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Thaddeus B. Kubis

Converging Technologies and Print

By Thaddeus B. Kubis

About Thaddeus B.

Thad has developed The Institute For Media Convergence (, into a leading Media Convergence research group and NAK Integrated Marketing Inc., ( an internationally known, integrated marketing resource utilizing emerging technologies linked to print.

Media Convergence Takes Physical Form at Pack East

Recently, I attended Pack East held in New York City at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. I’ve previously attended various elements of what has now been converged into this newly defined, bundled trade show vertical that is Pack East. The show, which was run very effectively by UBM Canon, has reached a point of interest to me as a leading evangelist for Media Convergence. I see this bundling as just one additional level of the proof of concept for Media Convergence.

Yes, a trade show is not contained within the traditional definition of media, but in actuality, trade shows or events of this scale are truly Media Convergence in practice. There was a large and robust exhibitor directory printed and distributed, along with a pocket planner and floor plan. Add these two key elements to all the other media used—such as posters, booths, displays, ads, incentives, e-mails, direct mail, digital signage, collateral material and the list grows with each breath—and you have true Media Convergence on a new level.

Pack East brings together (on the East Coast) comprehensive design, manufacturing and packaging solutions under one roof. The show links:

1) Pack East
2) Medical Design & Manufacturing East (MD&M)
3) Atlantic Design & Manufacturing
4) Automation Technology Expo
5) PLASTEC East and
6) the Green Manufacturing Expo.

Not too long ago, the MD&M event was a standalone show with access to other shows held at the Javits Center at the same time. Pack East is supported by seven—yes, count ’em, seven—other converged shows across the United States and Canada.

Maybe you don’t think this is a cool topic, but I do. I can tell you that other industries—including Commercial/Digital Printing—should heed this new business model. Not only did the Pack East show offer a common vertical link, but during my tour of the show I saw many levels of corporate executives looking for a broad variety of information (and suppliers) up and down the supply chain. One can say that the Pack East event is a supply chain management event at the very onset of the process.

Image if the printing industry offered a show like this? Drupa (in Düsseldorf, Germany) is the closest thing to this type of combined event. But Drupa is too narrowly focused to really make sense and fit the actual definition.

For those who haven’t been, Drupa is one of the largest shows in the world and is held once every four years, running for three weeks. It is huge and very impactful. Drupa offers the latest innovations as they directly relate to the printing process, which also includes prepress, postpress, distribution, digital, and the list goes on and on. But the full extent of the marketplace—the supply chain—is not included, nor supported.

GRAPH EXPO and PRINT 2012 in the United States and their equivalents in Canada and Mexico should also look to the convergence model of the current Pack East. Print and other industry companies can no longer focus on “selling” their wares to the same audience and the same limited industry since we, as a world, have become a world of convergence, merging, interconnection and 365/24/7 linking.

Printers don’t buy print (at least not in any measurable volume), but marketers, agencies, creative and others do. So much so, that these are the very “industries” that need to be bundled into the next printing industry mega event. I would also suggest that alternative media be included since many printers are looking for new ways of making money using Media Convergence technologies just on the horizon.

How does this topic relate to you as a print provider? Simply, the world of media, communication and advertising is slowly changing—single sourcing, bundling and convergence are taking hold. Don’t fight it; go with it.

Quoting Chevy Chase as Ty Webb in Caddyshack, “Just be the ball, be the ball, be the ball. You're not being the ball, Danny.” Be the services that your clients will need, the services they will need, the services they will need. These services may be outside your zone of comfort, but should fit into your zone of profit.

If you want to share your Media Convergence viewpoint, including how trade shows can become convergent, I’m ready at:

(917) 597-1891
Skype & Twitter: thadcmce
LinkedIn & Facebook: Thad Kubis
Snail Mail: PO Box 1489, Sheffield, MA 01257


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