The first Integrated Print Forum, held at Printing Industries of America’s headquarters in Pittsburgh, proved to be an innovative and successful new program in the printing industry. With a combination of hands-on lab experience and keynotes from internationally known speakers, the program brought together representatives from both the industry and the local Pittsburgh community. Attendees were able to experience cutting-edge techniques demonstrated in the lab that can propel customers’ campaigns to the next level and bring in new business. Sessions focusing on social media, mobile apps and websites, augmented reality, new business strategies, and dynamic printing fleshed out this groundbreaking program.
The program began in Printing Industries of America headquarters where the printing plant was transformed into a TV studio setting. Michael Makin, president and CEO of Printing Industries of America, hosted an energetic morning show with guests such as Chuck Gehman, vice president of product management of Mimeo; Bernie Martin, founder of Rapid Production Marketing; Jim Rosenthal, vice president and CEO of Digital Color Graphics; Dr. John Leininger, professor at Clemson University; Erik Holdo, senior vice president of production print solutions at Konica Minolta Business Solutions; and Julie Shaffer, vice president of digital technologies at Printing Industries of America and the program manager of the Integrated Print Forum.
The opening keynotes emphasized the importance of emerging technologies. First, Lon Safko, direct marketing expert and author of The Social Media Bible, spoke about the four purposes of social media for a business: to build community, trust, and customers; research vendors and clients; cyber-surveillance; and competition reconnaissance.
Following Mr. Safko, Michael Schneider, CEO of Mobile Roadie, took the stage to talk about the importance of the mobile market. “Over three-quarters of the earth’s population have a mobile device and by 2013, 50% of Web traffic will come through mobile devices,” Schneider said. Schneider stressed the importance of adapting a website for mobile viewing.
Peter Muir, president of Bizucate, the keynote for Tuesday, advised the audience they need to be both teacher and student. He offered his 3-2-1 advice--asking the audience to write down three things they could start to do when they got back to their offices, two things they were going to stop doing, and what they would do to celebrate what they are doing well. Muir concluded his presentation emphasizing, “The best way to grow your business is to educate your customers.”
Attendee Mackenzie Dolsen, owner/manager of Clean Copy in Portland, Oregon said, “For me, one of the biggest takeaways from the Integrated Print Forum has been the marketing and social media hands-on sessions and learning how to integrate those into my business to help my customers be more successful.”
Shaffer said, “The Integrated Print Forum was an outstanding success for the industry. We were able to bring together print and technology in a fun, interactive setting to provide attendees with a valuable educational experience they couldn’t get anywhere else.”
Printing Industries of America’s Mobile App
Launching alongside the Integrated Print Forum was Printing Industries of America’s Event App for mobile devices. The app is available for free on the Apple and Android App Stores and is a great tool to get the most out of a Printing Industries of America event. The Printing Industries of America’s Event App lets users view an event’s agenda and speakers as well as share media and discussion with other users seamlessly and in real time.