Wide-Format Business Master Class (6 Session Series)
An in-depth course to guide you in accelerating your wide-format business!
The Wide-Format Business Master Class is the first in APTech's Master Class series, aimed at providing a blueprint for businesses that wish to build a major profit center around wide-format printing operations.

This is a six-week, in-depth course, with 12-15 hours of instruction, beginning March 30, 2021 at 1:30 pm - 4:00 ET, and running each of the subsequent five Tuesdays at the same time through May, 4, 2021. The class includes live instruction with well-known wide-format business authority Debbie Nicholson, plus interviews with owners of successful wide-format business units along with equipment and materials experts. In addition, a packet of substrate samples will be mailed to you, which will be referenced in the course.

Attendees will come out of this course with an actual plan for building out their wide-format operation. We encourage you to invite your leadership, sales and operations teams to attend this essential course for any organization that wants to maximize its wide-format printing business.

Cost: $499 Association for PRINT Technologies' members, $699 non-members, for full six-week course. Individual sessions: $149 members, $199 non-members. (Click on "Start this Section" link below each session description below to access individual registration pages.)
(Members, if you haven't received your invitation with your discount code, you can request a discount code by sending a note to Julie Shaffer, jshaffer@aptech.org. A 50% discount is available for additional class seats for people from the same company. Inquire with Julie Shaffer about this offer.)

Praise for Debbie Nicholson:

I have been in a Wide-Format Peer Group facilitated by Debbie Nicholson for two years. I have grown and improved in Wide-Format sales and production with Debbie’s guidance and direction. Two things that set her above is her knowledge of the business and her creativity. Debbie has a passion for teaching and uplifting people who study under her. Her ideas, methods, and product knowledge have helped my staff and me to sell beyond the average Wide-Format printing company. And, it doesn’t stop there; she taught us the importance of presenting the final product! It has brought tears of joy to my customers when done right, assuring us as the "go-to" company for all Wide-Format Projects.
- Dave Dunphy, Owner, AlphaGraphics (The Woodlands, TX)

It has been said to always leave things better than you found them...especially people. Debbie Nicholson's passion for the wide format industry and, more importantly, for people is unparalleled. It has been an amazing experience to work with Debbie and we can't express enough gratitude for her support, training and desire to elevate our people and our brand. She will tackle any project with which we ask for her assistance and will go above and beyond to ensure that success is attained. Her vast knowledge of wide format/signage coupled with her customer-centric support, have helped us establish and grow our wide format department in ways we couldn't dream of. Debbie is truly an industry pillar! Thanks a bunch, Debbie! We are certainly better than before we met you!!
- Paul Vartanian, Owner, Print Solutions, Englewood, NJ

"There is no one else like her in the Wide-Format industry with such vast technical and design knowledge; she has unselfish standards for excellence and has support and commitment from Wide-Format industry manufacturers and distributors. Debbie’s uncanny gift is that she can quickly recognize and advise how to clean-up a company's bad habits and elevate an organization's probability of success - that exceeds its ambitions."
- Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting

I have had the privilege to be trained in Wide-Format sales by Debbie Nicholson. Debbie's knowledge and expertise are beyond amazing in the industry of Wide-Format Printing. I have learned so much from her. Because of her defined and detailed training, I now have confidence in myself to be successful! She is an inspiration to me and many others.
- Kathy Cobb, Wide-Format Sales, PANAPRINT, Macon, GA

The value and knowledge she demonstrates set Debbie apart as a women leader. She even challenges me to think deeper to discover new ideas and deliver successful solutions to my clients. Her influence and energy empower me to believe there is so much more to achieve in our industry. Genuinely, I think Debbie is motivated by helping others grow to reach their potential.
- Adriana Guzman, Account Executive, Read & Co, San Antonio, TX
This Master Class Has 6 Sections
  • What is the Value of Wide-Format Printing? (Session 1)
    In the first session of this Master Class series, wide-format business expert, Debbie Nicholson, provides a comprehensive look at what's required to build a first-class wide-format business. Covered in this session: • The core concept: Imagination, Ideation, Implementation. • The operation: what is "wide-format printing"? • The potential client base: who needs wide-format printing? • The expansive list of wide-format applications. • Who really benefits from wide-format and why. • What you can print on: rigid, flexible & textile substrates. • Essential requirements for a wide-format operation. Interview: Paul Vartanian, Owner Print Solutions, located in Englewood, NJ Discussion: A fellow company owner who has invested in the future of his business - and why! This interview will be uplifting and inspiring. You will also have ample time for questions and discussion with Debbie and others attending the class.
  • How to Effectively Sell Wide-Format Printing (Session 2)
    In the second session of the class, Debbie turns to sales and the unique opportunity wide-format printing can bring to build an incredible book of business. She shares first-hand examples of how to turn inquiries into six-figure programs – and how you can do the same! In this session, she will cover: • How to recognize and tell the Story! • Understanding all aspects of wide-formatprinting. • Implementing the use ofdiscovery questions. • Planning a wide-format project. • Learning and utilizing Research Skills. • How to secure high-volume projects. • Processes to market wide-format printing. Interview: Mark Ferm, CEO of UltraBoard, located in Bentonville, Arkansas Discussion: UltraBoard is a supplier of rigid substrates for the Wide-Format industry. Last year, with the COVID-19 crisis, the company rapidly developed an amazing line-up of products to help schools and social forums stay safe. Debbie invites the CEO to walk through the challenges the company faced, how the team pivoted to adapt to the current situation and how it is moving forward now. The interview will help the audience to be open to creating new products and processes.
  • Migrate Offset Sales Staff Reps to Wide-Format Pros! (Session 4)
    There are some differences in selling wide-format programs and in this fourth class installment, Debbie focuses on training commercial print sales reps to build a strong book of wide-format business. This week’s agenda includes these topics: • Describing the intimidation factor – is it real? • Defined education/training exclusive to wide-format sales. • Discuss renumeration - in detail - in advance. • Detail the advantages of adding a new genre of business. • How to initiate the migration process slowly. • What’s in it for them? Making it clear! • Create a Learning Culture to support the sales team. Interview: Brenda Thomas, Piedmont Plastics, located in Wheeling, Illinois. Discussion: Point Blank: What distributors are doing to help the PSP's purchase the correct products for their projects (Educational/Information). What about customer service? What about providing free samples for testing? Deep dive! The interview will help the audience take an in-depth look at how products are purchased and handled. And includes an introduction to new items that can expand a company’s offerings.
  • What You Should Know About Wide-Format Vertical Markets! (Session 5)
    What are the best markets to pursue for wide-format business? In the fifth class of the series, Debbie details which verticals she has found to be proven solid markets for wide-format sales. • Why is it important to look at specific vertical markets? • Outlining Healthcare market potential with W-F products. • Outlining Education market potential with W-F products. • Outlining Retail market potential with W-F products. • Outlining Restaurants market potential with W-F products. • Outlining A&E market potential with W-F products. • Discuss cross-over with other sales staff. Interview: Cherish Flieder, Art Licensing Community Founder, located in Golden CO. Discussion: Cherish is an internationally-featured and award-winning artist and has designed thousands of SKUS in men’s and women's fashion apparel and accessories, books (including children's books), magazines, gift, home decor, and more. The interview will help the audience to see how the Art Licensing Community works and its thousands of members navigate the printing industry. This will be enjoyable and informative.
  • Product Diversification Wins Major Projects! (session 6)
    In the sixth and final class in the series, Debbie pull everything together and sets down the blueprint for a continuously growing wide-format business segment. In this session, you'll discover: • Proven ways to add diversity to your portfolio. • What can we do better than our competitors? • What are our unique and competitive strengths? • Can we add value to an acquired company? • Can we utilize our skill-set to create new products? • How to address weaknesses - head on! • Continual collaboration - company wide- buy in!
  • Synergy with Sales and Production (Session 3)
Accelerate Your Wide-Format Business!