NEW YORK – XUG 2014, which took place Oct 26 – 29 in Las Vegas, Nevada, brought together XMPie users and staff from around the world, for their ninth annual event of learning, networking and knowledge sharing.
Open sharing among XMPie and its customers became one of the hallmark characteristics of XUG Annual conferences, and XUG 2014 continued this tradition in full force.
Formal sessions delivered by XMPie staff and users provided for insightful knowledge gaining across the Technical, Creative and Business domains. Conference attendees also enjoyed numerous networking opportunities, meeting peers and colleagues, learning from each other experiences, sharing knowledge and having informal discussions with XMPie staff – especially from R&D, Support and Professional Service.
Speaking about the XMPie-delivered sessions, including the popular “Dreaming Session” where XMPie shared future directions, Richard Ballard, CEO of Semaphore Partnership and long-time XMPie customer said, “Again, XMPie has delivered to us the tool set, unique innovation and strategic insights that will ensure that we remain thought leaders in personalized, multichannel marketing and automation in 2015.”
In his opening keynote, Jacob Aizikowitz, XMPie President, emphasized the importance of Engagement and Customer Experience (sometimes, known as “Journeys”) as leading principles of what modern marketing is all about. A theme that resonated well in the keynote sessions that followed.
Jacob also outlined key items from what’s available today from XMPie that make it possible for XMPie customers to lead and define the state of the art in personalized communications – be it in Print or in Multichannel Communications.
As a hint for one future direction, Jacob concluded his keynote with showing two personalized coffee mugs that were manufactured on-demand using 3D Printing. The mug “template” was designed with Adobe Photoshop and personalized – to Jeroen and to Jacob – using XMPie uImage. Output files were sent to a service provider that “Printed” these two mugs.
This year’s XUG had three industry leaders as outside keynote speakers, and each, in his area of expertise, provided engaging and energizing leadership thoughts:
- Rafi Albo, CEO of SegMarketing, gave an entertaining and eye-opening talk on innovative ideas – in Print and in the Print / Mobile domain – for how to engage prospects and then keep them interacting and engaged; he provided quite a few concrete samples to support his theme.
- Mike Fogarty, Global Executive Director, DSCOOP, delivered a thought-provoking keynote on innovation and latest trends in digital.
- Joel Book, Principal, Marketing Insights, ExactTarget, presented his best tips for creating effective multichannel communications in the digital space, with email as a leading channel; Joel also provided statistics about the superiority of multichannel strategies that has Print as one of the channels over any pure digital strategy for individualized communications.
“This year’s conference was a stellar example of the value of networking with peers. Attendees learned from each other and were able to share ideas on technology and also point out the drivers today that push the business in different directions. Every year, the new conference outshines the previous one, and we are already looking forward to our 2015 conference in Miami next year,” said Jeroen van Druenen, president of the XUG and CEO of Jubels from the Netherlands.
Xerox was a platinum sponsor of XUG, showing strong interest in this community of users and thought leaders. Kevin Horey, vice president, Workflow and Solutions, Xerox, led an industry panel featuring Jeroen van Druenen (Jubels), Bruce Kielar (Roberts) and Waleed Ashoo (Lithexcel). Through a Q&A style session, including questions from the audience, the panel provided current and future insights about the challenges print businesses are currently facing and steps they are taking to transform in the digital age. Bruce also provided interesting insights from an agency point of view about print technology and the importance of using XMPie.
“XMPie’s Users Group Conference was a great display of the latest multichannel marketing trends and innovative products in the cross-media space,” said Horey. “Key to the conference was interacting with XMPie customers and exploring various workflow solutions to help them maximize digital opportunities.”
Additional sponsors included EXTOL, CHILI Publish, PB Systems, and Tecra. Each had a session for presenting their company, and numerous chances of interacting with the XUG community, leading to more awareness and even concrete business opportunities.