Mix and Mingle

Its going to be a busy two weeks. As you read this I am in Palm Desert, CA, at the Vision 3 Summit with Printing News editor Mark Vruno. After that wraps up, I’ll be taking a red-eye flight home for a couple of days before leaving for On Demand in Washington, DC. As soon as that finishes, I’m off to Las Vegas to speak at the PostNet convention. I’ll be returning home on another red-eye on Saturday the 26th and plan to sleep most of Sunday. Already this year I’ve been to printing events in Boca Raton, Houston, and Dallas. Others from the Cygnus Graphics Media group have attended events and meetings in Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Orlando and the year is not even one-quarter over. One of the reasons we do this much traveling is that it is the best way to keep a finger on the pulse of the industry. You can sit in your office, read press releases, handle email, and even make some phone calls, but that’s not the same as being there. Woody Allen once said that half the battle is just showing up—and we try to show up as much as possible. This brings me to something I hear regularly from my columnists who spend much more time in the field that I do: “Why is it that so many printers are reluctant to get out of the office and visit their customers or prospective customers?” That’s a question I can’t answer. Perhaps they are shy. Or maybe they think there is just too much to be done in the shop. Or they might think that seeing customers is a job for salespeople and not owners. Whatever the reason might be, these reclusive owners are missing a bet. There is no better way to keep in touch or build a relationship than face-to-face because people do business with people—not companies or technologies. So if you happen to be one of these reluctant owners, make an effort to get “out among ‘em”, you’ll be surprised at how much you can learn.