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From Digital to Fulfillment

April 2008 BY ERIK CAGLE
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“We’re looking at it as the digital print business you can afford and can’t afford to miss,” notes Mary Garnett, executive vice president of PIA/GATF. “Attendees will be able to network and hear what is the latest in the digital printing area. It will have a lot of energy focused on sharing information about profiting in digital printing.”

The program will cover the infrastructure of a digital printing business along with the selling process. The DPC will discuss its compensation studies, of interest to the ROI-conscious, and discuss their findings. Printers will provide their success stories, and future trends will also be examined. Sponsors will host breakout sessions for attendees to talk about specific technologies.

“We saw the (Offset and Beyond) program as offering everything that’s important in offset, but we realize that offset printers are going beyond just offset lithography,” Garnett adds. This one-day program will immerse participants in the digital business.”

Green Showcase: The PIA/GATF has invited roughly a half-dozen printers to share exhibits touting the success they’ve enjoyed with environmental initiatives. Each printer will showcase, on a 3x4-foot freestanding bulletin board, a display detailing their green initiative. The three-part display will include: 1.) A specific area of “green” the company has set as a goal; 2.) What the company did toward that end; and 3.) The results of their efforts. Printers will be on hand to discuss their projects with conference attendees. The showcase will be set up near the resource center, not far from the suppliers, sponsors and tabletop exhibits.

For instance, a company’s display may feature a paper/aluminum/plastic recycling program and how it has saved hundreds of dollars a month on Dumpster rental fees and reduced the number of disposal units, thus saving space.

“This reflects the Offset and Beyond Conference’s encouragement of green practices,” says Garnett. “Our role is to encourage green practices and encourage printers to showcase what they’re doing so others can develop their own ideas, big and small, regarding green initiatives within their companies. It’s part of the journey of becoming a sustainable green printer.”

The Green Showcase is being sponsored by Adobe Systems and Printing Impressions. Garnett hopes to use this first-year showcase as a springboard to even bigger projects at future conferences.

Student Outreach Program: With the printing industry fending off claims that it is a mature profession, the WOA is reaching out to college students who represent the future of printing. The students chosen have demonstrated a strong interest in graphic arts at their respective schools.

Backed by the PGSF scholarship fund, the students—from Chicago area schools—will be invited to the conference and assist in the overall program. This will allow them to network with conference attendees, familiarizing them with the inner circle of key players from both the printer and vendor sides.

“We’re trying to bring them into the ‘family fold’ as soon as we can to encourage them to see printing as an exciting occupation and a rewarding career,” Garnett remarks. “We want them to foresee a career ladder within the industry.

“We’ll help dispel any reservations they might have about this being an older media and show it in a complimentary light. Hopefully, it will help confirm their choice to opt for a graphic arts career.” PI
 

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