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April 2011
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Dscoop6: Full of Energy and Sense Of Community

ORLANDO, FL—It happened again. Dscoop6 was again the rush of excitement, enthusiasm and energy that makes up this amazing user community meeting. It stems from the level of content spanning every type of printing that can be done on HP printing systems, and the ready access to experts with the hands-on knowledge and an infinite willingness to share that knowledge with all comers.

One printer with both HP Indigo and wide-format equipment in his shop said to me, "We might have been going at it tooth and nail with another member—competing for the same business last week, and we'll be at it again next week—but, at Dscoop, we'll share ideas and information that can make us both better."

The neutral zone Dscoop creates is borne of the awareness that, as another printer put it, "There's more business to be had than any one of us can possibly handle. But, helping each other get more business helps all of us."

For four years now, I've had the opportunity to sit in Dscoop sessions and talk with business owners, press operators and execs from partner companies, all of whom agree that Dscoop is the not-to-be-missed conference of the year. Many member companies bring multiple employees, each charged with learning all they can about a specific area, which they can then share back at the plant. That's not an inexpensive tactic, but business owners say it returns big dividends as knowledge is shared and new practices are put into place.

The secret is, while HP makes a substantial investment in Dscoop, it is really a grassroots, member-driven organization. The topic and content of nearly every session comes out of member-run committees made up of people with the first-hand knowledge of the challenges that other members face every day. Then, because the community is so tightly knit, the people with the best knowledge and experience to share on a given topic wind up in front of a room filled with folks who want to hear what they have to say.

Likewise, partners—the 90-odd vendors that support Dscoop—are carefully vetted before they become sponsors and see the conference as an opportunity to better understand customer needs, not just to generate sales leads.

 

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