Looking back on some of the research Weymouth, Massachusetts-based Infotrends has produced, the company’s work has, on occasion, concisely predicted the future. Take a 2003 consumer report on digital cameras, which predicted the devices would eclipse nondisposable film cameras by 2008. Fourteen years ago, the company’s foresight was just as sharp, even in the relatively new digital print market. Partnering with Questex, the company which eventually acquired Infotrends in 2006, the group conceived of a show for a niche segment still hashing out its place in the market.
When Charles A. Pesko, president of Infotrends, initially embarked on the project, he was reminded that Graph Expo offered space to the digital market, as well. “[T]he significance is focus,” Pesko explained. “Fourteen years ago, how many graphic arts shows were there in the U.S.? Lots. There were regional shows, there were specialty shows, [and] a lot of graphic arts shows. To be honest with you, today, there [are] two major events: one’s Graph Expo and one’s the On Demand show.”
Back then, even Infotrends couldn’t have predicted what the digital marketplace would look like in 2007. Then again, the Expo itself looks a lot different these days than it [did back] in the mid-’90s. The Boston conference’s agenda makes this clear: now, business remodeling is just as important as staying on top of technology, and packaging products and services are the industry’s future, if not its present. Conference topics include maximizing workflow, marketing, resources for small printers, Web-to-print business solutions, hiring and the effectiveness of added value—not to mention Pesko’s own keynote speech, titled “Opportunities in a Fragmented Marketplace.” Pesko stressed the need to incorporate other aspects of the business, “like software, professional services, the hardware, the feeding and finishing,” to hone in on new, customized areas of the marketplace. “So, we’re looking now at packaging those products to be very effective in various application markets, rather than a generalized engine that will print at ‘x’ cost per page,” he continued.
- Eastman Kodak Co.
- Xerox Corp.
- Weymouth, Massachusetts