Historic castles and churches, shots of whiskey, pints of Guinness, Irish dancers, and some of the best golf courses in the world made Dublin, Ireland the perfect location for last week’s Dscoop (Digital Solutions Cooperative) Open. Like many others in this community, I had the opportunity to participate in a fabulous Irish experience. Although there was a chill in the air since summer has not yet arrived in Ireland, there was a tremendous spirit and enthusiasm for the industry as well as the digital technologies inside the Convention Center Dublin.

About The Dscoop Open

More than 1,250 attendees from 47 countries and over 50 solutions partners participated to share their perspectives on how to make a “hole in one” with digital printing at the Dscoop Open event. The solutions showcase had more than 4,000 square meters (45,000 square feet) of exhibitions. It featured nine HP Indigo Digital Presses plus large format latex equipment and HP’s Pagewide technology. HP demonstrated an array of applications during the event, including commercial printing, packaging, photo merchandise, and labels and signage.

The Dscoop team also developed a mobile application to help users share their enthusiasm. More than 1,000 mobile app users generated 250,000 in-app actions and 1,200 pictures that were posted over the course of the three-day event. In addition, the Dscoop Open mobile app enabled users to:

  • Build their schedule
  • Navigate the Solutions Showcase
  • Connect with Dscoop partners
  • Keep up with alerts and updates
  • Evaluate educational sessions
  • View partner deals and new products

Showcasing the unique capabilities of digital print, a daily newspaper was designed, printed, and distributed to attendees. Four issues of the Dscoop Daily were produced during the conference. This B2-sized printed newsletter, powered by Tweak and HP, included images from the show and interviews with conference attendees. The first issue was designed, printed, and distributed immediately after the opening session.

A Focus on Education

Education is always at the forefront of Dscoop. The Dscoop Conference program featured 40 conference sessions focused on everything from lean manufacturing to emerging technologies to financial metrics for success. There was an extensive focus on key market growth opportunities including digital commercial printing, photos, labels and packaging, and large format. Sessions featured industry experts as well as Dscoop members who shared their experiences with technology. 

Prior to the conference opening, this was the inaugural year of the Jetcomm Europe event, a global community for users of HP Inkjet Web Presses. HP production inkjet printing providers from around the world participated in sessions that enabled them to learn from their peers, build trusted cross-market relationships, and inspire one another with ideas and resources. In addition, those with a focus on the photo market had the opportunity to participate in the Photo Forum. Commercial printers were able to visit one of Dublin’s most sophisticated digital printers (McGowan Printing), while those with an interest in labels and packaging could tour Ireland’s largest digital label manufacturer (Label Art).

Keynote Sessions

The keynote sessions during the Dscoop Open event were exceptional. Alon Bar-Shany, Vice President and General Manager of HP’s Indigo Division, delivered the opening address entitled “Growing Profitability: Achieving a Hole in One.” While Bar-Shany admitted that his golfing skills were somewhat limited, he provided participants with six key drivers for success in making that perfect shot. Owners must have:

  1. A strong vision of where they want to take their businesses
  2. A willingness to innovate and try new applications—technology is critical!
  3. The ability to differentiate by becoming the most efficient provider
  4. A customer focus in everything they do
  5. Versatility and diversification of offerings
  6. The right investments in human capital

 Bar-Shany combined this list with examples of best practices gleaned from his global travels and HP’s vision of digital print.

The second day featured Mark Stevenson, an entrepreneur, author, broadcaster, and expert on global trends and innovation. Stevenson is the author of the bestselling book entitled “An Optimist’s Tour of the Future,” and he has also written for a number of well-respected papers and journals. Mark’s speech entitled “The Big Shift” highlighted that the digital revolution was “just a trailer” for what will come in the future. He believes that humanity is currently facing fundamental changes that will rival those seen during the Industrial Revolution.

The closing address was delivered by Andrew Davis. Davis is the Co-Founder of Tippingpoint Labs, an organization that influences the way publishers think and how brands market their products. Over the course of his 20-year career, Davis has worked for The Muppets in New York, written for Charles Kuralt, and marketed for a variety of businesses from tiny start-ups to Fortune 500 brands. In his speech entitled “The Future of Digital Is Print,” Davis opined that publishers—not technology—are killing print. In the future, he believes that success will lie in rethinking print and mobile strategies.

The Bottom Line

The Dscoop Open event continued the tradition of building a community with HP prospects, current customers, industry insiders, and partners to engage in a dialogue that improves the likelihood of creating effective solutions to the most pressing business problems. I think all participants would agree that this year’s Dscoop Open was a great place to re-energize their passion for print, learn new things, and network with others who are facing the challenge of growing their businesses. If you are willing to learn from the experiences of others, you can open up new opportunities for profitability. Next year’s Dscoop Open event is headed to Israel (April 6-10, 2016). There may be a little less chill in the air at next year’s event, but the warmth and camaraderie will always be there.