Big Show In The Big City

An unexpected Spring snowstorm and a down economy couldn’t keep attendees from crowding the 10th annual On Demand show.

By Bob Neubauer and Mike Llewellyn

Despite a surprise spring snowfall that blanketed New York City and weakened first-day attendance, the 10th annual On Demand Digital Printing & Publishing Conference went on as usual early last month.

The exhibit hall at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center seemed much larger this year, due in part to On Demand’s co-location with the AIIM Conference & Exposition. As a result, there were 438 exhibitors, compared with 150+ at last year’s show.

By the event’s second day, with the snow scare a fading memory, floor traffic rebounded. Among the 27,200 attendees reported by show organizers, scores of in-plant managers criss-crossed the 259,460-square-foot exhibit area to see the latest digital printing equipment.

Two of the show’s largest exhibitors, Xerox and Heidelberg, had adjoining booths, with the Xerox iGen3 sitting directly across the aisle from Heidelberg’s NexPress 2100, like suspicious neighbors sizing each other up over a fence. Other large exhibit areas were hosted by Canon USA, HP Indigo, IBM, IKON Office Solutions, Océ Printing Systems USA and Ricoh.

Despite all the hardware at the show, some of the biggest focuses were of the intangible variety.

• Xerox unveiled a new digital workflow strategy, expanded its collaboration with Electronics For Imaging and became a partner in a Creo initiative to create an integrated production workflow process.

• Heidelberg talked as much about inventive ways it can help printers drive profitability as it did about its products, and launched its Professional Services Group to aid in this task.

Front ends got as much attention at On Demand as the printers they drove:

• Electronics for Imaging, soon to ship its millionth Fiery controller, touted a number of new servers, including the Fiery Q4500 server for the Xerox DocuColor iGen3; the ColorPASS-Z5100, Z5400 and Z4600 servers for Canon’s CLC 5000+ and 3900+ products; the Fiery S300 server for the Konica 8031; and the Ricoh EB-105EX server to power Ricoh’s Aficio 2090 and 2105 devices. A server for a new Scitex Digital Printing VersaMark printer is in the works.

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