First-Ever thINK 2015 Conference Focuses on Actual User Experiences
NEW YORK—It was a tall order. Organize the inaugural thINK annual user group meeting for Canon Solutions America production inkjet press users. Create compelling sessions, several of them to enable 16 existing Océ press users to relate their real-life inkjet printing experiences. Allow ample time for peer-to-peer networking among attendees, as well as opportunities for them to meet with Canon Solutions America solution partners in the Partner Pavilion. Enable thINK participants to visit the Canon Expo, which featured the first public showing of the Océ VarioPrint i300 cutsheet press and the newly announced Océ ColorStream 3000 Z series.
Mission Accomplished! The 21⁄2-day conference, held here Sept. 8-10 at the Roosevelt Hotel, drew more than 350 attendees, making it the largest user group event focused on production inkjet printing.
The meeting kicked off with opening remarks and state-of-the-market discussions led by Mark DeBoer, 2015 conference chair; Victor Bohnert, thINK executive director; as well as Canon Solutions America Production Print Solutions’ Senior VP, Marketing and Sales Operations, Francis A. McMahon and Senior Director of Marketing Eric Hawkinson. Long-time New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms served as the keynote speaker.
Jim Hamilton of InfoTrends spoke the following morning on inkjet opportunities. He cited an industry shift toward higher ink coverage, higher quality and printing on coated stocks. Hamilton said there are 400+ inkjet engines in the market now, with placements growing around 14 percent annually.
Some thINK 2015 Conference highlights included:
Real-world experiences—Panels of those who had already made the inkjet transition shared personal experiences and advice on applications to start with, and inkjet’s impact on their respective business models, departmental functions, workforce requirements and customer expectations.
Printer panelists included Michael Angelo, Allstate; Oz Angst, CSAA Insurance; Jeff Bapst, School Datebooks; Peter Barzach, Data-Mail; Mike Bull, Fidelity; Larry Conyers, Wells Fargo; Mark DeBoer, Darwill; John DiNozzi and Lori Messina, Access Direct; Pat Foley, Merrill Corp.; Andy Gerry, Intersections Inc.; Dave Johannes, IWCO Direct; Darren Loken, K&H Integrated Print Solutions; Jeff McFadden, Universal Wilde; Bob Radzis, SG360°; and Robert Reddinger, Pinnacle Data.
Media trend preview—Canon Solutions America's John Crumbaugh shared information on current and future inkjet papers. Several paper suppliers were also on hand to discuss new substrates on the horizon.
Inkjet press performance—Product managers offered best practices for scheduling jobs, managing workflow, estimating job costs, operator training and paper selection.
Marketing trends—Strategist Fred Neil shared information on marketing to millennials and winning in the new consumer age of social, local and mobile.
Plans are already underway for the thINK 2016 Conference, planned for Oct. 10-13 in Boca Raton, Florida. PI