The DSCOOP (Digital User Group) conference was held in Orlando, Florida from March 6-9, 2014, at the Gaylord Hotel. The Department of Graphic Communications was lucky enough to bring along four bright and talented students, Elise Stock, Katie Runge, Deanne Anthony, and graduate student, Lauren McCain. The young ladies worked with the event coordinators from DSCOOP to put together the final touches of the event from stuffing and distributing goodie bags to working the doors for special workshop events. One student, Katie Runge, says that volunteering at the event "turned out to be an incredible experience and through some of the conversations I was able to have with these individuals, I landed a job interview. It turned out to be a really great networking experience, where I got to talk to industry professionals about their career and what services their businesses offer."
The students were awarded for their hard work with an all access pass to the DSCOOP’s events, lectures, and show floor. The students spent there time at DSCOOP avidly soaking up the lectures about everything from business techniques to creative printing to the future of the industry.
Elise Stock attended a seminar by Barrie Bramley:
"Barrie Bramley discussed leaving the past behind and realizing that the future is full of print. His discussion talked about how printers need to stay involved and look at trends but not to depend on the trends. Trends do not necessarily show us what the future holds. Rather than focusing on trends, it is best to focus on the customer. Customers are changing, and in order to stay relevant, printers need to change with them to fulfill their needs. Barrie also talked about how people are not one-dimensional and neither is print. Print allows us to bring concepts to life and appeal to the senses. He gave a great example of how the music industry screwed up. Back in his day, it was all about records. You wiped the record off and touched it. Record covers hung on walls and defined who you were. Now, music is all digital. You cannot touch it. Printers should learn from this and remember to engage people to keep print relevant. He concluded with the fact that print will be different in five years, and he believes the biggest change will be the materials that are utilized. 3-D printing and fabric are just examples of what will be part of the future of print. While Barrie had some great points, most of what he said was fluff. I wanted some hard facts as to how to spark change in your company."
Katie Runge says this of a seminar she attended:
"During the seminar, Change is Great – You Go First, Jason Jennings talked about the six leadership secrets for embracing constant change and growth. The first secret is leaders who successfully em- brace constant change and growth have a big noble purpose. A big noble purpose has to be bold. It is not about what you do but it is more about why you do it. It centers on fixing something that is wrong. The second secret is that leaders who successfully embrace constant change and growth make a double-digit improvement in their financial performance a guiding principle. Double-digit improvement keeps the right people, attracts the right people, gets rid of the wrong people and it forces you to stay ahead of the customers. Secret three states that leaders who successfully embrace constant change and growth let go. This means letting go of the ego, the same old-same old, and the conventional wisdom. Secret four is that leaders who successfully embrace constant change and growth make certain that everyone knows the big strategic objectives. Secret five is that leaders who successfully embrace constant change and growth make a lot of small bets. The last secret states that good stewards lead companies that successfully embrace constant change and growth. Stewardship is service over short term self interest. It is about abandoning power over others. It is preserving natural and human resources."
Scott Stratten provided the keynote event and his riveting and hilarious lecture about social media and more specifically, QR codes had everyone in the audience laughing. Students also enjoyed their time on the show floor where they networked with representatives from HP, NewPage, and a variety of industry bushinesses. Overall, they had an exciting and educational time at DSCOOP and we hope, next year, we can bring our GC Tigers back to this prestigious conference.