Kodak Graphic Users Assn. Conference Focuses on Learning and Growth

ROCHESTER, NY—April 22, 2010—Graphic Users Association (GUA) members from throughout the U.S. and Canada came together last week in Vancouver to learn about innovative solutions, applications and ideas for growing their businesses, networks and knowledge bases. The 15th annual GUA conference, themed “U Never Stop Growing,” included more than 50 sessions covering topics selected by GUA participants.

A lively discussion at the event’s kickoff, a Kodak K-Zone panel discussion, covered the changing nature of the graphic communications industry. Moderated by Noel Ward, Managing Director, Brimstone Hill Associates; a group of journalists and analysts—including Lisa Cross of Graphic Arts Monthly, Mark Michelson from Printing Impressions, WhatTheyThink.com’s Richard Romano, and Justin Searles of InfoTrends—shared their thoughts on ways that print service providers can adapt to a digitally-driven world.

“Graphic communications is no longer just about print,” said Romano. “Commercial printers need to think holistically about what their customers need, which may or may not include print, and add electronic communication services to meet those needs. It may make sense to outsource some of these specialized capabilities as you expand into new areas.”

As print service providers expand into cross-media communications, it becomes important to show how combining print and e-communications provides marketers with a highly-effective communications program, according to Michelson.

In addition to the importance of continuously adding new capabilities, the panelists stressed the importance of understanding customers’ businesses and finding ways to strengthen relationships.

“It’s about showing value to clients, that you want to become one with them,” said Searles. “Services such as web-to-print and asset management help with that by making it easier for customers to execute campaigns.”

Added Cross, “it’s a matter of constant reinvention. Call yourselves what you want, but you should always think about what you can do to make your customers successful.”

To view video highlights of the K-Zone session, click play.

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