On the Road: Customer Interaction Takes Center Stage at EFI ConnectFebruary 2013 By Mark Michelson
LAS VEGAS—EFI proved that "what happens in Vegas doesn't have to stay in Vegas," especially for the roughly 800 attendees who could select from more than 150 breakout and training sessions at the EFI Connect users' group meeting held here Jan. 15-18 at the Wynn Las Vegas. Sessions covered MIS/ERP software, Web-to-print systems, industrial inkjet printers and Fiery technology.
"This was the largest-ever Connect event (more than 1,100 people in total), and this year our customers had more access to EFI personnel than ever before," said Frank Mallozzi, senior vice president of worldwide sales and marketing at EFI. "That level of interaction, and the educational programming we've assembled, make Connect one of a select few conferences that provide a high return on investment by giving attendees tangible business strategies for future success." The annual conference helps EFI's customers improve their businesses by giving them tools to operate with greater efficiency, develop new applications and apply forward-thinking innovation.
Event highlights included a fireside chat between EFI CEO Guy Gecht and Indigo founder and Landa Corp. Chairman and CEO Benny Landa. In a free-ranging discussion, Landa noted that his company received 430 letters of intent (with the majority of the deposits paid) at drupa for Landa Nanographic Printing presses, most of them for B1-format sheetfed models. He indicated that the 1,200 dpi, beta machines will be installed in the U.S. and Europe by the end of 2013, with full-scale production beginning next year. Landa revealed that, like the early days with Indigo press installations, a Landa trainer will come with the press, and the trainer will also act as a service technician for other Landa press users as the market adoption grows.
One of the more memorable moments during the fireside chat was near the end when Gecht tried to delve more into Landa's personal life and hobbies. Landa did recount his childhood and the entrepreneurial spirit of his father, but became uncomfortable as Gecht pressed him about what books he's read lately, what music he listens to and what movies Landa had seen. Gecht was left speechless when Landa quipped that he enjoyed a movie he saw in the 1970s called "Debbie Does Dallas." Landa's retort had the desired effect, as Gecht stopped asking personal questions and concluded the 1:1 interview with the audience in full laughter.