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Special Report: Offset and Beyond -- Adding Value for Customers

April 2009 By Erik Cagle
Senior Editor
BIG PICTURE perspective is the ultimate goal of the Web Offset Association’s (WOA) Offset and Beyond Printer-to-Printer Business & Technology Conference. After all, attendees of the printer-driven conference, which takes place May 4-6, 2009, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, don’t benefit just from talking about web offset, sheetfed offset or even digital printing. 

Perhaps the true beauty of the conference is the insight that businesses gain to increase their own value to customers. That’s a creed that holds water, regardless of the chic technology of the day.

There is a method to the madness, notes Mary Garnett, executive vice president of the Printing Industries of America and the WOA. The conference uses a three-tier approach to delivering the latest in business and technology information for printers, with programs aimed at leadership, operations and production.

“While printers can look all over the place for different conferences to fit their needs, we believe this is one place they can send their folks to fit all of their needs in production, operation and leadership,” Garnett says. “We combined the issues so that all the processes will gain from any of the programs. All of our speakers will amplify the message of what printers need.”

Offset and Beyond continues to diversify its program portfolio—reflecting industry trends toward more print platform balance and expanded ancillary offerings. Topics will delve into relevant areas, including pro-mail initiatives, hiring and keeping talented employees, sustainability, G7 and other printing standards, mergers and acquisitions, lean manufacturing and UV printing. The solutions-based topics will focus on peer-to-peer questions and answers, and production efficiencies, as well as the deployment of various technologies and procedures.

For the first time, digital printing is reaping its own track at Offset and Beyond. Tuesday, May 5, is the unofficial “digital day” with a lineup of programs aimed at transitioning into and fully leveraging the digital printing realm.

Once again, the Offset and Beyond Conference will boast a credible panel of guest speakers whose stories rank high on both a business and interest level. While some are not specific to printing, their core messages will reflect on conducting business in a challenging business and economic environment. 

Keynoter Howard Putnam, the former CEO of Southwest Airlines and Braniff Airlines, will kick off the conference. Putnam is the author of “The Winds of -Turbulence,” which deals with leadership and ethics, and he will speak to the challenges of today’s turbulent landscape. It was Putnam who led the turnaround at Southwest that made the airline one of the most successful in its industry.


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