The &THEN event, brought to us by Direct Marketing Association (DMA), is the one immersive marketing experience that was designed with the most varied perspectives of the world’s best brands and marketers—the CMOs, creatives, analysts, writers, strategists and thought leaders who get it and get you. I attended the event in early October held in Boston and had the privilege of networking with a variety of marketers while also spending time with some of our production print customers showcasing their various services at the event.
The DMA has really tried to reinvent this event with the goal of delivering the global marketing experience for a new generation of digital, data-driven marketers. &THEN is a total reinvention of the DMA Annual Event. The DMA succeeded in reinventing themselves with a classy and welcoming, yet modern and high-tech event that was incredibly well attended.
I attended on behalf of Canon Solutions America and experienced the event with a number of our customers including Trend Offset and pii. At the event, Trend Offset announced their acquisition of one of our newest production inkjet presses as the company will become the first in the U.S. to install the Océ ImageStream 2400 inkjet press. I also saw a number of key offerings from our customers on the wide variety of applications that digital printing and printing-on-demand can do. Taylor Corporation and pii were demonstrating live on-demand printing of personalized phone cases. Attendees could go to a specified website and upload their own photo to be printed on a phone case for them to pick up in the booth. Ultimately the goal of pii, and many of the customers I met with on the exhibit floor, was to obtain key partnerships with prospects looking for a preferred vendor for Data & Analytics, Marketing Technologies, and Production Print capabilities. This event proved to be an excellent networking environment to accomplish just that.
The entire &Then event centered on the omni channel marketing experience and strategies – marketers now need to provide a seamless experience, regardless of channel or device. Print can be the vehicle that serves as an on-ramp for an omni channel marketing strategy. It can also be a physical printed piece that breaks through the clutter and saturation of digital channels. Print is almost undergoing a hipster-like resurgence. With how busy the online world has become, print now stands out as a unique communication channel. By levering personalization and the growing affordability of production inkjet digital printing, marketers can create powerful messages and campaigns that reach people in both the physical and digital worlds. This entire concept is really an excellent opportunity for the DMA to give focus to the printed piece in marketing communications.
I look forward to seeing how the DMA event – &Then – continues to reinvent itself. The next event will be held in LA in October of 2016. Until next time!