Saturday, April 17, 2010

GlobalGrafixNet Conference in Rome Italy (Joel's "wrap-up" comments)

I attended the GlobalGrafixNet(.com) conference in Rome April 16th and 17th [and, because the Iceland volcano ash is causing havoc with airline flights from Europe to the U.S., it looks like I’ll be “stuck” in Rome for a few more days. I guess there are worse places to get stuck, huh? I could also share with you some funny stories about how our European reprographer friends are planning to get back to their countries (trains, buses, rental cars, ferries, rafts, maybe even horses, mules and camels?), but I’ll keep those stories to myself.]

This was the 2nd GGN conference I’ve attended. The first GGN conference I attended was held in Prague, in the fall of 2008.

The master of ceremonies, for the GGN conference that just ended, was the same guy who did it for the previous GGN conference, and, as I said in an article I posted about the previous GGN conference, he (his name is Mats Lenngren) did an outstanding job; he is very organized and very interesting to listen to. (Mats is the Managing Director of GGN.) Bill Manos nobly assisted Mats in putting together an information-packed agenda.

There were a number of reprographers from many different countries in Europe at the conference that just ended. So many different native tongues. Lucky for me, the language of the conference was English!

There were a couple of “new” product introductions during the conference:

* XES introduced its brand new Xerox 6622 Wide-Format B/W high-volume, plain-paper, toner-based, multi-function system.

* HP introduced its brand new HP DesignJet T1200, which is a wide-format (44” wide), multifunction (ink-jet) system, single footprint, bound to compete head-to-head with OCE’s ColorWave 300 single footprint (also ink-jet) multifunction system.

* Although not brand new on the market, this was my first “touch-n-feel” look at HP’s (REMARKABLE) HP DesignJet L25500 large-format display graphics printer. This relatively new – and brand new Latex ink technology – wide-format printer is one fabulous printer – think about printing for indoor and outdoor applications without having to worry about lamination. One of HP’s marketing guys gave a great presentation about the media available for this printer, along with an amazing array of applications.

Vendors gave very information presentations – they did not just limit their presentations to “talking about their products”, they offered suggestions as to how to develop business and make money, and several also provided very interesting trend and statistical information.

Kevin Murphy (one of my favorite OCE guys), gave a very informative presentation covering OCE’s analysis of market trends, trends expected to affect reprographers over the next couple of years.

Scott Frame of Xerox (also a great guy), gave an equally informative presentation covering Xerox’ analysis of market trends, among other information he shared with GGN conference attendees.

GlobalGrafixNet made two important announcements:

* They announced several new member companies.

* They announced that they’ve decided to begin an initiative to use the GGN group’s combined purchasing clout with vendors to benefit GGN member companies. (Some of my blog readers may recall, from a previous post I did about GGN, that this sort of strategy, which benefits ReproMax members and benefits PEiR group members in the U.S., was missing from GGN’s strategy. Well, the announcement changed that, and that should benefit GGN members, going forward.)

Reprographers in Europe have, of course, felt the effects of the recession, but many said they think a turnaround (an upturn) will begin this year; they are hearing, seeing signs of it.

Although I am from the U.S., I feel compelled to say that attending a reprographers’ conference in Rome, Italy is a bit more interesting than attending a reprographers’ conference in Pittsburgh, PA. (that’s not a knock on Pittsburgh or a knock on the IRGA, …. I’m just sayin’….)

Finally, one of the HP presenters said that HP is going to be coming out with a wide-format DesignJet model that’s going to be a higher volume, production level model (yes, still an ink-jet based system); this, people, to compete with (OCE, KIP and Xerox) laser-toner-based systems that, to-date, are much faster than HP’s DesignJet ink-jet based printers. The guy would not give an exact date for the release of this system, since that’s a big secret. (Later on, after that guy’s presentation, I pressed two other HP guys to try and pry the secret out of them, but to no avail.)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

As I’ve said on my blog several times before this, there are benefits to joining reprographics industry groups and associations. You can choose from GGN, The PEiR Group, RSA, ReproMax or the IRGA, or, maybe even a better idea, join one, two, three; the more the merrier.

I will be attending the IRGA Convention in Palm Springs, CA in May. See you there.

No comments:

Post a Comment