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Event Walks the Talk —Sherburne

February 2008

Learn the Hot Topics

This is a great opportunity for print service providers to learn firsthand how to implement these types of programs—and what the pitfalls are, based on real-world experience. In looking at the conference agenda, which is broken out into tracks for marketers and for printers, it looks like all of the hot topics are being addressed, from search engine optimization and pay-per-click e-mail to how to implement personalized Web URLs. Even if you are not in Southern California, it may be worth the trip to take advantage of this learning opportunity.

When I spoke with Jacobson, he pointed out one other interesting fact: At PrintFest, 10 percent of attendees, mostly printers, typically come for the conference and expo, and 90 percent attend the expo only.

The history for the Direct Marketing Expo is very different. The majority of its attendees come primarily for the conference. That sends an interesting message about the differences between printers and their marketing customers. You can draw your own conclusions on that one.

It is refreshing to see this combined event, bringing printers, creatives, designers and marketers together under one roof for a common educational experience. Although we may come at it from different directions, the issues and challenges facing these constituencies are two sides of the same coin. We need more events like this in our industry.

“Printers need to understand that all of this new media and alternative media is not the enemy,” concludes Primary Color’s Mack. “It is the wave of the future, as the worlds of marketing and print collide. And it is part of the package that printers must bring to their customers in a consultative approach. That is what we are spotlighting at PrintFest: focusing on the print component, but bringing it all together in a comprehensive conference. The case study of our cross-media campaign to drive conference attendance will be a terrific launching pad for the discussions that will go on over the course of the event.”

If you are not going to PrintFest, watch for follow-up coverage, especially about the outcome of the cross-media campaign. And use this column as a reminder that you should be active in your local DMA chapter. Taking the time to go where the buyers are—and to learn firsthand about their issues and concerns—is one of the most important things you can do, as you build a marketing strategy for your business. PI

Cary Sherburne

About the Author
Cary Sherburne is a well-known journalist, author and strategic marketing consultant working primarily with the printing and publishing industry. She is a frequent speaker at industry events, a regular contributor to printing industry publications and has written three books, which are available for purchase through the Bookstore section on Printing Impressions’ Website ( Sherburne can be contacted at


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