I am fortunate to be able to attend a few industry events every year. A couple I have the honor to present a session or participate on a panel or two, GRAPH EXPO lets me loose to create The Printerverse as a show floor feature, and for the rest I put on my press pass and go with the purpose of seeing all I can see and sharing that information with you. Such was the case with Dscoop 9 that was just held March 6-8th in Orlando, FL.
I left the event Saturday afternoon to drive back home and two hours had passed before I realized that my radio was off, and all I had been doing was thinking about all I had seen, and how I could possibly fit it into ONE blog. However, there is just NO way that is possible, so I am going to start here and we will end when I run out of things to share with you!
Dscoop (Digital Solutions Cooperative) is an organization, and HP is the executive sponsor. The conference is focused on HP’s solutions, the products and services of their partners, and all their customers. Attendees are either Dscoop members, or have HP’s equipment and been invited to attend. Since I fall into none of those categories, even my pretty good connections at HP couldn’t “get me in” – luckily Chris Price from GASC introduced me to the Dscoop people, and after some banner ad bartering I scored a press pass!
The conference itself has a heavy educations focus, and to my surprise a LOT of machines running in what they call the Solutions Showcase. Considering Dscoop was in a resort in Orlando, I really didn’t expect to see presses there, let alone HUGE ones that traveled halfway around the world to be at the event. I learned some cool stuff about how presses are transported and stored, and how they are pre-sold and can be at a few events before they end up installed at a printer. Good tip btw… if you are in the market for a press you can coordinate with that manufacturer to time your delivery with their upcoming events, and essentially arrange to buy the “floor model” at a discount! Ok, a little off track but that might help someone someday!
Now that I have laid some basic groundwork, let’s get into the bigger picture. There is a reason “Cooperative” is incorporated into this organizations name, and subsequently the conference. The overlying goal is to help HP customers get the most out of their machines, and therefore provide the best print to their customers. This is achieved by bringing partners to the discussion in the form of paper and substrates, software, finishing, and other products and services that work within, or have been specifically developed, for the HPsphere. It is also achieved by sharing amazing samples of print and marketing created by HP users – or as I like to call “us” – since most of us are those people! I loved that HP had such pride in the work we do, was eager to learn from what we do, and created a huge sample wall devoted to our work. If you have an HP look out for the Tell Your Stories program and TELL YOUR STORY! More to come on this – in another post!
I spoke with many attendees who were there for the purpose of learning more about their presses, a couple who were looking to upgrade, and several who attended for the education and networking with fellow HP colleagues. And speaking of networking, this was one event I didn’t expect to run out of business cards, but I made it with just a few to spare. I ran into so many people I knew, knew of, or recognized from my LinkedIn Group – it was pretty cool!
Cooperative can also be applied to the community this organization and event create. If the print industry as a whole was a city, Dscoop would be the neighborhood you grew up in where the doors were unlocked, you knew everyone on your block, and everyone helped each other simply because it was what you did without question. I don’t recall hearing the word competition or competitor from anyone I spoke with, in competitive relevance. The conference wasn’t about being better than someone else, it was about being the best YOU can be, and getting the best out of the HP products and services you use.
As I said when I started writing this, there is no way I could tell you everything in one shot. With this post, I wanted to give a little background and set the stage for the next few that will follow. I also wanted to take this time to encourage all HP users in America and beyond to check out Dscoop and their membership offerings. Besides access to a plethora of information, resources, and on-going education from Dscoop University, membership allows you to attend this event, and if you have an HP anything, you are missing out if you are missing this!
Stay tuned for more on Dscoop!