Brands, Agencies and Printers Come Together for the First-Ever Project Peacock Print Fair
Imagine stepping foot into a mid-19th century synagogue, reminiscent of the gothic architecture you find sprinkled throughout Europe, to find that a group of like-minded individuals have gathered to share innovation, inspiration and ideas in the printing industry. That's what happened on the evening of March 14 when Project Peacock Print Fair, the brainchild of Print Media Centr's Deb Corn, took over New York City's Angel Orensanz Center for a one-night, pop-up event, with upcoming events planned for Dallas, Chicago and Los Angeles later this year.
It was a chance for print customers such as agencies, graphic designers, brand managers and marketers; print services providers (PSPs); and OEMs and paper companies to get the one-on-one opportunity to engage with each other to gain a better understanding of the possibilities that print has to offer.
One of the prime examples of that during the event was the first keynote presentation, delivered by Trish Witkowski, CEO of FoldFactory and FreshCut Crafts, in which she explored 20 print ideas in only 20 minutes. For each idea, she gave real-world examples and provided simple solutions to achieve similar results.
"Print is an opportunity like never before," Witkowski said, noting that print gives brands and agencies a special opportunity to stand out from the crowd.
She finished her presentation with a key bit of advice: Put print to work for you. It's a powerful medium that has the ability to garner attention, build brand awareness and ultimately build business.
The presentation did make an impression on at least one attendee. Steve Siegel, senior print producer at the New York City-based marketing and advertising agency Rokkan, explained that Witkowski's presentation was helpful because it suggested innovative print solutions that he could bring back to the agency — ones that could potentially help grow the business.
"The reason I came here is that I am always looking for new, innovative things to show my creative people at my agency, so they can show it to their clients and say 'Hey, let's produce something like this,'" he said.
As Witkowski left the purple- and blue-lit stage, NAPCO Media's Mark Subers, president/CRO – Printing & Packaging, and Chris Lyons, president/CRO, Marketing and NonProfit, took the stage to talk about the reasons why attendees should head to Dallas for the inaugural PRINTING United, and co-located BRAND United, events this October 23-25. It will be a single exhibition that will bring all printing technologies, and marketing resources, under one roof.
They were then replaced on stage by an unlikely keynote for the printing industry, but one that imparted some valuable lessons. Tobias Degsell, founder of Combiner and former curator at the Nobel Museum, explained that the key to innovation is collaboration. Most importantly, he pointed out that there needs to be more bridges and connections made to facilitate success. Without diversity and new perspectives, and without trust, there can be no real collaboration, he explained.
Collaboration and gathering different perspectives is exactly why attendee Shoshana Burgett, consultant at Westford, Mass.-based Pink Elephant, came to the pop-up event.
"[At this event] there are a lot of creatives and different perspectives, which is really important because printers talk one language and designers talk a whole different language," she explained.
When Degsell left the stage to a standing ovation, Deb Corn invited attendees to explore the OEM booths, to talk to each other and to ask questions.
David Krawczuk, COO of Ewing, N.J.-based Digital Dog Direct, made it clear why an event like this was needed in the industry.
"Deb was putting on the show and I know her focus is from both sides of the industry," he said. "We need a lot more of that, not a lot less. To be able to bring these groups together is key ... We have to help out the current and future generations, and that's the only way we're going to grow. If we let this stuff die, the industry is going to die with it."
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