Saturday, February 4, 2012

iPAD included in conference registration fee; no hard-copy handouts, at all

The other day, my brother in law, a dentist, told me that he recently attended a continuing education course and dental conference, and, instead of the materials being handed out in the form of “hard-copy”, each attendee was presented an iPAD on which all of the course and conference materials had already been downloaded.

The iPAD was included with each attendee’s registration pack; as you might imagine, the cost of registration for the course and conference was not cheap. (He already owned an iPAD, so, after he returned home, one of his family members got the new iPAD.)

All reprographers who offer “small-format” document printing services, I’m sure, have, at some point in the past, benefited from orders for printing conference, course and training materials. The question is, “at what point in the future might demand for ‘hard copy’ printing services for materials of this nature almost completely evaporate?

A bit less than two years ago, I had the opportunity, right after Service Point Solutions’ GlobalGrafixNet conference was over, to stay at a fancy hotel in downtown Rome. When I checked into the hotel, there was a conference getting ready to start – it was some sort of training conference for sales reps who worked for a large pharmaceutical company – and, to support the training courses, the conference organizer was handing out very thick (I think they were 4” thick) 3-ring bound manuals; each manual had approximately 16 tabs and over 500 sheets printed 2-sides. There were around 100 or so manuals; nice print job!

With the proliferation of e-reader and tablet devices, such as Amazon’s, Apple’s, Barnes & Nobles’, etc., not to mention the fact that most businesspeople travel with their laptops, the trend towards e-publishing manuals (as digital files), rather than publishing hard-copy manuals, is rapidly growing. It won't be long until that printing work almost completely disappears. 5 years? 10 years? What's your guess?

1 comment:

  1. From an e-mail I rec’d….

    I want to share a story about ipads.

    My son is 11 years old and is in the 6th grade. His school started a pilot project and when the school year started in September, each kid was given an ipad2 from the school.

    All the text books were loaded into the Ipad by the school. Normally the school purchases hard cover books and now they buy the digital version at a lower cost.

    Each student was given a drop box account. Teachers give them homework and the documents are on the ipad2. The school also bought them many apps to assist with note taking, writing, and many other programs. Each evening my son downloads their homework from the teacher’s drop box; complete it and re upload into teachers drop box.

    Kids are loving it and my wife and myself are still old school and have a hard time getting used to “no text book” situation. We prefer to read the text book and explain to him . It is amazing how kids now do their school work on the ipad2. He started to learn Spanish. We have a hard time helping with homework as we don’t understand a word of Spanish. When we discussed it with the teacher, she gave us an app to use. It was unbelievable.

    Apple has infiltrated the school system. They offer bulk prices and the book publishers are going digital too.

    Joel, the world is changing so fast.