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What Just Happened in New York (and Why it Matters to You)

If you are in any way interested in the Graphic Arts, or if you follow me, Deb Corn or any of a variety of equipment manufacturers, you probably know that the first EVER Project Peacock Print Fair happened last week at the devastatingly beautiful Angel Orensantz foundation.

Here is What You Need to Know

Close to 300 agency and brand people in print production in New York City registered for this event.

Did you read that right? Yes, you did. Three hundred people signed up to attend a free show where they would have the opportunity to learn more about print. They wanted to see samples. They wanted to meet manufacturers. They wanted to see keynote speeches by Trish Witkowskifrom the Fold Factory. They wanted to know what a Swedish dude (Tobias Degsell) who used to be the curator of the Nobel Prize Museum looked and sounded like. Here is part of the answer:

Tobias degsell

Tobias Degsell

Spoiler Alert: He walked 30 kilometers per day in New York City listening to Dr. Dre. That’s more than 18 miles a day, yo!

Spoiler Alert part 2: He speaks publicly dozens of times per year and never gives the same speech twice.

Now that I got that out of the way, here is why you should care about what I just told you.

Agencies are one of the holy grails for printers. They spend a ton of money and are sought after constantly. I vividly remember visiting my agency clients when I was a print salesperson in the ’90s and 2000s and thinking they would be the coolest places to work. So much energy and creativity happening pretty much nonstop.

Let’s talk about creative people. The brands and the agencies are striving to learn about what’s NEW. They are hungry for innovation. They NEED to know about what the paper, ink and print industries have to offer them.

Project Peacock Print Fair was a great venue for them to learn. To soak it in. To ask questions. To see examples of innovation. Trish’s keynote alone contained 20 of the coolest examples of new stuff I’ve seen lately. I saw creative applications I’ve never seen before, and I watch her video every week.

Your biggest challenge as printers and suppliers to the creative community is to find the RIGHT way to educate them. Because, and I know you sort of know this already, they DO NOT WANT TO BE SOLD. Your challenge is to engage them, educate them and even entertain them. Give them a clear path to understanding how you can be of service. Help them understand what is possible. Tell them you are along for the ride with them. Share more. Listen more. Talk less. And certainly don’t bombard them with your speeds and feeds.

Here’s what I would do if I were you. I would come to the next Project Peacock Print Fair if it is in any way possible. They are coming to your part of the world, so stay tuned. But I would also ask myself, and my team, how can we start to foster that same kind of energy? To educate, share, listen, learn and collaborate.

I’m sure there is going to be a lot more discussion about this in the future, but I’ll just leave you with this. This is not just about the agencies and brands. ALL of your customers and prospects want to learn from you. They want you to listen to them. They want to collaborate. The trick is for you to come up with the best way or ways to make that happen.

I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

Project Peacock Print Fair is coming to you! Save the date for the event near you. GET THERE!

  • Dallas June 27
  • Chicago Aug 1
  • LA Sept 12

This article previously appeared in Printing Impressions.

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