The Event of the Year
The loss of every in-plant conference in 2020 was a major blow to those who thrive on the ideas and inspiration these events provide. And now that the fall trade show season is here — and not here — the loss of those opportunities to network and discover new technologies is hitting us all pretty hard.
Fortunately, PRINTING United Alliance (In-plant Impressions’ parent organization) has stepped up to present a laudable replacement: a 14-day online event called the PRINTING United Digital Experience. And I’m happy to tell you that one of those days will be entirely devoted to in-plants.
Known as the In-plant Forum, this four-hour mini-conference will include five educational sessions and panel discussions directly focused on in-plant issues, interspersed with several technology launches that had been scheduled for the live PRINTING United event. These launches (more than 40 during the entire event) will come to you directly from customer experience and demo centers around the world. This event will be the closest thing you can get to attending a trade show this year.
I encourage you to set aside the hours of 10-2 on Monday, Nov. 2, so that you and your staff can attend the full In-plant Forum. You’ll not only hear from traditional conference keynoters like Howie Fenton and Greg Cholmondeley, you’ll see some of your fellow in-plant managers as they discuss their wide-format applications, workflow automation initiatives, and production inkjet experiences.
I’ve personally worked long and hard on the program for the In-plant Forum (which was intended to be a live event in Atlanta, just prior to PRINTING United), and will take part in three of the panel discussions and presentations. I’m also eager to watch the global product launches scheduled to take place on this day, and on the other 13 days of the PRINTING United Digital Experience.
Each day of the event will begin with a keynote address by an industry speaker, followed by educational sessions and panel discussions on the latest trends and opportunities. A different industry segment will be featured each day, including wide-format, commercial (inkjet, toner, and offset), mailing, workflow and software, and digital textile. You’ll hear firsthand how print businesses have navigated the pandemic and their plans for the future.
Some of the topic highlights I noted are Making Capital Investments in the Shadow of COVID-19; The Science and Skill of Graphics Installation; Managing Client Color Expectations; How Production Inkjet is Redefining Commercial Printing; and Finding Success with Toner vs. Inkjet. And those are just a few of about 100 total educational sessions the PRINTING United Digital Experience will offer. You’ll see in-plant managers not only in the In-plant Forum sessions but as panelists throughout the 14-day experience.
The entire program kicks off Oct. 26 when renowned analyst Lisa Cross reviews new research into print buying trends and the rise of pandemic products, and offers insight into what to expect in 2021. Then a keynote address by IDC’s Tim Greene will focus on how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the face of the wide-format graphics sector, and how you can capitalize on the “new normal.”
I’m happy to have been able to play a part in the planning of this event. Though it’s not what we had intended to bring you at the live PRINTING United show, it’s as close as we can get these days, and will provide a great opportunity to learn from other in-plant managers and print professionals. Register at Digital.PrintingUnited.com.
Bob has served as editor of In-plant Impressions since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited nearly 170 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, co-sponsored by IPMA and In-plant Impressions.