booth on a 2017 Ford F-150.
“Thank you for a great time at the NBM–Long Beach show,” Lisa Humrich of ORAFOL writes in an email. “I think it was the best NBM SHOW that we have exhibited at in the 9 years that I have worked at ORAFOL. I look forward to next year!”
To view dozens of WRAPSCON Facebook photos, click HERE.