Last week I traveled to Dallas with Robbie Clark, Manager, Digital Print Operations, for the Dscoop Unleashing Print conference. Dscoop is a cooperative of HP users focused on the future of integrated communications. As first-time attendees, we went to meet and learn from HP users, graphic artists, marketers, and anyone with an eye toward the future of multichannel communications.
Dscoop Unleashing Print 2018: An Event 13 Years in the Making
In 2005, Dscoop was a gathering of five HP Indigo professional users with 250 total attendees. In the 13 years since, it’s grown to welcome 1,900 attendees, including 300 professionals representing numerous HP partners and vendors.
In the past, the focus of the event had been HP Indigo, the company’s digital press technology. It has transformed into an event that recognizes innovation and ways to bring new ideas to customers, whether it’s through HP partners, vendors, or attendees of other disciplines. This was also the first year that Dscoop included users of HP’s PageWide inkjet web presses, which gave us an opportunity to hear from a wider range of experts in the industry.
“Impressive” doesn’t begin to describe Dscoop Unleashing Print. The focus was very broad, but concise to the digital marketplace. Not only has the event expanded its scope since its inception, but it’s also invited designers, marketers, and creatives to share their unique expertise. That expanded audience made Dscoop a much broader platform from which to share ideas and discuss future expectations collectively.
Reaching Millennials and Gen Z, New Mail Tech, and More
Unleashing Print featured dozens of informational sessions ranging from best practices for using print technology to attracting new demographics into the industry. “Meet the Future,” a session moderated by Michael Ferrari (Innovation Solutions, LLC) and Charles Ohiaeri (Zazzle), featured four millennials in a discussion on defining, reaching, and attracting their generation.
It was important to have an open dialogue with these young adults about what they expect from our industry while trying to dispel the stigma surrounding the print industry. It was very refreshing to listen to these young adults and observe just how much in common they have with the current generation of print leaders.
Another relevant session I attended was “Cutting Edge Technology and New Informed Delivery Service makes mail…IRRESISTIBLE!” presented by Elena Neely of USPS. She covered the various new ways marketers are taking advantage of direct mail capabilities available through the Postal Service, including its Informed Delivery service.
There was so much more to Dscoop Unleashing Print 2018 than Robbie and I were able to experience. Augmented reality (AR) and even virtual reality (VR) are finding their way into the multichannel experience, meaning that opportunities for experimentation and engagement are endless—for marketers, creatives, and print users alike.
Dscoop is a Growing Community—And You Can Grow With It
Dscoop illustrates for us HP’s innovative approach from the front-end to the back-end of digital workflow. They have made considerable investments over 40 years, since the first release of the Indigo press, and continue to invest today. Their forethought in ensuring upgradeable equipment doesn’t become obsolete is also enlightening from a technology standpoint.
At IWCO Direct, we face the same challenges as other marketing service providers and customers. As we work to overcome those challenges, it’s important to not become so complacent that innovation takes a back seat. We need to remember that taking risks, no matter what the outcome, drives change—and we need to embrace change.
Dscoop Unleashing Print 2018 illustrated that print is needed now more than ever before, especially a part of multichannel communication strategies. Design and marketing has gotten more complex with shorter turn times. The need to bridge so many different media channels has become a challenge, and the expertise to have multiple design skill sets are increasingly important. The Dscoop community—grown from a small group of enthusiasts into a thriving culture of seasoned experts and an impassioned new generation—is a driving force in this industry. It’s time to climb aboard!
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