Features

Dscoop Post-Show Report

By Greg Hrinya, Associate Editor | April 7, 2017

“Imagine” was the theme for the annual gathering of users of HP Indigo digital print technology.

Dscoop Phoenix: Imagine promoted enthusiasm and imagination during the annual event for users of HP Indigo technology. Entertainers, keynote speakers and Dscoop personnel gathered to network, collaborate and learn during the March 1-4 event in Phoenix, AZ, USA. This year’s edition of the annual event attracted nearly 2,400 guests, increasing almost tenfold over the inaugural version’s 240 guests.

Dscoop also provided over 100 educational sessions that covered topics spanning business leadership, operations, sales & marketing, and technology and innovation. The presentations emphasized innovation through collaborative groups and channel partnerships, insights into best practices, lead generation, and increasing revenue through cross channel partnerships and relationships.

Alon Bar-Shany, vice president and general manager, Indigo Digital Press Division, also held a “fireside chat” designed to highlight HP’s past successes, as well as the company’s hopes for the future.
With an emphasis on community, Bar-Shany detailed HP’s successful events held the previous year, including drupa 2016 and Dscoop San Antonio. He said that HP unveiled its most significant Indigo LEP technology refresh in 20 years, as well. The company utilized feedback from customers to give it a competitive advantage in developing this new technology.

He added that HP’s ventures come with an emphasis on quality, performance and infrastructure for the entire printing industry. He explained that the technology utilizes the cloud to enhance businesses with streamlined workflows.

“Over the last 10 years, Indigo technology has changed dramatically,” Bar-Shany said. “Great presses are not enough for business success, though. In order to be successful in today’s world, you need a lot of other elements. You need the workflow, finishing, you need media, you need the business development aspect, and you need the brands to understand what you’re trying to do. You need community and people, coming together.”

According to Bar-Shany, HP has delivered on all of its orders that were placed at drupa. In addition, 20 sites are now operating with the HP Indigo 8000 digital label press. The company faces the operational challenge of upgrading all of its presses for 2017, in addition to developing new solutions like inks and materials. HP, however, is up to the challenge, he said.

Bar-Shany, in discussing the HP Indigo 8000 press, said, “Labels and packaging have a very bright future.” Bar-Shany recently returned from a trip to visit UK-based converter Baker Labels. The company installed two HP Indigo WS6800 presses, and plans to explore new printing techniques like sleeves, in-mold labeling, and Mosaic software in the future, he explained.

Bar-Shany added that HP Indigo is developing a global presence in the labels and packaging space, seeing press success firsthand during recent trips to Mexico and India. Not only was it fulfilling for him to hear converter success stories, he feels that HP can benefit from exchanging information and collaborating with other cultures.

Master mentalist Lior Suchard orchestrated the keynote presentations throughout the event’s three days. In addition to entertaining, he embodied the spirit of Dscoop within his act, focusing on imagination and creativity to spark collaboration. Suchard introduced the three keynote speakers: Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane, John Foley of the Blue Angels, and former Disney executive Doug Lipp.

Beane provided his own personal experience of how to build a winning team under trying circumstances. In order to overcome challenges relating to location and finances, Beane relied on objective data to field positive results. The Oakland A’s needed to obtain talent by creative ways that went beyond the eye-test.

Foley, meanwhile, discussed how synchronized flight maneuvers brought life and death into play during every event. Precision, trust and teamwork all played a pivotal role in these spectacular airshows. “It wasn’t just about the job, it was about the people we surrounded ourselves with,” said Foley. “We focused on the impact that we could have on people’s lives.”

The Imagine Technology Showcase featured live demonstrations and presentations from industry leaders, including AB Graphic International, Delta ModTech, Esko, HP and more. The Showcase was designed to give attendees a glimpse of all the industry has to offer – stories, applications, ideas and new product offerings. AB Graphic and Delta ModTech displayed their latest finishing capabilities, while Esko showed how its prepress software can aid converters. HP displayed a range of digital label presses, including the HP Indigo WS6800 and the new HP Indigo 8000.

Dscoop allowed converters to provide their own unique perspectives on digital printing – both in panel discussions and throughout the Technology Showcase. According to a flexible packaging panel, digital printing has enhanced businesses by providing mass production, hyper customization and personalization. Digital printing also promotes a 1-to-1 relationship with brands and their customers, as has been seen with HP initiatives like the “Share a Coke” campaign. Other partnerships include those with Oreo cookies and Planters peanuts.

Century Label, a label converter based in Bowling Green, OH, USA, has long been a user of HP Indigo digital presses and has recently found success with the HP Indigo 8000. Century’s Amanda Webster delivered a presentation on “Real Life Business Expansion,” where she explained how HP’s presses have helped this company with over 35 years of experience produce award-winning labels.
According to Webster, the new label press has led to increased efficiency and greater profits. “The enhanced speed that the HP Indigo 8000 provides increases our capacity to handle large-scale jobs,” she said.

As part of the educational sessions, GPA Specialty Substrates defined how to “Give Brands a Boost to Survive in the Modern Market.” GPA’s Mary Ann Geers and Matt Buckley explained how print is currently being challenged, as more shoppers are resorting to the Internet to buy products. With the numbers supporting this trend, print has become more important than ever, as the label and packaging needs to transcend the item and leave a lasting mark on the consumer.

“As shopping experiences have evolved, print shines when people come into the stores for product knowledge or a better experience,” said Geers. “There’s easy access to product information on labels and tags, and packaging is one of the biggest ways to experience a brand because you can control the message.”

Geers defined the importance of a brand in her presentation, saying that the brand name is tangible, but the brand itself is an emotional connection formed with the end user. Brands must become a trusted partner, providing knowledge and information, as opposed to simply being a print service provider. Generally, shoppers think of a brand as a design, logo, symbol, or a combination of all three.
Customers want an emotional experience, though, said Geers. Therefore, the label and packaging must reach, engage and motivate the customer to make a purchase. By delivering a real-life brand experience, the product will pop off the shelf and be more memorable to those viewing it.

CEO Keith Wilmot made it clear that Dscoop is embarking on a journey of revitalization. The vision, Innovating Print, Together, provides an opportunity for brand growth and a new value focus.
“Our strategic intent is to expand the engagement of our customers and partners with Dscoop beyond the conference atmosphere,” said Wilmot. “We’ll achieve this by launching innovative solutions and products to deliver value to our ecosystem.”

Prior to the keynote presentations, Dscoop announced new leadership roles within the community. In addition to Wilmot serving as CEO, Julian Marsh is the new global chairman and Peter Van Teeseling will serve as the chief operating officer. Ken Mead is the AMS director, Shanee Kraus will function as the APJ director, and Silvia Martinez will be the sales director for EMEA, reporting to Alonzo Romero Lauro.

According to Wilmot, Dscoop is also focused on talent management, next generation leader engagement and continued membership benefits through content and leadership development.

Dscoop also announced the development of Spark, a new online media platform designed to provide a rich experience to members 365 days a year. Whereas the Dscoop event occurs once, the app is intended to connect users and create engagement beyond the conference.

The new app will maintain a few of the organization’s core beliefs going forward. Wilmot said that Dscoop would highlight innovation through collaborative groups, insights through best practices, and increased revenue through engagement in the community.

“The most important thing about Dscoop is the relationships we build,” said Wilmot. “It’s about fellowship and education.”

The event will continue to take place on a global level, with dates planned for France and Israel. In addition, Dscoop is planning customized regional events throughout the United States in 2017. A larger presence is predicated for the group’s continued growth.

Wilmot added that the goal is to make Dscoop “bigger and better.”
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