DIGITAL digestMarch 2011
LAS VEGAS—Back in 1996 or so, at the On Demand Show in New York City, there was this pleasant reception at an artsy gallery with great munchies, a bunch of gorgeous fashion models and a plethora of digital print visionaries, illuminati, vendor execs and assorted hangers-on. It was the launch of PODi—the Print On Demand Initiative.
At the time it was nothing more than a loose trade association to support the nascent POD market, but has since taken on a life of its own to become a key conference in a dynamic and still growing segment of the printing industry.
Now staged here annually, PODi 2011 was once again the home for thought leaders in the world of digital print. Dubbed the AppForum, PODi was all about the many applications associated with digital printing, but with a particular focus on how social media can be used to drive print.
Sticking to the AppForum theme, sessions ranged from strategies and tactics for using social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn; to leveraging the power of cross-media tools such as those from MindFireInc and XMPie; and how leading print engine vendors such as Canon, HP and Xerox can support social and cross-media initiatives. Other sessions provided updated takes on common challenges for print providers, such as ensuring that a Website actually engages customers, fitting Web-to-print to one's business and how to best implement consultative selling techniques.
The great thing about PODi AppForum was that the people presenting these sessions were industry thought leaders who shared the proof points of their success.
Because effective handling and management of data is crucial to successful marketing campaigns, some sessions took fairly deep dives into data analytics and customizing market segments with cluster and factor analysis.
In one with Kodak's Serge Grinchmanoff and Dave Fenske, of Fenske Media in Rapid City, SD, the presenters showed how data analytics can be managed and used to add measurable value to print and cross-media campaigns.
Two of the more interesting sessions were presented by Mimeo's Charlie Corr and Waleed Ashoo of Lithexcel in Albuquerque, NM.
Corr related how Mimeo.com has developed super-efficient operations that enable the company to handle complex documents, shorter run lengths and provide faster turnaround times. He encouraged attendees to include cloud printing in their business strategies, seek out new ways to reduce costs, expand their product and service offerings, and look strategically at technology investments.