BRASELTON, GA—A hotel and winery resembling a chateau in the French countryside surrounded by vineyards, but actually situated north of Atlanta, served as the perfect backdrop for Kodak to toast its appreciation for feedback from nearly 200 customers at its 2013 Graphic Users' Association (GUA) North American conference on April 22-26.
Preceded by a full slate of GUA University sessions where attendees could earn formal skills achievement certificates, Chris Payne, director and VP of marketing, Commercial Imaging Business, provided an overview of Kodak's growth strategy and how recent financial transactions will help it emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy by mid-year.
Barb Pellow, group leader at InfoTrends, then highlighted 10 emerging industry trends. Among them: digital color will continue to be king; wide-format digital will be an integrated part of the marketing mix; inkjet will accelerate the offset-to-digital migration; enhanced substrates will drive digital volume; Web-to-print is about managing the marketing supply chain; content will reign; the rise of hyper-personalization will drive digital print and cross-media marketing; customers seek trigger-based marketing; mobile marketing will accelerate major changes in how people communicate; and direct marketing and social media will converge.
Jon Bracken also detailed what will be new when Prinergy 6 production workflow software becomes commercially available. Courses focused on the Rules-Based Automation (RBA) tools within Prinergy. The most well-attended conference sessions included "Integrating Web-to-Print, Workflow and MIS Challenges," "How to Use Adobe Acrobat Plug-ins to Optimize Production," and "Maximizing Offset Solutions for Commercial, Publishing and Packaging."
For the first time, an executive conference was held prior to the more production-oriented GUA conference itself. Representing the printer community on the GUA 2013 board are John Henderson, VP of operations and technology at The Bureau; Thomas Clifford, director of digital development and IT, HC Miller; Mark Jetzer, color systems specialist at Amway; and Eddie Kopaczynski, manager of graphic services, Graphic Packaging International. PI