thINK, an independent community of Canon Solutions America inkjet customers, celebrated the success of its fifth annual inkjet users conference, held September 16-18, 2019 in Boca Raton, Florida at the Waldorf Astoria Boca Raton Resort & Club.
More than 600 attendees learned and shared industry trends and best practices in 7 tracks and 30 educational sessions, as well as in networking events outside of the sessions. Attendees were made up of current Canon Solutions America inkjet customers, prospective customers, press, analysts, partners, and industry experts.
Attendees had the opportunity to learn from 50 current inkjet customers and 25 analysts and industry experts. “The thINK board is very proud of the community we have built, and feel that thINK is different from other inkjet user communities in many ways — for instance, while thINK has industry experts and Canon executives to round out our learning, the majority of our speakers are inkjet customers, and we think that speaks volumes as to what type of learning environment and community that thINK has been shaped to be,” Bob Radzis, thINK president said.
“Another area where thINK is set apart; the thINK Board is very cognizant of the fact that some thINK attendees are coming to the conference with no inkjet experience whatsoever, while others have extensive experience and are seeking to take it all to the next level. thINK Ahead sessions span all experience levels to meet each attendee where they are on their inkjet journey. Finally, the thINK attendees that come back year after year are a testament to our ability to keep the content fresh, with new sessions and new learning, to help the community thrive. thINK is not a one-time conference to attend, but an evolution of learning available to all members,” Radzis concluded.
thINK Ahead 2019 Session Tracks Included:
• Direct Mail Innovation
• In-Plant Innovation
• Transactional Innovation
• Commercial Innovation
• Book Innovation
• Inkjet Innovation
• Innovate for Page Growth
New this year, thINK attendees were able to participate in Ask the Experts sessions following the full day of sessions. The Ask the Experts sessions, led by thINK guest speakers, customers, and industry leaders, enabled attendees to take a deeper dive into learning. Outside of the tracks and sessions, attendees were inspired by two amazing keynotes — Adam Markel, a recognized expert in professional and personal reinvention who guides individuals and businesses to capitalize on change and magnify their impact and Rorke Denver, Navy SEAL commander, New York Times best-selling author, leader, and founder of Ever Onward. As in prior years, thINK attendees were also invited to visit the Canon Solutions America Customer Experience Center (CEC) for tours and demos. thINK members have access to session content on thINKforum.com all year round, along with the numerous other resources already available to them there.
thINK attendees were the first to hear new announcements from Canon Solutions America, including:
• The next iteration of the Océ VarioPrint i-series technology: the Océ VarioPrint i-series+. The VP i-series+ promises a combination of engine technologies, firmware, and performance inks that provide commercial print quality on a broader range of coated media, all with enhanced workflows for increased productivity.
• In addition to the unveiling of the VP i-series+, Francis A. McMahon, Executive VP, Production Print Solutions and Eric Hawkinson, VP Marketing, Production Print Solutions, teased more exciting things to come at drupa 2020. Get ready!
• thINK on the Road is going back on the road. This traveling thINK event — which gets prospects into your print shop while providing training and facetime with Canon Solutions America leadership — will be in a city near you in 2020.
Additionally, thINK Ahead 2019 attendees were able to see inkjet best practices in action, with entries for the second annual Inkjet Innovation Awards on display, designed to recognize Canon Solutions America inkjet customers’ unique innovation, forward-thinking strategy, and proven excellence in inkjet printing. Winners were announced during the conference and honored for pushing the boundaries of inkjet technology.
Second Annual Inkjet Innovation Award Winners:
Design Aesthetics: Copy General’s Smart Change Catalog, which won points for its soft-touch UV coat and spot-gloss UV, strategically placed on the photography to pull readers into the experience.
Degree of Innovation: Trend Offset’s Destination Guide, which featured advanced variable data and graphics capabilities, including “geo-zoning” to include local advertisements in this national direct mail campaign.
Business Effectiveness: Highnote’s Annual Appeal for Family & Children’s Place quadrupled the funds raised for the nonprofit year over year.
Best in Show: Trekk and Specialty Print Communications’ Possibilities Catalog, a visual and tactile journey through the capabilities of the Océ ProStream, was printed on a wide range of Verso products.
People’s Choice: International Paper’s Apollo the Spacedog, a children’s book that brings the adventures of a spunky girl and her dog to life, used the magic of augmented reality.
“We are pleased with the annual Inkjet Innovation Awards as each year we get to see new ideas and new ways our peers are using inkjet in innovative ways, to move their business forward in new directions. The competition was fierce this year, but these inkjet innovators had what it takes to win,” commented Radzis.
“thINK Ahead 2019 was at capacity and sponsorships sold-out. Partners have already reached out to us to secure their sponsorship for thINK Ahead 2020, which will take place August 31 – September 2, 2020 in Boca Raton, Florida at the Waldorf Astoria Boca Raton Resort & Club. We are thankful for the thINK partner community as it is due to their interest and support that we are able to put together one of the largest inkjet user group events in the world,” said Victor Bohnert, thINK Executive Director.