Earlier this month, I escaped the snow for a few days and headed down to sunny Orlando, Florida for the annual Dscoop conference. Dscoop, or the Digital Solutions Cooperative, is a global community of print pros who use the HP Indigo and related products. But because Dscoop is a user conference, rather than a vendor conference, the event is about lots more than just talking about HP. It’s a way for forward thinking printers to meet, share ideas and common challenges, and discuss how to confront the always-changing world of print.
My main take-away? Digital print is better—and more exciting—than ever before. Printers are finding cool new places to leave their mark, including wood, plastics, foil, and innovative types of packaging. (I saw an awesome new technique for printing labels on bottles of wine.)
More importantly, though, printers are embracing new service models. They’re becoming less like commodity producers and more like marketers. They’re selling more than just ink on paper; they’re selling strategy.
As one fellow attendee pointed out, this shift represents a sort of return to our roots. Benjamin Franklin, American printing’s founding father, didn’t print just to print, after all. He printed to communicate. Things couldn’t be more different than they were in Franklin’s day, but then as now, printers have some responsibility for the messages they print.
I attended some great keynotes and came home full of ideas of how to help Oregon’s work break the mold. We were a little printer among some major players at Dscoop, and it was a great event to be a part of. I swear it’s not just the sunshine talking when I say that print’s future is bright.