Dscoop 2017 ‘Imagine’

Speakers at the Phoenix conference talk packaging, interior décor, moving into wide format, and more.

At Dscoop’s annual user conference at the Phoenix Convention Center, 2000-plus attendees were encouraged to “Imagine” as they listened to keynote speakers like Billy Beane, executive VP of baseball operations for the Oakland A’s and subject of the hit film “Moneyball,” and John Foley, former lead solo pilot of the US Navy Blue Angels. Guests also attended hundreds of sessions based on our industry’s future, business and management, social media, and more.

“Dscoop always has a lot of energy,” David Murphy, worldwide director of marketing and business development for HP PageWide Industrial, told Big Picture. “It’s the best time to be in print and you feel that when you’re here. Attendees are optimistic, hopeful, and energized about the future because of the technology provided and the opportunities available because of the new technologies. … Customers are able to innovate faster and respond to needs faster.”

Top Sessions

Social Selling Strategies – Practical Tips to Grow Revenues
Linda Bishop, president and CSO, Thought Transformation, shared how your print shop can use social media to build awareness, create interest, engage, and open revenue-generating conversations with prospects and customers.

“People research before buying,” said Bishop. “They judge based on your social media accounts and indicate interest through social actions.”

Ways to utilize different social media outlets:

• LinkedIn: For networking research and your “business billboard.”
• Facebook: To connect and share your professional and personal side. “People buy from people,” said Bishop.
• Twitter: For quick messages, think news, and microblogging. “It’s ‘scan-friendly,’” she said.
• Blog: Blogging lets you position yourself as an expert. Be time-sensitive and consistent, and use LinkedIn as a platform.

Large-Format Signage: Easy Adjacency for the Commercial Printer
Led by Tom Wittenberg, large format marketing segment manager, sign and décor, HP, this panel of PSPs shared the benefits, challenges, and profit boosts that come with expanding into large-format signage.

The panel included Dave Stapleton, VP of operations, Britten Studios; David Bennett, president, Bennett Graphics; David Clevenger, president, Parallax Digital Studios; and Mike Dean, CEO, Impress DC Media. They offered these words to live by:

● When moving to wide format, remember that substrates are different, especially when you're dealing with interior versus exterior.
● Hire someone with a wide-format background and partner with an installation company.
● Production isn't a struggle, but packing and shipping is different in the wide-format world compared to commercial print.
● Start small (posters) and customers will continue to ask for more and more.
Attend tradeshows and consumer events, and listen and learn about the different materials and applications.
● Choose the right media for the customer's application.
● Train your sales staff to use different pricing modules for different substrates and applications.

Digital Disruption for the Décor Market
Led by Anthony Torres, regional sales manager, HP, a panel of early adopters of the interior décor market provided best practices, market trends, and growth opportunities.

The panel included Stapleton; Clevenger; and John Doe, owner, Jondo.

“It's about adding capacity and quality,” said Stapleton. “Our new growth is in the interior decor market. We have one machine dedicated to printing wallcoverings 20 hours a day for one customer.”

“[Offering interior décor applications] is a different mindset,” said Clevenger. We've had to direct our sales and production team into this market. …The reason you should be in the interior décor market is because technology has advanced; you can do it at a high-quality level.”

“Customers want differentiation, and you can do that successfully with interior décor printing,” said Doe.

Top Takeaways

● Wide format will have a 13-percent growth rate through 2020. – InfoTrends
Packaging is the long-term, sustainable growth market production future of print and inkjet. Corrugated is also a very interesting segment and a strong area of growth. – Marco Boer, I.T. Strategies
● “It's not enough just to be good at what you do. You have to care, about your customers and your teammates. …Teamwork, trust, excellence; can you imagine if we take those qualities and put them back into your organizations? Imagine the results that are possible!” – John Foley
● "If we ran our baseball business like everybody else, we were probably destined to fail.” – Billy Beane
● “Interior décor is the fastest growing segment in the wide-format graphics market.” – Anthony Torres
● “Risquepreneur: someone who throws themselves off a cliff and tries to build a plane on the way down.” – Richard Askam, Woolly North Consulting
● “Twenty to 25 percent of our business comes from referrals and from our website. Potential customers are 100 percent going to go to your website before making any decision.” – Dave Clevenger

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