As you have probably noticed from some other posts, we have been spending a lot of time at trade shows lately. They are always exciting for me because I get to see all kinds of new technology in one place, but also because I get to meet a lot of Roland DG users all at once, and hear about their work. While I’d like to believe that simply owning a Roland DG is a competitive advantage, almost everyone I talk to has some additional way to differentiate their business. One user bragged that he could turn around 8″ x 10″ canvas prints, stretched and ready to hang, within 24 hours of an online order. That means event photographs get delivered while the event is still fresh in people’s minds. Some owners have found that focusing on and perfecting one application, like wall coverings or window treatments has made them stand out.
Graph Expo just wrapped up in Chicago, and after a few days walking around the show and talking to customers at our booth, I’ve come to some conclusions about the state of the printing business. First and foremost, despite all the discussions and questions about the need for print in the digital age, the industry is alive, well, and innovating at a staggering rate. Printers were walking the floor looking for new techniques and technologies that would continue to push the limits of what we can do with ink on paper (or plastic, metal, wood, and a thousand other substrates). There are still lots of instances in which a computer monitor, smart phone, or iPad won’t get the job done.
Last week, I had the chance to spend some time with Roland DG end users at one of our "Digital Printing Boot Camp” classes, and as always, I enjoyed the experience, and came away impressed. One of the things I particularly noticed was just how varied our users are. Even with a class of about 10, we had Roland DG owners from every region of the US, as well as one from Canada.