Orlando, FL – Attendees at the annual VUE/POINT Conference, April 11 – 13 in Orlando, Florida, were able to partake in some in-depth and continuing discussions revolving around management and sales-related topics, indicating that printers are starting to focus more on building and evolving their businesses overall, rather than chasing the next print job with the latest press. Even the technical topic sessions evolved into discussions of training of IT personnel, sales training in selling the new technology as a benefit to the customer, and how that technical advancement would position printers in the competitive landscape they inhabit every day.
“The focus of the conference was intended to be broad, to cover all aspects of the industry, and the programming hit the nail on the head as far as meeting participants’ needs. Discussions involved with positioning, growing and expanding their businesses, through stronger more focused management, diversification, and investments in human as well as technical resources came right to the forefront,” noted Regis J. Delmontagne, president of GASC, producers of the annual event.
Sessions covering digital printing were heavily attended, and discussions revolving around variable data digital printing were given rapt attention and were highly interactive, based on the number and depth of audience questions and panelist’s responses.
“There was clearly a lot of discussion involving management, sales and market positioning regarding print businesses, as printers seek to evolve and grow by taking advantage of some of the new opportunities available to them these days. They seemed to be more focused on how they could use the tools and technology to advance their position in the market, increase market share, offer sales staff greater opportunity and align internal processes to position them for growth, rather than concentrating on the technology itself,” noted Mike Vinocur, the event’s long-time manager.
Sessions on process automation and workflow were also well attended, but there too the discussion seemed to shift toward the human element, involving how these new processes would affect customer service, sales and production personnel, how they could be used to differentiate themselves with customers, and how they could be used to grow their business or enter new markets.
Attendees found value in all the sessions and in the peer-to-peer learning experience that makes the VUE/POINT Conference as popular as it is.
“What made VUE/POINT unique was the fact that it was presented by ‘real people’ who deal with the same issues that we face, not a vendor touting perfect world solutions,” said Bob LePard, Graphic Printing Services, Inc. “The topics were relevant and certainly gave insight into how successful company's have positioned themselves. When I sit down and look at where our training dollars are best spent, VUE/POINT has moved directly to the top,” he added.
“As a Program Manager for Publications, I learned quite a bit from the printer’s standpoint,” noted Michelle Davis, Army Publishing Directorate. “I thoroughly enjoyed the panels in all the sessions that I attended. The set-up was great and the information that I took with me will enhance our service to our customer base. I walked away seeing what happens once my jobs make it to the printer and the problems that can be encountered.”
“I always go to this conference, as it is not a sell but an exchange of information,” noted Randy W. Allen, of Monroe Litho. “It is always nice to know that many have already walked in your shoes and there is no need to re-invent the wheel. I felt the dialogue was honest and open,” he added.
The Conference was held for the first time in its new venue, the Hilton at the Walt Disney World resort, and response by attendees was generally positive to the new location. Several participants mentioned that they enjoyed the proximity to the other attractions in the resort area, and several were overheard making plans to visit nearby entertainment venues with their families.
Information about VUE/POINT Conference can be found by visiting www.gasc.org. The site also offers information about other GASC events, including PRINT 05 & CONVERTINGSM 05, GRAPH EXPO and CONVERTING EXPO, and the GUTENBERGSM & DIGITAL OUTLOOKSM Conference. GASC is owned by the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL), NPES The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies (NPES), and the Printing Industries of America (PIA). GASC is located at 1899 Preston White Drive, Reston, VA 20191-4367, USA, telephone: 703/264-7200, fax: 703/620-9187, e-mail: [email protected]