Inkjet Summit 2013: Production Inkjet, the True Game Changer

Ricoh’s George Promis (standing) weighs in during a group discussion about the opportunities that inkjet printing can provide to print providers.

A panel of digital printing experts/consultants featured, from the left, Elizabeth Gooding, Gooding Communications; Marco Boer, IT Strategies; Gilles Biscos, Interquest; Skip Henk, Xplor; and Howie Fenton, NAPL.

The Inkjet Summit included scheduled, one-on-one meetings between individual printer attendees and appropriate vendor sponsors—a novel approach to industry conference formats that drew praise from all sides.

Networking opportunities was a key component of the conference.

Courier VP of Technology Stephen Franzino got the award for most contribution.

Charlie Corr is the Group Director of Enterprise Document Strategy Services at InfoTrends.

Charlie Pesko, nGage Events.

Howie Fenton, Senior Consultant, NAPL.

Marco Boer, Vice President, IT Strategies.

Elizabeth Gooding, President, Gooding Communications Group.

Skip Henk, President and CEO, Xplor International.

Considering the key role he played at the onset of the print-on-demand revolution in the early 1990s, it was no surprise that Charlie Pesko—founder of InfoTrends and the On Demand Digital Printing Show—had a few words to say at the inaugural Inkjet Summit held April 9-11. Citing the way the Xeroinaux DocuTech set the printing world on fire back in 1991 and launched the digital transformation of the industry, he noted that inkjet technology was similarly poised to transfigure the printing world.

“Production inkjet printing will be what we call the second stage of digital printing—lower cost and extremely higher speeds than EP (electrophotographic) technology,” proclaimed Pesko in his opening address. “The annual retail value of production inkjet printing will top $10 billion in five years in the U.S. alone. It is a very disruptive technology and will displace both EP/toner-based digital and offset volume. Inkjet is the next big game changer in the printing industry.”

From that point on, the rest of the three-day summit set about proving that statement, and impressing upon the assembled printers the need to act now before their competition beats them to it.

Held at the elegant Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, near Jacksonville, FL, the first-of-its-kind Inkjet Summit drew more than 65 print professionals, comprising CEOs, general managers, and senior vice presidents in charge of plant operations, technology and digital print operations at leading companies, including Allegra Network, Cenveo, Classic Graphics, Consolidated Graphics, Courier Corp., RR Donnelley, DST Output, EarthColor, Hallmark Cards, IWCO Direct, GLS Cos., Japs-Olson, Mercury Print Productions, Total Printing Systems, Tribune Direct, Publishers Printing, Standard Register and Walsworth Publishing, to name a few.

All attendees were hand-picked and vetted by the summit’s organizers, nGage Events and North American Publishing Co. (publisher of Printing Impressions and In-plant Graphics magazines). They spent three days networking and learning from one another, while enjoying a non-stop program of keynotes, panel discussions, case studies and user conversations.

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