On Demand In Transition
Last Thursday afternoon, the On Demand Conference and Exposition completed its 2011 run at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. The venue itself ended up being part of the story because it contributed to the event feeling more like a conference with an exhibit hall, rather than a trade show with an education track.
Attendees had to wend their way down two levels and past the Itex 2011 Expo for office solutions and co-located Assn. for Information and Image Management’s (AIIM) info360 Expo to reach the On Demand show floor. The main and upper levels housed the education sessions, including the debut of the Publishing Xchange Conference as another co-located event.
Canon USA had the commanding booth in terms of size and location, followed by Konica Minolta Business Solutions and Ricoh/InfoPrint Solutions. GBC, MGI USA, Barr Systems, GMC Software Technology and Graphic Whizard where among the other exhibitors that anchored the show floor.
HP also could be included in the latter group, but it again elected to be located in the info360 portion of the hall, albeit just across the aisle from the designated On Demand portion. Among the noticeably absent companies were Xerox and Kodak (for a second year), as well as Océ as a separate booth rather than just part of Canon’s. The exhibitor list did top 90 companies, down just slightly from 2010.
Much of the exhibit hall had the feel of the tabletop displays at Seybold Conferences in the early years or the Solution Showcases at today's Dscoop meetings. There were some larger pieces of equipment on display, however, even several high-volume inkjet presses.
Canon used the event for the U.S. introduction of the DreamLabo 5000 seven-color, roll-fed printer with a 12˝ width and 2,400x1,200 dpi print resolution. The device is positioned as an alternative to silver-halide technology for retail photo printing applications—including prints and photo books—due to its dense, nearly continuous imaging, but also as a solution for “high-end print-on-demand” products because of its high-definition text printing capabilities.