Kodak GUA Day 1: The Importance of User Groups

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Apr 12, 2010

The annual Kodak GUA (Graphic Users Association) conference is taking place this week, April 11-14, in Vancouver, BC. I am lucky enough to be here in attendance as a media/journalist member and participant in one of the K-Zone sessions. I don’t often get the chance to come to user group meetings and interact with print service providers. Here are a few of my thoughts as the first day comes to a close.

The user group experience continues to be one of utmost importance to those in attendance. Talking with print service providers attending the event it is no surprise as to why they are here. Participants are given the opportunity to speak with like minded individuals at varying stages in technology implementations. They are able to gain valuable insight, discuss issues, and be reassured that the paths they are taking are those leading them in the right direction.

As I sit in on various sessions on topics like “Managing Color Across Your Business” and “Digital Print RIO”,  I hear the same underlying theme over and over again, “I come here to have my voice heard, to meet product managers, discuss my concerns, and find solutions to implement on my return to the work place.”

When asked if these things can be attained through social media outlets the answer, overwhelmingly, “No!”  Probing deeper, responses range from “With social media there is no sense of urgency” to “having a true conversation leads in to future discussion I have yet to see on the web”. Another answer I have heard a lot is “Typically people only post items on the internet when there are problems, we never hear about how the solutions turn out or how the business grows once a problem is fixed”

As the end of day 1 nears, I can honestly say that I have learned a lot. I have had the chance to hear real problems and real solutions to items that can only help change the industry in a positive way. I am anxious to see what technology discussions come out of the next two days and plan to share more as I experience the group sessions.

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