Monday, July 23, 2012

EskoWorld 2012 exceeds all expectations

Esko, a worldwide leader in packaging solutions, announces that 532 people - 180 more than the previous record-breaking crowd - attended the recently concluded EskoWorld User Conference, held June 17-20 at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. The overwhelmingly successful program, which brought rave reviews from everyone involved, provided a complete update of all the new Esko products introduced during drupa 2012, as well as a wide variety of industry outlooks, product presentations and future roadmaps - along with workshops for anyone with an interest in packaging, displays, and printing.

There is no limit where an EskoWorld User Conference can take a customer, which is why Esko adopted “No Limits” as its event slogan for 2012. “I’ve attended five or six EskoWorld conferences, but it seems like every year we see something new and impressive,” comments Kevin Corrigan, Senior Designer at Great Northern Company. “I was fascinated with all the new advances, particularly all the 3D products. The 3D Store Visualizer, viewed on a large screen with 3D glasses, was extraordinary. I attended most of the ArtiosCAD roadmap sessions, where we saw all of the 3D developments coming in the future. It was extremely helpful.”

“Response from everyone is that EskoWorld 2012 was the best they had ever attended,” raves Mark Quinlan, President, Esko Americas. “Beyond the complete program that had something for everyone, a track in Spanish for Latin American visitors, and overviews of a wide array of new products, the event was extremely well-planned. The hands-on sessions and presentations helped attendees learn how to make the most of their Esko products — and give them a glimpse into the future. There is no doubt that attendees were able to return home with ideas of how to use their Esko products even better.”

After Simon James, Esko VP Global Marketing, welcomed and officially opened EskoWorld 2012, Bernard Zwaenepoel, Esko Senior VP Software Business, greeted the audience and offered a complete update of Esko products that were introduced at drupa. Jan De Roeck, Esko Director of Solutions Management, provided an overview of the fourteen hectic days of drupa, and offered a perspective of how the most important trends for packaging and labels could influence businesses in the future. In an environment where process and market knowledge is vital to remain competitive, Malcom Keif, Ph.D. of Cal Poly State University delivered a challenging keynote address to the audience, offering people ideas of how to create and sustain knowledge.

EskoWorld sessions: Something for everyone
“I thought that EskoWorld was very helpful. It brought me up to speed in certain product areas. I use ArtiosCAD a lot, and attended many of the 3D Workshops — 3D Designer and other 3D features of ArtiosCAD 12. I had not used them in the past, but now they are much more familiar to me. Now that I have returned, I know I can bounce around from my job to the structural design department to help out,” says Devin Flores, Die Programmer at Royal Paper Box. “I also appreciated the ArtiosCAD Manufacturing roadmap. Two others from our company attended, and they really got a lot out of EskoWorld, too.”

More than 90 sessions covered the entire range of Esko product areas, including digital flexo, commercial print prepress, packaging prepress, structural design, 3D design, brand management, digital print, and digital finishing. The sessions varied in nature from roadmaps, offering views of a current product and planned development in the future; academies, providing hands-on operator training sessions on Macs and PCs aimed at increasing the practical knowledge of a product; and presentations, sharing industry overviews or product and service information with live demonstrations. While Esko managed most of the sessions, a few industry outsiders also participated, including:

Dr. Andrew Hurley, Clemson University: Boxes, Bags and Biometrics: The Brave New World of Design
Dennis Young, CPP, Michigan State University: Packaging Education in a Path-to-Purchase Environment
Cheryl Johnson, Pantone Digital Business Unit, X-Rite: Brand Color Management with PantoneLIVE
Steve Hosford, Enfocus: Enfocus Switch 11
Aaron Mallory, HP: Solutions for Digital Printing and Converting

Dave Hall (EFI Radius), Willi Welsch (Quick Brown Fox – Aramis), Andy Armitage (SolarSoft), and Mike Rottenborn (Hybrid Software) participated in a business system integration panel.

“This was my first EskoWorld, although I’ve attended similar events. I liked the Roadmap format, particularly for WebCenter, where Esko developers talk about what’s been recently done to their products and where they are going. You get the sense that they are really moving forward. They get the attendees involved — you’re not just listening to a lecture. I’m used to other events where attendees just sit and listen. Esko values our opinions,” explains Michelle Talko, Prairie State Group customer service prepress manager who trains others how to use Esko WebCenter. “We brought back the Studio design package to take a look at it. One of our production persons, a designer by profession, is going to take a look at it. Our lead prepress person really values EskoWorld. If we don’t attend, he fears that we won’t keep up with latest and greatest technology.”

EskoWorld Partner Pavilion gets extra attention
“The EskoWorld experience was an extremely positive and exciting one for Hybrid Software. We were very pleased to participate,” expresses Mike Rottenborn, Hybrid Software President & CEO. “EskoWorld allowed us to meet new people who might have a need for our solutions — as well as reconnect with customers and our key contacts within Esko. We integrate MIS, workflow and ‘web to print’ together, and we spent a good deal of time explaining how we could bridge WebCenter and Automation Engine to MIS systems. We met a number of people who are interested.”

This year’s Partner Pavilion benefited from sharing breakfasts and lunches in the same room. Attendees actively pursued Esko partners to ask questions about shared technologies during session breaks and meals. EskoWorld Partners also delivered presentations about their companies during breakfast. These included Cape Systems, DuPont, EFI, Enfocus, HP, Hybrid Software, MacDermid, The Quick Brown Fox, Solarsoft, Southern Lithograph, TOPS, and X-Rite.

“HP has been supporting EskoWorld since 2006. It’s amazing to see how much it has grown and evolved from a technical event to one with both technical and business tracks to become a ‘must attend’ event for our industry. The Partner Pavilion was outstanding this year with good traffic from the attendees, and the breakfast speaking sessions from each partner was a great way to maximize the exposure of each partner to the largest possible audience,” observes Aaron Mallory, Labels & Packaging Solutions Architect for HP. “Esko is an extremely important partner for HP, and we use this event to showcase our strong partnership and combined solutions for the growing digital print & converting market. We find the event helps us each year in reaching new potential customers and continues to build on our relationships with our existing customers who attend the event.”

We were exceptionally pleased with the fantastic turnout of the Esko community, and their extreme satisfaction with the event,” concludes Quinlan. “We’re already looking toward another rewarding event next year.”

EskoWorld 2013 is planned for May 19-22, 2013 at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort in Phoenix.