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Monday, May 18, 2009

Shaun's Corner: Springtime In Pittsburgh - IRgA Segues Into May

"Shaun's Corner"
By Shaun Meany

Springtime in Pittsburgh was beautiful, but the mood and atmosphere at this year’s IRgA convention in Pittsburgh felt somewhat subdued, in my view.

Attendance was off considerably from past years, I felt, but despite these conditions, which most likely are reflective of the economy and the location, the conference was rewarding and beneficial for many of us who made the investment to attend.

As always, I squeezed in a little golf at a gorgeous course (Quicksilver GC) outside of the city before the convention and tradeshow. Absolutely fantastic. Starting the convention with a little golf is a great way to allow many of us to meet some new friends and reconnect with old buddies we have not seen for a year. There were so many nice prizes that I think everyone left the course a winner, whether their scores reflected it or not. I want to thank golf committee chairman, Joe Abeyesinhe, for making this years outing one of the best I have experienced in years! I vote to have Joe head up the golf committee again next year.

Our first evening together, Wednesday, started with a cocktail reception for the CREST Foundation. Last years scholarship winners where recognized and an announcement made about future sponsorships - the foundation has another $100,000 available for deserving students going to college this fall and that's a great thing.

For more information on the CREST Foundation please visit - you may be glad you did.

There were several educational tracks offered at IRgA this year. One I found particularly valuable was the sales training presentation (salesOctane) presented by Jim Ryerson. In this session, called Behavioral Selling Skills, we were taught to identify our prospects/clients behaviors (Driver, Influencer, Compliant, Steady) and apply the right selling behavior to increase the odds of selling the prospect. For more information on this type of selling approach please visit the following web site:

The trade show component of the IRgA was really slow. At times it felt there were more vendors then attendees. That said, those of us who were vendors had some good prospects and plenty of time to spend explaining the features and benefits of our products and services. At the PEiR and PlanWell booth we demonstrated all of our existing products and made several new product announcements as well, including:

1. PlanWell 5.5 Release
2. PlanWell Bridge to Prolog
3. PlanWell EasyPrint for Océ Plot Wave and TDS Systems
4. Abacus “Cost Recovery and Print Tracking”
5. Abacus for KIP Controllers
6. SubHub
7. ishipdocs
8. MetaPrint for Color

To help the reprographics community learn more about these exciting new products please click (register) to sign up for an on-line demonstration.

Leaving Pittsburgh this year, I got the sense the IRgA and the reprographics industry are coming to a crossroads. What does the future hold? I can be sure of one thing; it will not be what it was just a few years ago. As someone with a vested interest in the future of reprographics I plan to make whatever future investment I need to in order to ensure that I evolve and ultimately survive.

That's it for now. Hit 'em long and straight!


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