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The Event the Print Industry Needs

A learning event vs. a selling event—that is the event the print industry needs. An event where you go to solve your challenges through active collaboration, open-minded because nobody is trying to sell you anything.

By Jennifer Matt
Published: July 17, 2019


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Jennifer Matt is the managing editor of WhatTheyThink’s Print Software section as well as President of Web2Print Experts, Inc. a technology-independent print software consulting firm helping printers with web-to-print and print MIS solutions. You can reach her at jen@whattheythink.com.



By Patrick Whelan on Jul 17, 2019

Great article (as always). I'm recall VUE/POINT was close to what you describe. They allowed vendor sponsorship but it was mostly a peer based event. "Talk from the trenches vs. pitches from the podium".


By Robert Lindgren on Jul 17, 2019

Active listening and audience participation is absolutely essential to great presentations. As a seminar presenter, I look forward to someone in the audience saying "you're wrong on that." Why? Because it give me a chance to ask "why am I wrong?" and the whole audience is now listening and engaged. The back and forth exchange of ideas really illuminates the issues (and I can learn something as well). This is the weakness of the webinar approach--it's a one-way street. The audience can't learn from each other and are easily distracted by their surroundings.


By Noel Jeffrey on Jul 17, 2019

VUE/POINT was close but so was the old Xplor. That meeting was a combination of learning and "sales" that worked. There were no demonstrations on the show floor during sessions and the floor would literally be empty. Between sessions, demos only. Attendees had the opportunity to solve business challenges and keep up with the latest tech.


By Gina Danner on Jul 18, 2019

Great perspective... is that the idea behind peer groups that everyone seems to be pushing? I know from my perspective when I go to an industry event I'm looking to do a deep dive into for one or two topics AND a general overview of what I don't know -- what's new.

I think the challenge in our industry (and frankly in our society) is the role of lifetime learning is not discussed enough. Go to school, get trained, go to work, and run your equipment. There is little conversation around career development, much less organizational development.

We see this in the print community by so many organizations doing what they've done the way they've always done it. We have too many small PSPs who do not grow at a rate to provide staff with growth opportunities. We have too many equipment manufacturers who continue to push for lead volume on the show floor and not creating quality conversations with change agents.

I find that for events and educational opportunities I personally have to make it what I want. It is my personal responsibility to get out of it what I need. That requires that I personally get more involved, do my research, and drive the conversation and questions.


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