The latest EFI™ Connect event was another sold out users’ conference with 10% more pre-registered customer attendees compared to 2015. This year’s event featured the debut of several new Productivity Suites – designed, built, validated and integrated workflows from the industry’s leading business and production management software portfolio – along with digital print and industrial inkjet products to assist EFI customers adopting digital printing applications.
The Jan. 19-22 conference, which is one of the printing industry’s largest and longest-running users’ group events, featured a solutions center and more than 200 technical, sales and business management sessions, including hands-on customer labs, interactive Voice of Customer sessions, user meetings for EFI Productivity Suite and MIS/ERP core platforms and a development track conducted by industry analyst group InfoTrends.
As always, networking and information sharing between attendees was a key highlight as well, with the list of Connect 2016 participants representing many of the world’s leading print businesses.
During his opening keynote for the conference, EFI CEO Guy Gecht stressed the need for customers to “bet on changes in the market forces to accelerate.” Successful printing businesses, he added, need to move with the window of opportunity. “You must be willing to take a risk. Doing nothing is a guarantee that you will be unsuccessful.”
Resort industry and Las Vegas business legend Steve Wynn, Chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts (Nasdaq:WYNN) gave a special keynote presentation at Connect in honor of the conference’s 10th anniversary at Wynn, Las Vegas. Wynn provided a business lesson on his success, which, despite the luxury of his resorts, ultimately depends on creating a culture where employees gain a sense of pride and enhanced self-esteem through their work.
“Underneath every major business franchise is the question of ‘is it better? Is their price really justified?’ ” said Wynn. “What we’ve learned here is that only people make people happy.”
Expansion of the Productivity Suite strategy
Customers at the conference are learning how the EFI Productivity Suites – a comprehensive, best-of-portfolio workflow platform introduced at Connect 2015 – improves users’ productivity, efficiency and profitability through “Suite Certified” workflows for specific segments. EFI’s commitment to development and advancement for Enterprise and Midmarket Commercial and Packaging Suites are evident in sessions and the solutions center. And, at this year’s conference EFI is continuing that strategy and commitment, doubling its Productivity Suite offerings with three new certified Suites for the quick printing, publication print and corrugated packaging segments.
Connect 2016 also features advanced EFI Fiery® digital front end and software technologies for cut-sheet digital printing, including previews of Fiery Command Workstation® 5.8 and the newest-version Fiery JobFlow™ digital print workflow automation software. Available this quarter, JobFlow delivers even more powerful digital print workflow automation features for efficient multi-job submission, extended third-party job processing, workflow sharing and enhanced usability.
New inkjet opportunities in ‘The Imaging of Things’
In addition to highlighting advanced workflow technologies, Connect showcases how EFI customers across the globe create profitable opportunities with innovative, high-value and high-quality inkjet imaging applications. These customers are successful participants in the concept of “The Imaging of Things,” delivering greater product customization and appeal in everything from signage and packaging to décor, apparel and industrial manufacturing.
During his keynote, Gecht unveiled the Imaging of things exchange, an online customer applications gallery designed to help EFI customers and print buyers grow their network and business relationships.
The online exchange is free for EFI customers and provides a venue for them to post images and videos of their work in a forum targeted to print buyers looking for new, unique and innovative application ideas. The Imaging of Things exchange addresses the network effect online communities have in accelerating adoption of new technologies and applications. And, as a result, EFI customers can better promote their EFI print applications and generate new business leads.
Connect’s solutions center featured top technologies in the EFI industrial inkjet portfolio, including best-selling, entry-level and new, high-end hybrid LED printers with advanced, variable-drop grayscale imaging and industry-leading white ink. The Connect 2016 exhibit floor also featured versatile, roll-to-roll LED printing technology from EFI’s recently acquired Matan product line.
Attendees saw a broader range of print application possibilities within the Imaging of Things with exhibits of jobs produced on EFI’s Cretaprint® ceramic tile printers, Jetrion® narrow-web label printers and the company’s recently acquired line of Reggiani textile printers. Michele Riva, sales and marketing director for EFI Reggiani, will provide added insight into the significant opportunity in printing for fabric graphic display and industrial textile applications during a Jan. 21 keynote speech.
Connect 2016 also featured an industry update keynote from Epicomm Chief Economist Andy Paparozzi and keynotes from additional senior EFI executives.
Along with its lineup of technology and business presentations, training sessions and EFI product demonstrations, Connect 2016 featured numerous exhibits from partner companies, including platinum sponsors Canon U.S.A. and Xerox; gold sponsor Duplo; and bronze sponsors 3M Commercial Graphics; AccuZIP; BCC Software; BondCote/Heytex Corp.; Esko; Honle UV America; Kodak; Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. Inc.; Lintec Corp.; the Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation; Progress Software; and Ricoh Production Print.
Connect is the printing industry’s best venue for open dialogue and idea exchange, giving global business leaders a valuable opportunity to participate in educational sessions, receive hands-on experience, discuss industry trends, network with peers, voice their opinions, and learn from others.