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Is OnDemand Expo still Niche? (Part 1)

Published on March 28, 2011

Cary and Kerry Gumas, CEO of Questex, discuss the relevance of the OnDemand Expo in a world where digital is going mainstream. Kerry explains how OnDemand is changing to continue looking forward for the next niche. This video is part one of the two part interview.

Cary Sherburne: I’m, Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com and I'm here with Kerry Gumas who’s President and CEO of Questex.

Kerry Gumas: Hello Cary.

Cary: We’re here at OnDemand and you know I mean I’ve been coming to OnDemand for 20 years and was involved in the birth of the whole OnDemand thing when it started with the Xerox DocuTech, so in the early days it was just wonderful. You know everybody and you see the latest technology and whatever but now I mean it just seems like vendors are complaining there’s too many shows and is there really a need to have a separate digital printing show when it’s really now becoming more integrated in the whole hybrid production scheme. I mean do we really need the show any more?

Kerry: So you know that’s a great question and believe you me, I hear that question myself and I really would look at this two different ways. One is that OnDemand has been around for quite some time and I’ve been almost too as many of these as well and worked to produce them that long. But OnDemand here today isn’t the same as it was 20 years ago. The industry has moved on by leaps and bounds and digital printing certainly is a mainstream technology now that is mainstreamed into many organizations. But even at that from a market share prospective, there’s still market share penetration to be achieved, number one, and in the core commercial print or print service provider marketplace. And I think there is still a customer education message that needs to be accomplished. In the educational realm if you will, is a customer education message to be accomplished among end users of how we apply this technology to a publishing function and marketing function to a communications function. And integrate that into the entire fabric of what an enterprise might be doing.

So our view is that OnDemand while the brand name you know certainly OnDemand and the standard is still the same, the actual content of what’s going on here is really quite different and fulfills a unique role in the marketplace. We are not seeking to be the world’s largest commercial printing show. There is or there are venues that do that quite effectively and we’re working in collaboration with the industry associations that many of the companies are a part of. I think those objectives that they’re seeking and those kind of venues certainly get accomplished. OnDemand has always been about A) launching new product and innovations in the marketplace and so we have that here. We also have I think a change that’s happening in the industry which is a move to more value-added services, solutions end services, provision rather than pure production economics. And in order to really reflect that change, we’ve shifted the entire content program of OnDemand to focus almost exclusively now on those issues rather than the kind of traditional digital printing production and operations fees and fees, right, that we’ve done for maybe 18 out of the 20 years.

So we’ve added a brand new content program here called Publishing Exchange to bring together publishers, marketers and printers and their allies, agencies around the topic of how do we apply this technology to do cross-view media content. It’s been talked about for a long time, integrated media, integrated marketing; it’s not a particularly new expression either.

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