2/7/07 -- (By Barb Pellow, Contributing Editor, WhatTheyThink.com) -- The Digital Solutions Cooperative (DSCOOP) hosted their second annual conference for the HP Indigo community on February 1-3, 2007 at the Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa, Florida.
DSCOOP is a dynamic, user-driven community of HP Indigo press owners and their sales, marketing, and production teams. The organization, which is a cooperative between Indigo users, HP, and industry providers, started just over a year ago and has evolved into a leading printing solutions provider cooperative, working to bring creative ideas to the market and help DSCOOP members increase profitability.
The inaugural 2006 conference hosted more than 300 Indigo users and over 30 partners. The 2007 conference participation surpassed everyone’s expectations. Of the more than 700 participants, there were over 500 HP Indigo Users, 40 prospect companies, and 47 partner sponsors represented. The objective of the conference is to bring the user community back together with HP executives, representatives, and partners to facilitate knowledge sharing and networking across the entire community.
According to Chris Wells, DSCOOP board member and President of LaVigne, Inc., “This year’s conference was a fabulous success. I believe the biggest value is in networking with industry leaders and with such tremendous attendance, there was plenty of networking. The feedback I solicited from attendees, partners, and new members was overwhelmingly positive. As with any event, there are always areas to improve upon and we are already planning next year’s conference to be bigger and better.”
As a show attendee, I had the opportunity to participate in networking and one of the biggest benefits that attendees highlighted was the DSCOOP educational program. Seminars were led by several industry experts with more than 50 educational offerings covering technical, sales, business, and label and packaging content. With a strong direct mail theme, much of the program emphasized how DSCOOP members can educate their clients about the impact that direct mail can have on their marketing campaigns. HP Indigo has a number of users at varying levels of sophistication, and content was designed to appeal to novice HP Indigo users as well as highly experienced graphic communications service providers.
Partners on Parade
A highlight of the event was the interaction between users and the 40-plus partner exhibitors at the Solutions Showcase on Thursday evening. Vendors believed that it was a tremendous opportunity to interact with serious and knowledgeable prospects. MindfireInc. CEO Moe Farsheed said, “MindfireInc’s presence at DSCOOP helped us achieve our goals beyond all expectations. This exciting event enabled us to educate hundreds of print service providers about the future of personalized URLs; facilitated our speaking with HP executives about the future of digital printing; and allowed us to interact with our existing and future partners so that we could share with them MindFireInc’s vision for this industry.” When asked if he would participate in the conference again next year, Moe’s comment was, “Absolutely.” That same sentiment was expressed by the majority of participating sponsors as they signed up for space at next year’s event.
HP Tells Users to Leverage the HP Indigo Capture Program
HP placed a tremendous focus on its HP Indigo Capture program at the conference. The Capture program is designed to demonstrate HP's commitment in helping its customers "capture" business success. The HP Capture program provides customers the tools and programs to help penetrate new market segments and demonstrate the business value of digital color printing and associated service-related capabilities. The elements of HP’s business development offering include the HP Business Consultants as well as marketing tools, ROI calculators and job estimators, the HP Indigo Customer Affiliate Program, Premier Account Management, Training, Guides, and the advantages of membership in DSCOOP.
HP’s Commitment to the Market
Attendees then had the opportunity to hear from Steve Nigro, Senior Vice President of Hewlett-Packard’s Graphics & Imaging Business; Rich Raimondi, Vice President and General Manager of HP’s U.S. Graphics Arts Business in the Imaging and Printing Group; and Alon Bar-Shany, Vice President and General Manager of HP’s Indigo Digital Press Division. The HP executives addressed attendees and talked about HP’s position in the marketplace, including where the company is going and what to expect in the future. The key theme was that production digital color is a critical part of HP's strategy and it wants to maintain a leadership position.
The Final Word
Jack Glacken, Chairman of DSCOOP and President of Today’s Graphics, Inc., summed up the event. He said, “You take away something from most tradeshows and conferences. However, the best way I could describe this year’s DSCOOP is that everyone left feeling good about what they were doing, yet tremendously challenged to do more.”
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