By | April 6, 2009

If would be foolish to dismiss the doubt leading up to the ON DEMAND show. Chalk this up to declining advertising spend, economic uncertainty, or a shrinking manufacturing sector. Many industry suppliers commented that the show attendance was better then expected and that a majority of the attendees were closer to making purchase decisions (the show management has not released attendance numbers yet).

Jim Hamilton, Group Director at InfoTrends has a roundup of what technology was and wasn’t seen at On Demand 2009: What If People Actually Showed Up? A Report from ON DEMAND 2009.

As Jim points out in his blog post the finishing vendors brought a lot of hardware, while the print engine vendors that did attend slimmed back on hardware and concentrated their software offerings.

So the question is: was On Demand 2009 the tipping point in terms of workflow playing a more important role in on demand print production. Or was there simply less printing hardware on the show floor because our current economic environment? I think it a matter of both.

We are seeing incremental upgrades among the current digital printing systems on the market. Complex software systems are now needed to control the flow of information from the customer to the printed sheet. And while we have seen workflow the focus of previous shows, a level of maturity in these information systems has finally arrived that allows the printer to do amazing things with a data feed and a printing system.

That’s where I see On Demand. A place were best practices in new information-rich print applications can be discussed and demonstrated.

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2 thoughts on “ON DEMAND 2009

  1. Michael J

    My impression is that the tipping point happened a couple of years ago and it’s still taking a bit to filter down. The way I think about is that the print industry is redefining itself into manufacturers and VARs. The manufacturers are focused on lean manufacturing which means very efficient boxes and very efficient ways to get data streams into those boxes and finished products out the door. When digital goes mainstream the notion of “digital” printing v “offset” printing is going away. We’re all jut Printers again.

    Meanwhile, VAR’s are customer facing. They integrate the best manufacturing capabilities to offer appropriate solutions to the people on their customer lists.

    I think it would be neat if instead of organizing the show by vendors, OD could have a pavilion with different equipment from all the vendors in one place. With all in life time fixsed and variable cost posted on each box and the best applications for that box.

    Similarly it would be cool to have a workflow pavillion. With all the vendor offerings in one place so that PSP-as-manufacturer and PSP-as_Var could easily do compare and contrast.

  2. Gary Ampulski

    I was one of many that considered taking a pass on this year’s conference. Old habits die hard I guess so I decided to attend for fear that I would miss out on the latest market research and business developments. In the words of Dickens I saw it as the “Best of Times and Worst of Times”.

    The conference had some poorly executed or missing elements from years past that didn’t go by unnoticed. The audio support for the break-out sessions was not well implemented and in some cases were even annoying. A number of presenters even unplugged the sound system which will probably present a problem for the folks offering audio recordings of the presentations. The usual rating/feed-back forms on the sessions were not available and the Keynotes seemed more self-serving than usual. I like the people of Philadelphia but as a venue, the convention center was not as good as prior locations. If you didn’t have a car, cabs were the only available source of transportation to/from convention center to hotel. Traffic was terrible due to all the construction.

    For the most part, the session presentations were very good. While many topics were old, the material was fresh with good content and solid case studies. Even Pesko’s presentation seemed more meaty and relevant than years past. With the exception of one session that was really a waste to time and money, I felt the content was presented by experienced and creditable people. This was especially true for the MSP track. To me the sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday were the highlight of the conference.

    If this is a tipping point, I hope future conferences have even more user experience and discussions on lessoned learned and less supplier promotion on why they’re so good.

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