Monday, January 18, 2010

A print industry co-op that works--Dscoop

I blogged last fall about my opinions of Print 09 and on the future of trade shows in general.  My point then was that in the Internet age the real value of these kinds of events has really become the opportunity to interact with your colleagues and suppliers rather than doing research and purchase, as was the experience of the past.  With that in mind—and with the trade show season at hand—I’ve been asked of late which events in 2010 do I think are of value and worth the time and money to attend.

This year I’m planning to head to Birmingham for IPEX, Köln for Photokina, and NYC for PhotoPlus.  But the event I’m really looking forward to, and the one I think gives the most bang for the buck, is Dscoop5 next month in Dallas.

For those of you who are not familiar with Dscoop (Digital Solutions Cooperative), it is a co-op between HP and the users of its Indigo presses.  It evolved out of the old Indigo Customer Exchange (ICE) group and I feel it is one of the best investments of time an Indigo printer can make, whether you are a large installation like the facilities that print Blurb books worldwide or a smaller, one or two press shop.  It boasts membership by over 50% of Indigo installations.

First off, this is a co-op in the best sense of the word.  HP has made a strong commitment to the group and each year sends its most senior managers to the annual event.  David Leshem, an Indigo veteran from the earliest days of the company in the 90’s, has been a board member since it’s outset (he’s retiring from the position this year) and this year attendees can expect to hear presentations and rub shoulders with folks like Alon Bar-Shany, GM of Indigo Worldwide, Chris Morgan, new VP Graphics Solutions Global Business, and Jan Riecher, VP and GM Graphics Solutions Business – Americas.  For me, the trip to Dallas will be worthwhile just to renew these acquaintances. But there is much more to the Dscoop program.

With a goal of promoting more business and efficiencies for Indigo users large and small, Dscoop provides several tracks of conference sessions that are created to inspire, educate, and help attendees better understand the current POD marketplace and how to benefit from the current economy and continued evolution of the Indigo printing platform.

I attended my first Dscoop last year and the most impressive part of the trip was talking to the multitude of PSP’s (print service providers in HP lingo) and seeing how open and cooperative they really were as everyone, while at times competitive, were looking for ways to grow the opportunities for all.  Part of the three-day event is a very targeted trade show where you can meet the major players in the paper, supplies, and finishing market along with hands-on experience with the newest technology from HP Indigo.

For a guy that travels a lot I’m careful to only book events that I feel will give great return for Blurb and for me personally.  Dscoop is one of those events.  Find out more at

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