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Outstanding Digital Printing Projects Recognized at PODi Applications Forum

Press release from the issuing company

LAS VEGAS, NV - FEBRUARY 10, 2005 - PODi, the Digital Printing Initiative, announced the winners of its prestigious Best Practices Awards at the 2005 PODi Applications Forum in Las Vegas. The winning application in the "Direct Mail" category was Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, while the Washington State Department of Printing won in the category of "Collateral Management & Fulfillment."The annual awards honor innovative applications with proven ROI that demonstrate the business potential of digital printing.Service providers involved in the applications and their clients presented details of the winning applications. "When we launched the Welcome Mailer program, we knew the complexity would be challenging but that the payoff would be worth it. It is extremely gratifying to be recognized for our efforts with the Best Practices award from PODi and to now share our experience with the marketplace," said Tom Boyles, Vice President, Customer Relationship Marketing and Management, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. "By delivering a customized Welcome Mailer that is relevant to each Guest's visit, we show the Guest that we 'know them'. The results speak for themselves and Royal Impressions' expertise in personalized and customized digital printing for our CRM marketing programs is very important to our success." The Walt Disney World (WDW) Welcome Mailing Letter is the first in a series of customized communications that are sent to a guest in anticipation of their upcoming WDW vacation. The communication is designed to reinforce the guest's choice of a WDW resort for their vacation. It also recommends dining options, special events, entertainment and recreation, and even the tickets they might want for various activities. The Welcome Mailing raises the bar on customization, as it carefully recognizes when a household is traveling as a family, party, group or an individual. "Disney has been running this application for almost four years, and it's so exciting to finally be able to talk about it," says Christopher DeSantis, President of Royal Impressions. "Disney has blazed the trail for long-term, successful variable data printing applications and we're so proud that they are finally getting the recognition they deserve." Washington State Online Service Delivers Dramatic Benefits The Washington State Department of Printing's PRTonline is a Web-based application that enables state agencies and political sub-divisions like cities, counties, and school districts to order printed documents, such as business cards, letterhead, envelopes, newsletters, brochures, and ad specialty items. The online catalog offers both static and customized documents. PRTonline allows users to customize the text, images, and formatting used in documents, view and approve proofs on screen before ordering, quickly re-order documents, and track the status of orders. "Our goal is to help government agencies meet their missions. By streamlining the workflow for ordering brochures, literature, business cards and documents, we have greatly enhanced customer service and realized time and cost savings. To receive the prestigious PODi Best Practices Award for this endeavor is very gratifying," said Larry Weber, Interim Director, Washington State Department of Printing. In its first four months of operation, PRTonline saved Washington State agencies and political sub-divisions an estimated $10,000 in prepress costs by eliminating pre-flighting, typesetting, and hardcopy proofing. Additional results were dramatically reduced inventory waste, decreased turnaround time, and increased print production efficiency. PRTonline also helps state agencies and political sub-divisions maintain consistency and control over documents. Industry's Largest Collection of Digital Print Case Studies The winning entrants were chosen from over 60 submissions for the 5th Edition of the annual PODi Best Practices in Digital Print report, to be published in the spring of 2005. These case studiesand the associated online case study database form thelargest collection of successful digital projects ever assembled.The annual publication provides a detailed analysis of best practice principles for conceiving, designing and producing successful digital print applications,and the two winning applications will receive extensive write-ups in the report. "Every year the innovation and strategy behind the winning project reflect an ever-increasing sophistication in the use of digital print to drive successful marketing campaigns and improve business results," said Rab Govil, president of PODi. "This growing interest is also reflected in the continued growth of the Applications Forum itself. This year, a record of over 400 attendees participated in the three-day event, an increase of 60 percent over last year. Space in the vendor fair also sold out early, indicating strong support from the vendor community." The 2005 Applications Forum program included two prominent keynote speakers, a variety of sessions in Business Management and Process Management tracks, anda full agenda of Pre-Conference Intensives. Keynote speaker Shaun Schooley, formerVice President of Enterprise Communication Support at Charles Schwab,gave attendees an in-depth look at Schwab“s enterprise publishing, which enables cross-functional and multi-channel delivery of personalized content to customers. While measurably improving service response, the solution also directly contributes to Schwab's bottom line by reducing content production and distribution costs.On the second day of the Applications Forum keynote speaker Jon Roska, tapped into ideas from his latest book, Ducks in the Henhouse, The Challenges of Integrating Direct and Brand Advertising, to give an insider's view on how to work successfully with both brand and direct advertising agencies.