Dscoop, the 8,000-strong HP graphic arts user co-operative, has announced a more workshop-oriented focus for future events, and announced Dublin as the next EMEA annual conference location for 2015.
The shift in strategy has been devised in conjunction with the organisation’s new Dscoop University initiative, launched last November, and its ambition to deliver more face-to-face training to members.
Mike Fogarty, Dscoop global executive director, reported that Dscoop would build on the success of the workshop-oriented format of last week’s Budapest EMEA annual conference, where each delegate attended four several-hour, interactive, 30-person sessions, and the nine workshops held as part of March’s Dscoop Annual Conference in Florida.
“This is new to us, but we always want to push the envelope, and we’re confident that this leads to the kind of sharing and closer relationships people want,” he said. “We're going to hold more regional events in North America and Europe, where it’s more intimate. We have to listen to the feedback before deciding how many.”
He added: “We will be holding 40 smaller regional events in Asia next year. It’s such a massive region where travel is expensive.”
Fogarty stressed that these workshop events would run alongside, rather than replace, larger, more presentation and product-focused events. “We’re not going to shift away from major conferences, we’re still going to do those,” he said.
Last week's conference also hosted the European launch of the organisation's Dscoop University online repository and a 'Tell Your Story' sales toolkit.
The new online repository currently includes 25 pieces of on-demand content, including podcasts and reference information and takeaway content such as downloadable powerpoint presentations.
Content is mostly in English, with some German translations being added, and categorised by employee. “Content is focused on the individual, so sales and marketing-focused content, operations-focused content, then content for business owners and management,” said John Tenwinkel, Dscoop University director.
Dscoop members can access these materials, along with face-to-face training, using allocated credits. All members will receive 500 credits as standard and a further 200 for every person who attends a Dscoop conference, with 900 credits allowing access to around 10-15 courses.
Meanwhile the Tell Your Story toolkit is free electronically and costs €515 (£413) for a hard copy. It includes four different sections – campaign branding and co-branding, marketing and promotion and social media, coordinating customer events, and post event and sales advancement – and is designed as a roadmap for executing a 12-week step-by-step programme of marketing and sales activities.
“This has been one year in the making- and one year in marketing is a lot,” said Ronen Zioni, director of market development, EMEA Graphics Solutions Business, HP. “It’s about our customers being able to tell a story in the language of marketers; so don’t talk to me about substrate, talk to me about how you’re going to make my life easier.”
Of the future direction of Dscoop and Dscoop University, Tenwinkel added: “I really think this is just the beginning. I think our members will really start identifying with educational content outside of conferences."
Dscoop's 2015 EMEA annual conference will be held 3-5 June at the Dublin Convention Center Dublin, Ireland.