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Apr 1, 2011 12:00 AM
Founded in 2005, Dscoop (the Digital Solutions Cooperative) is an independent global community of graphic arts business owners and technical professionals who use HP Indigo and Scitex equipment and related solutions. The group held its sixth annual conference in Orlando this February. The numbers were impressive: 2,000+ total attendees, 95 exhibitors and 120 educational sessions. Last year's event attracted 350 international attendees — Dscoop6 also enjoyed strong participation from Latin America, Europe and the Middle East.
“Dscoop is an educational forum first and foremost — with well over 200 speakers, Dscoop6 offers education like no other event,” says Mark Sarpa, conference chairman and CEO of Progressive Solutions. “While the trade show competes with the best of any industry event, members come for the education and networking opportunities. This type of worldwide networking is helping numerous members expand and grow their business.”
Dscoop's executive director Eric Hawkinson says the sixth iteration of the show was the best yet. “Not only the turnout, but the impressive educational content, the new business development tools offered, the Solutions Showcase and the immense amount of networking all have exceeded my wildest expectations.”
Dscoop teamed with HP to launch the Fast Forward Power Pack. The Power Pack, an optional extension to Dscoop membership, includes a business development program that positions print service providers as strategic marketing partners to their clients. The program includes a six-month training course that helps companies train their employees and customers on the power of multi-channel marketing, customized marketing collateral, a case study and a press release to build their business.
“It was a fantastic event,” says Larry Vaughn, Dscoop chairman and president of Ideal Printers. “We have gotten bigger and better every year, but the connection between the members is what keeps bringing them back. Even with our greater numbers, the intimacy displayed at this event is on par with our previous conferences. This type of enthusiasm and camaraderie exists nowhere else in the industry, and Dscoop strives to continually push the boundaries to give more to our members.”
Sue Rescigno, president of Rescigno's Mailing Services (Bridgeview, IL) says the show was as exciting she anticipated: “I went with the goal of bringing back three new ideas to research and accomplish for the next year, and I have come back with many more.”
Management consultant Stan Slap's humorous keynote speech stressed branding and the power of being a good manager to inspire loyalty in your employees. If your product or service doesn't inspire loyalty on the inside with your employees, it won't work on the outside with your customers, according to Slap.
Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president, HP Imaging and Printing Group, brought customers from the photo, grand-format, publishing, commercial, and label and packaging segments to the stage to explain some of the secrets behind their success and ask HP for what they want. The overarching request was for HP to keep focusing on innovation and developing products to open up new markets.
“Dscoop serves an important need for our customers, and this year's extraordinary attendance reflects how much they want to learn and grow their business,” says Jan Riecher, vice president and general manager of the U.S. Graphics Solutions Business in the Imaging and Printing Group at HP. “HP is excited to work closely with Dscoop this year to launch new types of tools that members are asking for as they see different types of opportunities emerge in the marketplace.”
Dscoop7 will be held March 22-24, 2012, at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
Susan Moore is president of Digital Printing & Imaging Inc. (DPI), which she co-founded after spending 10 years with Eastman Kodak Co. DPI was one of the first HP Indigo printing sites in the U.S., launching digital services in 1993.
Moore has been involved with Dscoop since the start and serves on the board — she's Dscoop's incoming chairwoman.
“We are a small private company,” she says of DPI. “We don't have the resources of a larger company. It's enabled me as a business owner and my general manager to reach out to [our counterparts] and share best practices. … It's nice to learn from someone who's been there and done that.”
See more “Faces of Dscoop”: www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFhffyuzZqc
Dscoop launched a new website with added functionality, including networking capabilities; communities with customized content; educational material; and a mobile app. See www.dscoop.org.
The Dscoop Board of Directors presented the 2011 Jack Glacken Award for outstanding contributions to the Dscoop community to Eric Hawkinson, Dscoop executive director, and Leta Wood, HP customer forums manager and Dscoop liaison. Both were cited as key to the successful growth of the organization.
PriscoDigital (www.prisco.com) conducted live demonstrations of the recently introduced HP Scitex FB700 and LX800 wide format inkjet printers. Using latex inks, the LX800 is a 126-inch, roll-to-roll inkjet system that permits high-quality printing directly on an extremely wide variety of paper, synthetic and fabric media with multi-roll capability. A wide range of durable outdoor applications can be produced without the need for solvent inks.
The HP Scitex FB700, is a 98.4-inch-wide, 6-color UV inkjet system that can be configured to print on almost any rigid or flexible media. A white ink option lets users take advantage of additional revenue opportunities. PriscoDigital is an HP Elite partner for distributing HP Scitex large-format industrial systems within the commercial offset segment.
FESPA's Marcus Timson and BuildASign.com's J.R. Kraft were the featured presenters at a session called “The Inspiring World of Wide Format.” Timson spoke about changing technology and using these new advancements to appeal to niche audiences through personalization, the creation of incredible environments, and powerful and passionate printing.
Kraft explained that BuildASign.com started as four people creating web sites for local businesses. Designing a website for a local printer prompted Kraft to explore the potential for a user-friendly site that would support automate the ordering process for custom products. BuildASign.com's online interface lets customers enter wording and choose colors, design elements, typefaces, and graphics. There's no artwork setup fee.
For more Dscoop insights, see my blog at americanprinter.com. I caught up with Heather Lahtinen, principal of Weddings by Heather who told the Dscoop group why she partners with HP Indigo solution providers. In adddition to her photographic skills, Lahtinen is an expert marketer. Here's one example: www.magcloud.com/browse/Issue/129988.
Katherine O'Brien is editor of AMERICAN PRINTER. Contact her at KOB@americanprinter.com.