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Variables makes a splash

Nov 1, 2006 12:00 AM

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AMERICAN PRINTER's fourth annual Variables 2006 conference, held once again at Chicago's historic Drake Hotel from July 24 to 25, garnered record attendance from printers interested in learning more about building a variable-data printing (VDP) business. Sponsors for this year's program included Kodak, Adobe, Meadows Publishing, Xeikon, Objectif Lune/Atlas Sofware, HP Indigo, Pageflex/Bitstream, USAData, and XMPie.

With conference attendance up 25 percent from last year, Jill Roth, AMERICAN PRINTER's director of brand development and Variables conference program manager, comments, “Variables 2006 was a resounding success. The two days were packed with useful information and the program has gotten rave reviews from attendees.”

New to this year's conference program, Variables 2006 kicked off with a special pre-conference workshop on Monday, July 24, at 9 a.m. Titled “How to Sell Variable-Data Printing,” this three-hour workshop, conducted by industry veteran Kate Dunn of Digital Innovations Group (DIG), revealed insider techniques for successfully selling VDP. The program was a great resource for printers just beginning to sell VDP, as well as adding insights to more experienced VDP salespeople and managers.

General Session conference highlights included:

  • Documented success stories on marketing VDP.
  • Opportunities in Web-to-print.
  • The power of databases.
  • Partnering with the United States Postal Service.
  • How to implement practical sales strategies.
  • A “Meet the vendors” networking and exhibition session.

In addition to its comprehensive program, an evening roundtable was held Monday as a forum to explore ideas within this printing industry niche. Moderated by conference cosponsor Rick Littrell of MagiComm, it allowed attendees to share their ideas on running a VDP business more efficiently. See

In 2007, Variables will expand, offering a Variables West in Las Vegas, June 7 to 8, and a Variables East in Charlotte, NC, July 16 to 17. Stay tuned for more information on the program and speakers.

Nsenga Byrd Thompson is marketing manager for AMERICAN PRINTER. Contact her at