A capacity crowd of EFI customers, partners, employees and industry media are attending this year’s EFI Connect users’ conference. The 20-23 January event at the Wynn Las Vegas offers one of the best line-ups of print industry leadership sessions, technical education, and business management workshops ever offered at a graphic arts technology users’ group gathering. This year’s conference also serves as the launch for a new evolution in EFI’s workflow software strategy.
EFI recorded a double-digit increase in the percentage of customers registering for this year’s conference, which is expected to draw more than 1500 attendees. Printing companies from 25 different countries are attending to gain key insights on how their EFI print technology investments fuel greater productivity, greater efficiencies and better business results.
This year’s conference features more than 200 educational sessions on business management, sales, marketing and production technology, as well as special keynote presentations from Thomas Quinlan, CEO of RR Donnelley & Sons; Avi Reichental, CEO of 3D Systems; and Andrew Paparozzi, chief economist of print industry association AMSP/NAPL/NAQP.
EFI Connect features a preview of the EFI Productivity Suite – the next step in the company’s productivity software portfolio evolution. The suite expands on EFI’s existing offerings with an even stronger focus on how customers can generate revenue and enhance efficiency and profitability using the industr’s most comprehensive portfolio of print and packaging software.
Available this quarter, the suite addresses customers’ most pressing automation and efficiency needs by moving the workflow emphasis away from individual EFI software packages and modules to a complete offering that uses best-of-suite, end-to-end workflows, certified integrations and synchronised development. As a result, printing and packaging companies can further simplify the management and operations tasks they need to grow into new markets and strategically run their businesses.
Other new offerings at Connect include:
· Unified workflow management capabilities for combined offset and digital production operations using new a Heidelberg Prinect/EFI Fiery digital front end integration. Now, printing companies can use their familiar Prinect interface to quickly route work to offset or Fiery Driven digital presses while streamlining overall business processes using integrated links to EFI web-to-print and print MIS products.
· A module featuring EFI DirectSmile technology to enable automated, template-based and data-driven variable image and document rendering within the award-winning EFI Digital StoreFront web-to-print and eCommerce interface.
· An enhanced automation workflow, powered by AccuZIP, that uses Digital StoreFront’s web-to-print capabilities and its new variable-data printing module to automate direct mail production tasks from order entry through to mail processing and check out.
EFI Connect’s solutions centre includes a complete portfolio EFI workflow and digital print production software. Attendees will also see an exhibit of versatile, energy-efficient LED inkjet technology with 3.2-metre roll-to-roll and 2-metre, 7-picoLitre UltraDrop hybrid roll/flatbed EFI VUTEk printers, along with an entry-level, 1.6-metre EFI Wide Format production printer. At the conference, 3M Commercial Graphics will exhibit a vehicle wrapped in graphics produced using a co-developed EFI and 3M ink that offers increased flexibility and elongation characteristics traditionally not seen with UV inkjet inks.
EFI Connect also features numerous exhibits from partner companies, including the conference’s platinum sponsor, Xerox; gold sponsors Canon and Kodak; and bronze sponsors 3M Commercial Graphics; AccuZIP; BCC Software; Esko; ESP/SurgeX; Honle UV America; Heytex Corp.; Konica Minolta; MBM Corp.; the Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation; Ricoh Production Print; and Zünd.
‘The thing that works best about EFI Connect is that fact our customers are very engaged, and they foster collaboration with EFI employees and partners better than any other industry event I have attended,’ said EFI’s CEO, Guy Gecht. ‘With over 200 classes and the line-up of keynote sessions, technology exhibits, and networking opportunities taking place, this event brings our customers and staff together for an important, face-to-face opportunity to learn, strategise and re-fuel to go after even greater business success in 2015.’