Improving Economy, Suppliers, Hot Topics Make for Successful Vue/Point
Tuesday, April 09, 2002
Washington, DC (April 8, 2002) Hundreds of top graphic communications industry professionals converged on the Omni Shoreham Hotel March 25-27 for three days of investigating, learning and sharing practical, forward-looking information on business trends, product developments and profit enhancement opportunities at the annual VUE/POINT Conference. VUE/POINT Conference, which has been delivering quality education and networking opportunities since 1990, has grown in size and scope to include topics on the full range of graphic communications business issues. The cutting edge issues this year included prepress software solutions and standards, printing equipment developments, digital document management, digital asset management, digital workflow solutions, variable data document production, sales and customer service techniques, e-commerces impact on the graphic communications industry and others. "What made VUE/POINT Conference a success is the highly interactive nature of the sessions and the way the topics were selected and presented," noted Mike Vinocur, Vice President of Footprint Communications, and manager of the event. "Equipment and supply users shared honest and straightforward information about their experiences directly with the manufacturers and developers in a real-world setting. This offered a unique opportunity for both the manufacturers and other users to hear the unvarnished truth about the advantages and disadvantages of using various equipment, software and technologies in a very practical, useable way," noted Vinocur. This years Conference opened with a fully-attended general session presented by Susan Kelly, President and Managing Partner of Raine Consulting, who offered an analysis of The Third Wave of printing technology infrastructure, and provided insights into the future of print communication and how todays businesses can take advantage of the rapidly changing business environment to increase efficiency and profitability. Likening todays printing technology environment to a sports car race, she quoted Mario Andretti, saying, "If you think you’ve got everything under control, youre going too slow." Other critical topics under discussion over the three days included Beyond Print Looking at Service Extensions to Help Build Your Business; Does Digital Printing Belong in a Commercial Print Shop; XML "What Does it Mean to the Graphic Arts Industry"; Process Control in an All-Digital Workflow; PDF as a Bridge Between Printer and Customer, and 15 other topics of interest to the prepress, commercial print, publishing and finishing business markets. Additionally, there were eight industry breakfasts sponsored by industry suppliers, and two evening roundtable discussions, where end-users of technology and equipment could interact directly with representatives from suppliers and share information in an informal environment. Over the two and a half days of interactive learning, users were able to network and share experiences about what is or is not working in their facilities, discover that other companies in similar markets are experiencing some of the same challenges, and brainstorm on how to overcome them in an effort to increase efficiency, profitability and quality. Much of the focus of the conference was on how to use technology to boost productivity, reduce cycle times, improve customer service, and increase product flexibility and quality. In a well-attended wrap-up session at the end of the conference, titled Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going, moderator Frank Romano, Administrative Chair, Rochester Institute of Technology, and 3 industry-leading panelists, discussed and took comments and questions from the audience on ten concepts that have changed the face of the print communications industry. The resulting list (in no particular order) included Time Efficiency/Productivity, including the value of time-saving technology; Collaboration, including proofing, file sharing, and approvals; Digital Printing, including inkjet, toner-based reproduction and variable data printing; Color Management; Workflow Technology; Computer-to-Plate; XML; PDF File Format; Cross Media Publishing; and Value-Add as a concept for increasing customer retention and revenue. The interactive nature of these sessions is a driving force behind the success of this event throughout the years. Attendees can express their experiences and general business information, positive and negative, to other users and potential users of various types of equipment. Sponsors find this information extremely valuable, and see the event as a way to get accurate market information directly from users and to highlight their products without direct sales pressure. The next VUE/POINT Conference will be held March 31 - April 2, 2003 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, DC. In addition to VUE/POINT Conference, GASC produces other top industry events, including PRINT, GRAPH EXPO and CONVERTING EXPO, the GUTENBERG FESTIVAL, and GRAPHIC ARTS THE CHARLOTTE SHOW.