General opinions from the show floor was that the first day was much better than last years event. There was some issues with registrations in the AM, I heard that many attendees had waited almost an hour to get their badges. I was not able to secure a badge until mid-day, however Jessica went above a beyond the call of duty to get me on to the show floor asap. There was a small problem with my registration not being finished. Hard to believe when someone with ITEX walked me through the registration process for the press a few days ago through the web. All good, I was in and that's what counted the most.
Had many questions for the HP people in reference to the new A3 PageWide devices. I was most concerned with the maintenance billing model, will they going with a device billing with unlimited clicks like the PageWide 8000XL series (you still need to buy the consumables) or keep with the traditional BTA model of the cost per page. I was told the BTA model was going to be the choice since these systems are designed for the dealer channel. In addition these models will also be available through the HP web site, I then asked if device billing would be used by HP, and I pretty much received a "I dunno". I guess we'll have to wait and see.
Ink cartridges will have a yield of 15K, pagewide print head is warranted for 3 years (no page limit). The system also allows for tiered billing for color. That was kinda interesting since I've never seen that billing model take hold (at least not here in the East). One of the other points was MSRP, I really did not understand the answer, since the PageWide models will print full color at different speeds. Best quality will be much slower than draft (they don't call it draft anymore), what I got was the MSRP of their 60PPM device would be comparable to a 40PPM laser MFP. Keep in mind that they are selling this as "acceptable color" and we've all heard that before. The quality will not rival toner based color devices that we are used to. Going back tomorrow to see if I can get any MSRP pricing so I can post on the site.
Yes, Muratec America is the story of the show this year. Their booth was one of the largest, if not the largest and they commanded a flow of attendees for the entire day, A few people I spoke with and especially one well respected veteran believes they will hot a home run with the new PLS series of color label presses. I'm in full agreement, the time is right, the technology is there and they are "all in". In fact after yesterdays blog, I had a call from a dealer principal that asked me to put him in touch with the regional rep asap! Kudos to Muratec America.
I had a list of twenty vendors that I wanted to meet and greet, many of them are Print4Pay Hotel sponsors. In the next week or so, I'll be writing a post blog featuring those sponsors and including a what's new and what makes them unique. Please find the time to give it a read and also maybe shoot them and email if there is interest in their products. Their continued support of what we do, allows for the Print4Pay Hotel to remain a FREE site (at least most of it). Who knows, more sponsors may lead me to open up the entire site. They are awesome and please let then know that we appreciate their support.
In addition, as long as I can get the content, I'll also post up additional information on many of the other vendors that were at the show.
It's late, will hit the ITEX show early, then it's off the the ISA show which stars tomorrow. The ISA in the International Sign Expo, and there will be plenty of wide formats devices to see!