Africa Print Journal speaks to Jon Tolley, Dscoop's Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Chairman and Managing Director of UK-based company Prime Group, about the upcoming Dscoop EMEA conference, taking place from 3-5 June 2015 in Dublin, Ireland.
Are there any new offerings at this year's event that attendees can look forward to?
The offerings are improved and more valuable to attendees. This year, we have our biggest solution showcase spanning 4000sqm and we have over 50 partners attending Dscoop. This is also HP's biggest EMEA event this year. The line-up includes nine HP Indigo presses and the brand new PageWide XL machine.
What are some of the successful aspects from last year's event that you'll build on this year?
Over the last two years, the educational sessions were very successful and were highly rated by attendees. Based on member feedback, this year, we have more interactive workshops and sessions to facilitate a collaborative learning environment. The dinner and party are always a great networking opportunity, which is the most invaluable aspect of Dscoop. We're extending the solution showcase and adding a number of informal sessions to maximise those opportunities.
What are some of the main challenges printers face, and how are these addressed in your content offerings?
Dscoop is run by members, for members, so content is created by people who are in that environment and face those challenges. Some of the main challenges are around how you tackle an issue you face at work, no matter how big or small your business. Dscoop is so invaluable because it provides a network of individuals at your level, who have been through what you're doing and have done what you're trying to do. In my business, for example, the feedback we've got to questions we asked at the event has sped up processes tenfold, and prevented us from making mistakes because someone's already gone through that process.
Dscoop is about taking time out of the business to focus on the business. I think that's something that is not only highly valuable but it also gets forgotten when you're tied up in the day-to-day running of the organisation. It's about taking time to talk about the strategy and direction of your business, which is one of the biggest aspects you can get out of the event. I call Dscoop my 'mastermind' group as I've realised that the reason I love it so much is because I have that network of like-minded peers that I can tap into at any point. That information can often be worth thousands to you. You get a great deal out of Dscoop when you ask questions and make contact with that network.
What are the main benefits of attending Dscoop?
Apart from it being the biggest HP graphic arts events this year, and a showcase of the very latest in technology and services, it's about sharing of best practices and insights, with over 1000 print leaders. It delivers relevant educational sessions and HP has invested R1.2million (€90000) into this content. Having all of this available at your fingertips in one place is highly valuable. There will also be attendees looking for EMEA partners, so it opens up new opportunities for revenue.
EMEA is quite a broad grouping; because within the EMEA group, there are specific challenges faced by each region. How is the content tailored to ensure that, say, printers from Africa get the same benefit out of the event as those from Europe?
There are many different regions and cultures within the EMEA, and that is a challenge. However, we all run print businesses and I am a firm believer that, no matter where you are in the world, we all face the same challenges. As part of my role at Dscoop, I travel and I get to speak to members from all around the world. What never ceases to amaze me is the challenges those individuals face in their organisations are consistent no matter where you go, and these are the challenges we're addressing at Dscoop. Even if it means you can take one thing back to your business from attending the conference, that can have a significant impact on your development, growth, revenue opportunities and being a market leader in the region. We all have HP technology, so learning about related market trends can be highly valuable to anybody, no matter where they're from.
You first became involved in Dscoop because of how much you learnt. How did the event help your business?
To narrow down just one of many ways, as a direct result of attending one session in Budapest last year, we were able to set our goals, align the entire organisation to those goals and achieve them. It looks like we'll be adding R18million (£1million) worth of revenue to our top line this year. Of course, you're not guaranteed to get results just by attending. It's up to members to actively get involved with Dscoop through the educational sessions, the content and the forums. Those that implement and develop what they've learnt have the potential to differentiate their businesses and become profit leaders.