EFI takes annual user conference online
Thursday, August 6, 2020
EFI is to reformat its annual Connect user conference in 2021 to a virtual event and potentially open up its educational benefits to a broader audience.
Due to the ongoing uncertainty around the impact of Covid-19 on face-to-face events, EFI has replaced next year’s Connect, which had been due to take place in Las Vegas from 19 to 22 January 2021, with a new event: EFI Engage Conference.
Engage will be broadcast for six days from 25 January 2021.
The wide-format inkjet kit manufacturer and productivity software developer’s Connect conference typically attracted around 1,000 delegates from around the world and regularly featured hundreds of sessions including educational talks from technical and business experts and keynote speeches delivered by thought leaders and EFI executives.
The multi-stream format also offered hands-on training, with delegates gaining in-depth knowledge of EFI’s production and industrial inkjet portfolio, its integrated MIS/ERP workflow and Fiery digital front-ends.
“EFI puts an extraordinary amount of time and energy into offering one of the world’s best print and packaging education programmes for our annual Connect users conference,” said Ken Hanulec, vice president, Worldwide Corporate Marketing, EFI.
“Given the uncertainly involved with safely executing in-person events and the careful planning it takes to assemble top-tier content for customers, having a virtual conference in 2021 is the best option to deliver the valuable information that has become the hallmark of the Connect experience.”
The Engage conference content will follow the same broad Connect format, with the added benefit of multi-language delivery and what EFI said would be the “the most intensive packaging training yet”. It will also feature peer-to-peer sessions to share best practice and the opportunity to set up one-to-one meetings.
Engage will be spread across six days over two weeks rather than Connect’s usual back-to-back four days, to accommodate delegates various time zones and minimise worktime disruption.
While the event has historically been considered an event for EFI users and prospects, the business hopes that one of the positives of making the 2021 event virtual will be that a broader range of print and packaging professionals will be able to benefit from its educational programme.
Hundreds of delegates have attended a variety of EFI virtual events, which were instigated by the onset of the various lockdowns across the world.
In April is debuted its three-day Ignite event, which featured product- and technology-focused livestreamed demos, Q&A sessions, masterclasses and educational webinars.
This was followed up in June by a series of scheduling masterclasses hosted by senior Productivity Software director for scheduling Udi Arieli and a second Ignite event, this time two days, focused on helping print businesses adapt and succeed in the post Covid-19 landscape.
However, Hanulec stressed that Connect would return as a physical event in January 2022.
“While we look forward to returning to Las Vegas for Connect 2022, next January’s [Engage] event will deliver valuable information our customers can use to survive and thrive in a rapidly changing market.”
The company said it will start revealing more information regarding the sessions, speakers and pricing structure from next month.
Connect will return to its physical format at the Wynn, Las Vegas on 18-21 January 2022.