Canon Summit 2023 Brings Dealers Together for Learning in Las Vegas
“We’re here to learn,” said Mason Olds, EVP of Canon U.S.A.’s Business Information Communications Group (BICG), during the opening keynote session at the first Canon Summit 2023 in Las Vegas.
Hosted at The Venetian, the summit welcomed Canon U.S.A.’s dealer partners for three days of education and networking, May 9-11. Although events like this aren’t entirely new for the company, the format has evolved.
While its service channel has been getting together in some capacity for 16 years, Olds said the Canon U.S.A team “thought there’d be power in numbers” by bringing the groups together in one location for the first time.
“It’s rare to see all of our offerings in one place,” Olds continued.
To help dealers make the most of their time, Canon assigned attendees to one of four different learning tracks:
- Sales Track for sales managers and prime sales contributors, focused on enterprise, competitive insights, vertical market sales tactics, large Format, and production.
- Solutions Track for solutions analysts and technical experts, hands-on sessions that demonstrate how to set up, implement, and support key solutions.
- Production Track for production specialists and management, inclusive of live product demonstrations, production of real-life applications, and competitive insights.
- Service Track for service leaders and service managers, focused on Canon’s service and support offering across the comprehensive portfolio.
Within each track, there were deep dive sessions on various topics, including but not limited to:
- Sales: Lessons in Large Format: A Playbook of Possibilities; The Cure to Selling Confidently in the Healthcare Space.
- Solutions: Sharpen Advanced Workflow Skills with a uniFLOW Online Master Class; Journey Through the Device Management Cycle with Canon Smart Services.
- Production: Transcend the Competition with imagePRESS Technology; Ascend Your Production Workflow Offerings to the Cloud.
- Service: Serviceability Done Right: Powerful Capabilities from Canon’s Comprehensive Portfolio; The Launching Pad: Secrets to Initiating Stellar Service During a Solution Roll Out.
In addition to learning tracks, the summit featured a Technology Showcase, where attendees could stop and learn about everything from Canon Financial Services and eService to the Colorado M-Series printers, Fiery, label printing solutions, copiers/scanners, and much more.
Outside of Canon products, Duplo served as a Platinum Sponsor for the event, showcasing its DC-618 Slitter Cutter Creaser for precision finishing of things like packaging and marketing collateral.
Sharing her thoughts on the event, Mimi Palomo, business strategy program director, Duplo USA, says, “Duplo being a Platinum Sponsor this year at the Canon Summit is an honor as we continue to support Canon USA and their dealer channel to help them provide their customers with finishing options to sell along with their digital presses. It was a great turnout in Las Vegas, and we were able to showcase our DC-618 Slitter Cutter Creaser and highlight the importance of workflow automation.”
To motivate attendees to engage and learn, the Canon Summit Game allowed them to earn points and prizes. Inside the event mobile app, the game gave points for various tasks like posting, commenting, or liking within the Activity Feed, rating a learning session, and visiting a booth at the Technoloy Showcase.
Reflecting on the event, Caroline Larkin, account executive for Loffler, a Canon dealer, says, “The Canon Summit 2023 was exciting and informative! The Canon training staff was professional, engaging, and knowledgeable. I really enjoyed the hands-on experience during the demonstrations. I look forward to continuing to partner with Canon as a Top 5 Dealer in the U.S. and look forward to sharing the new technology solutions with my customers in the second half of 2023!”
Canon on Convergence
In a sit down with Jerry Matsufuji, VP/GM marketing, Bob Barbera, director of marketing for production, and Rich Reamer, senior director of marketing for wide format, they expanded on the summit format and market trends.
By consolidating its enterprise, production, and large-format channels into one event, Matsufuji said it creates excitement and “big noise” within Canon’s partner network. Timing wise, it couldn’t be more perfect, he said, with the new imagePRESS V-Series and Colorado M-Series printers.
“It's critical that our sales channels or dealers understand these advancements, what it means for the customers who are going to use the products,” Barbera added.
Reamer added that the large-format channel is unique for dealers, in that it “wasn’t much of a business” like the imageRUNNER ADVANCE or imagePRESS. Now, “these companies are realizing they're selling our color imageRUNNER ADVANCE devices into businesses that are buying large format, but they're buying large format from other companies.”
With Canon recently unifying its large-format group and the channel growing in interest with dealers, it speaks to the convergence happening across the industry. Whether it's within dealerships or with print providers, businesses are figuring out ways to get a larger piece of the printing pie.
Speaking to big-picture trends in the printing industry, Reamer noted that all segments are “pretty healthy, even aqueous, which has been around forever and just continues to grow.”
He continued, stating that whether a dealer's customers need something from low to high-end, Canon has it.
On the production side, Barbera added that digital printing and digital color are growing.
“There’s just so much excitement out there about this new generation of imagePRESS in the marketplace and the continued investment that Canon makes to keep on bringing out new models, new technology, new capabilities,” Barbera shared.
In the last few years, Canon has released three major models into the production family (imagePRESS V-1000, imagePRESS 900, and imagePRESS V-1350). To that point, Matsufuji shared that Canon is focused in on applications and calls 2023 “the year of production.”
To get dealers well versed in all of this, the learning tracks during Canon Summit 2023 offer attendees a chance to see demos, ask questions, and get tips on how to better serve and sell to their customers.
Canon in the Market
During the opening keynote for the summit, Olds walked through Canon’s 2022 full-year results, noting over $30 billion in net sales and more than $1 billion in net income for 2022. While diversification is talked about often, Olds says it’s hard to do well. Despite that, Canon reported $2.6 billion in profit across all its segments worldwide.
Randy Dazo, chief strategy and operations officer, Keypoint Intelligence, took the keynote stage with a focus on ways to thrive in a post-pandemic era. As expected, he said physical meeting spaces, whiteboarding, printing/scanning/faxing, and digital signage all took hits during the pandemic. Conversely, web conferencing, voice/chat, and business process automation were positively impacted.
And things like AI (Artificial Intelligence), cybersecurity, eCommerce, “the cloud,” and robotic process automation were all accelerated due to COVID, according to Dazo. Right now, signage, digital presses, digital labels, packaging, and home décor are all in a rapid growth stage, he added.
To be successful post-pandemic, he told attendees diversification and investing in new technologies — sales and marketing tools and automation — are the keys.
Sam Yoshida, EVP & GM of Canon U.S.A., closed the keynote by saying he’s “very bullish and optimistic” about the industry.
Canon U.S.A.’s next summit is in Nashville, June 19-21, but until then, keep an eye out for some news. Reamer alluded to an exciting announcement to come at FESPA in Munich, Germany later this month.