Kodak Won’t Exhibit at PRINT 13 or IPEX 14 Shows
ROCHESTER, NY—Citing a shifting marketing landscape and the need to take a different approach to connecting with customers more often and more effectively, Kodak announced that will not exhibit at PRINT 2013 in Chicago, nor IPEX 2014 in London. And, going forward, the company will significantly reduce its participation in conventional trade shows and rely more on its North American demo centers in Dayton, OH; Rochester, NY; and Vancouver.
In a one-on-one discussion with Printing Impressions Thursday afternoon, Chris Payne, Eastman Kodak director and vice president of commercial marketing, stressed that the decision was not about cutting costs tied in with Kodak’s upcoming emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. He said the company conducted research after Graph Expo last year, and determined that although the show provided an opportunity for great dialogs with printers, show visitors didn’t spend much time actually investigating the digital printing equipment operating within its stand.
Payne added that, although Kodak won’t exhibit at these two upcoming trade shows, Kodak will still maintain a presence. “We’ll be at the PRINT show to meet with customers, but not in a booth. We’re not going to use PRINT as an event to display equipment.”
As a veteran who entered the printing industry in the early 1980s, Payne noted that the buyer-seller sales process has changed significantly. “Back then, trade shows were the only place customers could go to look at equipment and compare strategies. Today, customers can access more information online than anything we could bring to a trade show.”
According to Kodak, customer engagement activities going forward will include the following:
• The Graphic Users Association (GUA) in North America, China, Japan and Europe is seen as a premier place to gain access to Kodak resources, connect with industry peers, participate in hands-on labs and roundtable discussions, and attend classroom courses. This year, Kodak plans to add a GUA Executive Conference Program to increase overall attendance and value for attendees.
• Kodak’s technology demo centers located around the world are becoming increasingly valuable to customers who wish to test drive equipment, meet with technical experts and consult with Kodak on their specific production needs. Kodak demo centers will also host thought leadership roundtables to bring new insights to its key accounts and prospects.
• Industry thought leadership forums and Kodak-hosted events that engage customers with insights on how new innovations solve business problems in direct marketing, packaging and publishing, and drive new business opportunities. These will be held throughout the regions, many with its reseller partners and at key customer locations, where Kodak solutions run live production every day.
• Online, Kodak’s Partner Place is a valuable and popular destination for customers and channel partners. Membership continues to grow at Partner Place and Kodak is seeing customers spending more time engaging with the site to learn about Kodak’s solutions and services.
• Kodak’s recently launched ONE is a segment-based, personalized online newsletter program that reaches customers with relevant information on trends and opportunities in the publishing, packaging and commercial print markets. The newsletter also provides each customer with Kodak’s contact information and keeps them connected with their specific sales and service reps.
• Print will play an ongoing and important role in the marketing mix. By leveraging Kodak’s own digital printing solutions, it is sending personalized direct mail to its customers.