TORONTO, – Avanti Computer Systems Limited, a leading provider of Print MIS and Web-to-Print solutions, completed its 19th annual user's conference in Washington, DC earlier this month with a great mix of both In-Plant and Commercial print providers. The conference provides Avanti customers a unique opportunity to network with peers and swap ideas that they can execute on as soon as they get back to their shops.
The three day conference, sponsored by Xerox, HP, Gimbel and Associates and Pageflex, was kicked off with a keynote address by Patrick Bolan, Avanti's President and CEO. Mr. Bolan focused on the company's 2011 strategy and vision. "Printers are re-defining themselves and their business management software has to change to help them do so." Automation, integration and cloud computing were dominant themes of Mr. Bolan's presentation.
Other conference highlights included presentations from Sappi, Print Art and PIA and break-out sessions focusing on hot print industry topics geared towards management, operations and executive level attendees.
Daniel Dejan, North American Print and Creative Manager at Sappi gave an inspirational presentation on the changing role of print in today's market, while Frank Nardi, VP of Operations at New Jersey-based Print Art, talked passionately about how the company was able to completely transform itself by challenging the status quo, developing a personality and fun and energetic culture that is attractive to both customers and employees.
"Frank's presentation really resonated as our company has experienced this need for change as well as many others I'm sure. A lot of print provider's are stuck in the ways of the past and believe that what worked 10 years ago can still work today," says Kevin Lanuke, President and CEO of Blitzprint. "Frank demonstrates the importance for companies to step out of their comfort zone," adds Lanuke.
Shop Tours Help Bring It All Together
One of the benefits of having the conference in Washington was the opportunity to see Avanti's software "in action". A very busy agenda of presentations and roundtable discussions was augmented with onsite tours of shops running Avanti. Delegates were able to spend time at two of the US Senate's shops (the digital operation as well as the litho/mail facility) as well as Alexandria-based Global Printing, where Mark Smith, VP of Sales and Josh Hirschorn, VP of Operations, talked the entire group through how Avanti helps them manage all facets of their business: Web design, Marketing Services, Printing and Fulfillment.
"It was exciting to see in all three shops how deeply integrated Avanti is into their workflow. As a first time conference attendee and new user of Avanti, we are taking lots of great ideas back with us that I know we can act on immediately," says Terry Sutter, Vice President and COO of Runbeck Election Services.
Team Building and Networking
According to Karen Meyers, Business Manager at Michigan Farm Bureau's Printing Services Department, "It really is that one time per year to catch up with old friends and to make new friends with users that attend the Avanti Conference who we communicate with and rely on as resources throughout the year." The three day agenda left lots of room for networking and also some team building. Delegates formed teams to compete in a challenging scavenger hunt at Washington's Spy Museum and many ambitious individuals hit the Washington streets for an evening bike tour of the monuments.
The planning has already begun for the 2012 event with the Executive User Committee now looking at the finalist cities.