Dscoop, one of the world’s largest and most collaborative digital print and design communities, provides its members with the latest news and education from HP innovators and industry experts. It recently hosted the Dscoop Edge World Expo in St. Louis, USA.

Dscoop members from 38 countries attended, including a 22-person team from A/NZ, which joined HP and Currie Group for some extracurricular activities.

Dscoop Edge St. Louis Conference chair and an Arizona State University Print and Imaging Lab member Kyle Pendeley said, “The global Dscoop community has an impressive history of looking forward instead of backward. Even as our companies face big challenges, we do whatever it takes to continually learn, connect, and advance. That’s the awesome spirit of Dscoop”.

This year’s event programme did not disappoint those eager to learn about what the latest HP technologies offer in their production environment. It also featured two high-energy keynote speakers who set a positive mood across the event’s three days and inspired attendees to exchange experiences, raise questions and collaborate to find answers to today’s market challenges.

Local printers join international community

For over 15 years, groups of printers from A/NZ have been travelling to the US to be part of this one-of-a-kind experience.

This year was no different. The 22 regional representatives joined Mark Daws and AJ from Currie Group and Craig Walmsley and Duncan Bray from HP Indigo. Daws said, “There was a range of companies from all facets of the industry – from commercial printing to labels and packaging. Joining us from New Zealand, we had Matt Mills from Fuzed and Ruth Cobb from PrintNZ.

“From Australia, we hosted members of Photo Create, Rawson Print & Packaging, Next Printing, CMYKhub who sit across both commercial printing and, more recently, in labels and packaging, Dflow, Courtney Brands, Peacock Bros, and Colemans Printing.

“Also in attendance was Kelvin Gage, who not only sits on the Dscoop board but was also the emcee for the event. He certainly did us proud.”

Print NZ chief executive Ruth Cobb said, “Having an ANZ contingent simply added a whole other layer to the event, and being part of that team made us feel welcome rather than isolated. Both Currie Group and HP were outstanding hosts, and being able to swap notes with others on some of the sessions you couldn’t attend was remarkable.”

The A/NZ team gathered a few days before the event to go on a road trip, which took them from Atlanta to St. Louis, stopping off at some of the world’s leading print manufacturers based in the US. This included packaging printer Fortis Solutions Group in Flowery Branch; Benson Integrated Marketing Solutions in Alpharetta; Tucker-based full-service commercial printer Bennetts Graphics; and flexible packaging specialist PouchIt in Atlanta.

Those who stopped by the famous HP Graphics Experience Centre, established as the only site in the Americas, saw HP’s entire graphics portfolio in one place. Often described as the ‘Disneyworld of Print’, this leading-edge 6,038 square metre facility enables visitors to experience automated, end-to- end graphics arts solutions that can professionally print everything from postage stamps to building wraps.

Daws mentioned that it was an excellent opportunity to see everything HP Industrial offers, from signage to wide format and high-speed inkjet, as well as the capabilities of the HP Indigo and the Jet Fusion 3D printers.

Daws said, “What’s unique is not just the equipment that HP provides, it is the complete end-to-end solution, the workflow partners and finishing solutions provider that complements the entire production line.”

Collaborating and trending

After the three-day long road trip full of new inspiration, the A/NZ team joined over 1,100 HP users from across 38 countries for a feature-packed Dscoop Edge at the St. Louis World Expo.

Over four days, Dscoop members came together with infectious energy and remarkable idea sharing. The ‘Gateway to Growth’ theme was fuelled by printers and partners eager to learn, connect and advance.

In his welcome speech, Dscoop executive director Peter van Teeseling said, “It doesn’t mean anything if there’s no heart and soul – and that’s all of you. You are all part of a truly amazing global community”.

Dflow chief executive Doug Robey remarked, “We travelled as a team of four to the event, and for three of us, it was our first Dscoop. We had heard a lot of great things about it over the years. I was amazed by the openness, collaboration and ideas sharing. It was an embracing type of environment, which was interesting”.

Dscoop delivered inspirational content from celebrity guests as well. On the first evening, drummer Mark Schulman, who usually shares the stage with P!nk, touted gratitude and a positive attitude in business.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles Lakers legend Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson delivered an inspiring presentation on business acumen and giving back to the community. As a former NBA legend and chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises, he made history in 2012 when he became a co-owner of MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers. He also co-owns the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA, Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Football Club, and eSports franchise Team Liquid.

Fuzed director Matt Mills confirmed this keynote speech’s inspiration: “This guy knows a thing or two about leadership, teamwork, and reaching the pinnacle of success, no matter which way you slice the pizza of life.”

HP Industrial Print senior vice-president and general manager Haim Levit said, “Dscoop is about harnessing the power of community to network, communicate, and innovate. This event is the opportunity for the entire Dscoop global community to meet HP leadership and engineers, to listen to each other and discuss current and future challenges, and to enable developing a joint roadmap to continued market leadership.”

This included discussions around sustainability. Cobb said: “None of your customers is ever going to ask your business to be less sustainable than it currently is, so you need to get on with your sustainability journey. This is something that PrintNZ is keen to focus on helping members with.”

The Dscoop Expo reaffirmed Cobb’s unwavering commitment to ‘Glocalisation’ over ‘Globalisation’. She said “Glocalisation means working on a global scale but utilising local connections to get jobs printed in other locations to save shipping and reduce not only the time to get the job to the customer but reducing the carbon footprint of the work.”

Dscoop Edge delivered over 60 education sessions over seven tracks, hosted by HP experts and top-level sales and marketing coaches. Cobb added, “The sessions were great. They covered various topics across different streams. The main difficulty came from choosing what sessions to attend when they ran concurrently, and there were no repeats, so you had to choose very carefully. The two streams I was interested in following were sustainability and marketing of the printing industry, and small nuggets came out of each of those sessions.”

Matt Mills gravitated towards marketing and sales workshops, which rejuvenated his professional soul. He said, “They delved into the magic of social media and why it’s more important than ever in today’s digital jungle. They unleashed a flurry of sales strategies and shared secrets on how to keep your company as relevant as a viral cat video in this ever- evolving digital world.

“After the sessions, when you gather with other attendees from Australia and New Zealand, it’s like entering a brainstorming bonanza. You start gaining a better snapshot of what they took away from the same workshops you attended and those you didn’t manage to sneak into.”

Daws said the global trends and challenges discussed are no different from those the local printers face daily, adding, “Supply chain challenges, rising costs, automation and sustainability – these are all the hot topics of today. It is the sort of narrative that we hear at most industry events.

“However, A/NZ businesses in the industry should be immensely proud of what they can achieve and have achieved, given that, in many cases, we have much higher labour rates, inflation and supply chain challenges than those in the US.”

Face-to-face with the latest digital printing technology

HP is developing products and services to address current challenges and meet customer demand for the latest trends, including the labour crisis, sustainability, automation, and consumer buying behaviours.

Therefore, Dscoop has been a platform to host 75 partner companies in its Solutions Showcase. As part of the showcase, HP featured its 200K Digital Press, engineered for flexible packaging.

Haim Levit commented, “We really want to unlock the label market. We are accelerating analogue to digital conversion in the label market. And for Indigo, we’ve announced the launch of the 200K press. It’s not just about the product; it’s about the complete solutions that we’re bringing to the market to help users grow their businesses.

“We are investing in labels and flexible packaging and starting to penetrate the corrugated and folding carton markets. This approach will enable us to bring the most comprehensive versatility and productivity to market.”

Following a record year of B2 sheetfed press volumes, HP Indigo also celebrated the installation of its 1,000th HP Indigo B2 press and announced the new HP Indigo 100K HD, with “smooth and razor- sharp image quality”.

The HP PageWide demonstrated innovations to the HP PageWide Advantage 2200 with high HDNA quality at full speed, up to 50 per cent faster prints, and a new version of PrintBeat within PrintOS.

See the interview with Currie Group’s Mark Daws below:

Another debut was HP Large Format, with the company showcasing the HP Latex R2000 Plus Printer, a hybrid solution that is equally strong in rigid and flexible substrates.

Matt Mills said: “As most of us already know, technology is like that one friend who never stops evolving. Seriously, it’s like trying to catch a slippery fish with a pair of chopsticks. So, while strolling around and ‘nerding’ out over the latest gadgets in the Solutions Showcase and the HP COE, it was mind-boggling to witness how HP and other industry wizards are constantly tweaking their thinking and offerings.”

Ruth Cobb came back from the trip impressed with the wide web digital flexo and the flexibility that it can offer. Still, as she notes, there were also many incremental innovations on display from the industry partners.

Levit concluded the event with a statement and commitment to the HP community, “We have the widest portfolio in the printing industry, bringing a solution to every market segment. We are investing US$180m ($296m) annually to serve the printing market better. HP is committed to investing in and growing the business. We aim to ensure our customers succeed, be profitable, and have the best experience. ‘Better Together’ is not just a slogan; it is our way of life.”

See video highlights from Dscoop Edge St. Louis

Matt Mills added, “To all proud owners of HP Indigo presses, or whether it’s the mighty Page Wide or the impressive Wide Format, mark my words: you absolutely cannot afford to miss these incredible events. Trust me, after enduring the tumultuous roller coaster ride that was the past three years of Covid, this kind of tour was like a refreshing oasis in the desert of routine. It had everything I needed and more – it was invigorating, inspiring, informative, and, let’s not forget, a whole lot of fun.

“If you’re sitting there with burning questions about Dscoop or just eager to know more about next year’s conference in Indianapolis, don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly. Consider me your tour guide through the world of Dscoop and all the exhilarating experiences it offers.

“So, gear up, my fellow HP enthusiasts. It’s time to unleash your printing prowess and embark on an adventure that will leave you with cherished memories and a renewed passion for your craft. Let’s make the most out of this extraordinary community and create print magic together.”

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