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DIGITAL digest

April 2004
On Demand Closes Doors on Its New York City Run

NEW YORK—Two surprises awaited exhibitors and attendees at the recent 2004 On Demand Conference & Exposition. Unfortunately, they both related to the event itself.

On the first day, word spread of a change in location and timing for the next installment of the industry forum, which is scheduled to be held May 17-19, 2005, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in the heart of Philadelphia. There was no formal announcement, so most exhibitors first learned of the move when they were approached about reserving a booth for the 2005 show.

The second surprise awaited attendees as they strolled north down the main aisles of On Demand and unexpectedly stumbled into FAME—the Fashion Avenue Market Expo. Produced by Business Journals Inc., it is billed as the "first contemporary lifestyle apparel and accessories show." Some partial cloth walls and a change in carpet color were all that set the fashion expo apart from On Demand.

At the south end of the hall, the show floor again this year seamlessly transitioned into the 2004 AIIM Expo—the Enterprise Content & Document Management event. AIIM conferences also were co-located with On Demand sessions, as was the Digital Marketing Symposium for the first time.

According to the sponsors, the number of verified attendees for the first day of the co-located events exceeded 10,000 people. However, of the some 500 exhibitors reported taking part, fewer than 175 were listed in the official show guide as being in the On Demand portion of the show floor.

Another bit of news that built into a buzz on the first day was the announced deal for Heidelberg to transfer all of its digital printing assets—black-and-white and color—to Eastman Kodak. A press conference scheduled by Kodak Versamark at the end of the day became a standing-room-only affair as it was expected that the Heidelberg deal would be addressed.

James Langley, president of Commercial Printing and senior vice president of Eastman Kodak, did fly in to make a brief statement about the deal and to answer some questions. Also on hand was Venkat Purushotham, president and CEO of NexPress Solutions, who has been tapped to lead the combined digital businesses.

According to Langley, the initial agreement does not include any provision for Heidelberg to continue distributing either the black-and-white or color products. Previous statements from Heidelberg had indicated it intended to maintain its broad print market coverage even if it got out of the manufacturing side of the business.
 

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