Document Strategy Forum Draws a Mixed Crowd. Part 2

Last time (in Too Many Conferences, Too Little Time. Part 1) I talked about Xplor which was on St. Pete Beach in mid-April, and now we jump forward two weeks to Stamford, CT, and the Document Strategy Forum.

This is the conference that almost wasn’t. Originally scheduled for last November, it was run over by Superstorm Sandy and was cancelled at the last minute. Scrambling to fit it into the spring, the only opening on relatively short notice was the final week of April which was unfortunately less than two weeks after Xplor ended.

The Document Strategy Forum is really a blend of three conferences, Document Strategy, Social Business and SharePoint, and the annual Business Forms Manufacturers Annual conference. There was enough common ground to attract about 300 attendees for a busy two days. Still, there’s a significant overlap with Xplor on the document side of this show, and many of the same vendors have space on the show floor, so I wondered just how this would play out.

It turns out that the three distinct tracks served their respective audiences pretty well. The wide spread use of SharePoint in the enterprise spreads aspects of document management across the collaborative side of document creation while linking it to output side issues like compliance, risk management, and integration with both print and electronic media. And I’m probably missing something, but I still don’t understand why forms printing needs a conference.

Although vendors took the podium in many of the conference sessions, most of them managed to keep the product pitches more or less under control, although one did wonder just how much of what was said might have been skewed towards a given product. No matter, though, the information was mostly compelling, thought-provoking and provided welcome perspectives on some of the key issues facing the industry.

Noel Ward is editor-in-chief of packagePRINTING magazine, published by NAPCO Media. He can be reached at nward@napco.com.
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