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CGX’s emerge Event : Creating Content, Memories

July 2012 By Erik Cagle, Senior Editor
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Other speakers included Jim Cartwright, senior vice president and managing director for Saatchi & Saatchi X and a 25-year veteran of the printing industry. Brad Davis, the CMO of Opus Bank and a member of the Retail Marketing Hall of Fame, joined Laurie Tucker—senior vice president, corporate marketing for FedEx Services—with their insights into brand image and enhancement.

The keynoters addressed a somewhat different crowd than at past emerge conferences. "We saw a lot more decision makers this time around," Grohs notes. "Instead of a graphic designer, the CMO came, the vice president of marketing or the president. The list of attendees seems to be expanding in terms of influence."

The Premiere Series of panel discussions returned this year with tracks for digital and marketing. In all, there were 54 educational breakout sessions. The key to their success, Grohs stresses, is the presentation of fresh and relevant content.

"If people are taking three, four days out of their week to spend with us, we've got to make sure there's a good return on that," he says. "The feedback continues to be overwhelmingly positive. We've already received e-mails from people that attended certain breakout sessions who want to do a presentation on a particular topic at next year's show."

The emerge conference also provides a platform for the corporation to give clients an overview of what direction CGX is taking. For example, CGX and Blurb combined forces on a book publishing platform, Publish, to enables businesses to create custom publications. Other news included the expanded investment in Japanese printer Yamagata Corp. that gives CGX majority interest.

A popular attraction at emerge, in its second year, was the Encore awards. CGX flew in judges to evaluate more than 400 entries in the following categories: books and annual reports; brochures; catalogs and magazines; digital; direct mail; environmentally friendly; general; packaging; and print and technology solutions. The awards were created to salute the creativity put forward by CGX's customer base and to demonstrate how they deliver effective printing and marketing solutions to support client initiatives.

CGX has also forged strong ties with suppliers and partners that continue to support the annual conference and expo, including Adobe, HP, Ricoh and Kodak. Adobe sponsors the Encore awards.

"Our suppliers play a big role in the event, and they get a lot out of it," says Grohs, who also praised the efforts of the many associates from within the Consolidated Graphics' chain who lended a hand to help emerge continue to be successful.

The next emerge conference is slated for May 1-2, 2013, in Las Vegas. While it will be tough for Grohs & Co. to trump the 2012 extravaganza, he's confident the show will continue to stand on its own merit, regardless of the location. Still, the fun venues make for an even more memorable experience.PI


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