Hi everybody, this is Dave Erlandson, I’m with PODI and we’re here at the 2011 AT Forum in Las Vegas and the show is kicking off today. Everybody’s in a brief conference intensive today and getting up-to-date on key industry issues. Things like how to do cross-media campaigns, how to put your business online and some hands-on predictive data modeling. So it’s going to be a full day today, then the conference kicks off with session tomorrow, Tuesday, and Wednesday. We’re here supported by a great guest of vendors and suppliers. We have about 25 different sponsors of the event. In the vendor area we have about 20-25 different sponsors of the event and they’re here with tabletop displays to help the PODI members understand what they can offer. So we got all the major print engine vendors here. Web-to-print software, variable data software, couple paper companies and color management, so all the things that digital printers need.
We’re really happy; attendance is up 15% so we’ll be up over 400 attendees this year. So good growth as printers are trying to add more value to their service offerings and avoid being in the commodity business. Of course there’s a great interest in becoming a marketing service provider and that’s one of the key ways that printers can grow in this market and differentiate themselves. And we just have a great lineup of speakers that can address that from how to do the sales portion to how to deliver the solutions and it’s a great place to network with other companies that are making that transition. So it’s kind of a nice community of getting together with the folks that are going through that same transition and having those same struggles. So great opportunity along those lines.
Another theme is how to get my business online, and so it’s not so much Vista Print or Mimeo but consumers today want to buy online and I think that if you’re going to be successful going forward you have to be able to business online. So we got a great series of sessions around how to take your business online. And another thing we do is at this session this year is the theme around the not-for-profit industry. If you look at the industry and you look at who does the mailing, it’s not the not-for-profit industry, the leading segment outside may be credit cards that does direct mail and so how do you market to that community. We have pre-conferences intensives like key notes and additional sessions on how to be successful working in that vertical market space.
If you’re interested in learning more about what’s happening here, there’s some great videos being shot on what they think. I look forward to seeing those in the next few days. Also you can follow the conference on Twitter at ApForm 11 and get some more information at the website at Forum.org.