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Steven Schnoll sits down with Pat Henry to talk about the upcoming 2010 Converge conference

Published on October 18, 2010

Pat Henry: This is Pat Henry at WhatTheyThink and with me today is an old friend and associate of our, this is Steven Schnoll, of Schnoll Media Consulting.  Steve I know that you do a lot of things, are involved in a lot of things and one of your more recent involvements is as a consulting planner to the 2010 Converge Conference, November 6th through the 9th in Memphis, Tennessee, so –

Steven Schnoll:  At the world famous Peabody Hotel. 

Pat Henry:  At the world famous Peabody –

Steven Schnoll:  With the ducks. 

Pat Henry:  With the ducks no less and I think I’ve heard about the ducks, but Steve, seriously, this is a new name, but not necessarily a new conference, just tell us about the genesis. 

Steven Schnoll:  That’s right.  The genesis of this conference comes from the old variable data printing conference that goes back about 10 years and as the industry started morphing into doing just more than variable data, we thought the conference should be changing a little bit in getting involved in more of the cross media applications.  And that’s what this conference is.  We’ve named it Converge because it’s the convergence of the different cross media applications that are facing many of the traditional print companies that are out there today. 

Pat Henry:  Now Steve, Memphis is a great town to say nothing of the ducks, but who are you attempting to attract and why should they go? 

Steven Schnoll:  The main attraction is for traditional printers, those printers that have already started to move into the digital world and starting to offer some of these new cross media services, implant operations who are looking to better service the needs of their corporate environments, the net digital companies that are out there right now.  We want to try to get them all together because there’s three tracks to this.  The first track is a business development track as to how you’ve got to develop the business model, the second track is a sales and marketing track.  The most challenging thing is you can put all this technology together, but how do you sell it?  And then the third track is what are the new services that are out there that one needs to be aware of?  What are these new things you know, like the PERLS and the QR codes, augmented reality, ink jet technologies.  What do they all mean to someone who’s been a traditional offset printer? 

Pat Henry:  Well I think one of the questions that some of those offset printers is going to ask you is, you know, apart from you know, what this is and what it does.  What’s in it for me?  You know, why should I be pegging my future to capabilities like these?  I think it’s kind of a tough question. 

Steven Schnoll:  Well I think it’s a very difficult question, but I think the reality is that the digital world is coming on very strong.  We all use the internet every day and it’s probably one of the first things we do when we get to the office is we check our email.  So *if we’re looking at these technologies, how can we utilize these technologies to leverage our company and be successful going forward?  One of the things I always say is that printers have had a great idea of how to deliver content and the delivery of that content has always been the ink on paper.  Well now let’s take that concept and expand it to a wider degree.  And that’s what the whole concept of the conference is about. 

Pat Henry: This is going to be a symposium only format?  Will there be exhibits attached to this? 

Steven Schnoll:  Oh yes, there’s many sponsors; we have 11 sponsors. 

Pat Henry: Excellent. 

Steven Schnoll:  That will be there to help you understand some of the technologies.  Before I forget, you asked me about the two keynote addresses.  We have two outstanding keynote addresses.  One’s Brian Massey, who is a gentleman who calls himself a “conversion scientist.”  And his whole methodology is, we live in a world where how we adopt these digital technologies is so important, and he teaches companies about what are the elements of this digital transformation. 

Pat Henry: Okay. 

Steven Schnoll:  And the other gentleman is Chuck Richards from Outsell, who is a very major research organization based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  And he’s gonna share with us the statistics of what’s happening in the industry as a whole and what people need to understand before they move into these things, the granular detail of what they’re finding in their research. 

Pat Henry: Steven, finally and perhaps most important, where can we go online to get more information about this conference. 

Steven Schnoll:  The place to go is www.printing.org/converge and everything that you need to know about the conference is right there, it gives you all the speakers, the speaker bios and I wanted to add one other thing.  Included in this conference is a plant tour of Mimeo.com. 

Pat Henry:  Oh, okay. 

Steven Schnoll:  And this is worth the price of admission right there.  Mimeo.com is one of the leading organizations in the world for delivering content.  And we have this great opportunity to share their operation with the attendees and we’re just looking forward to them opening up their entire facility for us to see and view this dynamic new organization. 

Pat Henry:  A rare opportunity to see a leading print online provider.  Wow!  Okay. 

Steven Schnoll:  Oh absolutely.  So that’s what it is, we’ve got a great program and we invite everyone to come to Memphis.  We’re even going to have a little Beal Street party.  So can’t – you’ve got to mix a little business with pleasure. 

Pat Henry:  www.printing.org/converge

Steven Schnoll:  That’s it. 

Pat Henry:  Okay. 

Steven Schnoll:  We’ll see you all in Memphis. 

Pat Henry:  Steve, we wish you a lot of luck with it and thanks for sharing that.

Steven Schnoll:  Thank you. 

Pat Henry:  Okay.  All right.  Pat Henry, WhatTheyThink, thank you for watching. 

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