Hey, what can I say.
ITEX 2019 was awesome for a number of reasons. I arrived late Monday evening and was picked up at McCarren by my new brother Pete. We had no more than 30 minutes to chat that night on our drive to the MGM Grand, however we spent the entire next day to getting to know each other better. This was my first visit to the MGM and I thought venue was incredible. I could have done without the forty-five minute wait to check in though.
Wednesday morning and I'm up at 5:30AM (guess I was still on east coast time). By 8:30AM I was on the show floor and eager to check out the vendors.
If you've never been to an ITEX event the venue is somewhat different from the BTA events. At ITEX all of the breakout sessions are located in different rooms while the show floor is open. On the other hand BTA events allow for the educational seminars and vendors to be in the same room for the entire event. In addition most of the educational seminars are no longer than forty-five minutes follow by a decent break. The BTA scenario allows for everyone (vendors and attendees) to attend all of the educational seminars. Thus with ITEX there were some dead times on the show floor while the breakout sessions in progress. In fact if you wanted to attend all of the breakout sessions your time for the show floor was somewhat limited.
Since I'm not a dealer owner and I was not speaking, there was only one breakout session that I needed to attend. Notice I mention needed to attend right? That breakout session was "Is Staples Acquisition of Dex a Disruptor?". After watching many of Ray Stasieczko's videos on You Tube I was looking forward to him hosting the panel and peppering them with questions about the future of our industry. Lucky me for arriving early because it was jammed with many having to stand for the session. The breakout was everything I expected and Ray was on fire, in addition all of the panel members were on point with their answers.
Heard at ITEX 2019
I kinda let the cat out of the bad last week with my Sunday email note. I took note of two discussions that had.
1. All print (we can say copy also) manufacturers are preparing for a 50% reduction in print (clicks)!
2). A4 devices that are coming off lease are worthless (not only to the leasing companies but the wholesalers also).
The 50% reduction in clicks came from someone I know and trust. Thus, I'm taking this as gospel. Is it alarming, hell yes it is! While many may think this is doom and gloom I'm seeing it more as an opportunity to see dealers follow the migration of print. The migration of print is color wide format and color labels. If you want to stay in print and not migrate to MSP, those two models are expecting huge growth in the next five years.
In reference to the A4's. It's good to see that more A4's are making their way back to the wholesalers. Which means that we've placed more and more of them in the field and help our clients navigate which devices are better for them. As far as the devices being worthless it's something I would expect. But one man's junk is another man's treasure, and it got me to thinking that these off-lease devices may be a great opportunity for dealers to fund and start their own DaaS for their clients.
Another one of the reasons that I attended was to support our Print4Pay Hotel vendors. I was happy to spend some time with Perfect Copier, The Copier Solution Shop, BEI Services (now NEXERA), Arlington (formerly Carolina Wholesale), Mid-West Copier and DocuWare. In the next week I'll be posted up a special blog for our sponsors and what they were showing. I also met many Print4Pay Hotel members on the floor and made sure that I introduced them to our P4P Hotel vendors that were there.
I was surprised that there was only one print vendor at the show. That was Epson and they had a nice display printers, scanners and their really fast inkjet MFP. I was also told that Epson is making improvements and will continue with their 150PPM ink based MFP. Epson did not have any of their wide format color devices their. For me that should have been a no brainer to have, however across town on the same dates was the ISA show. I'm sure it may have been complication to show wide format in two locations at the same time.
MSP type companies were also big this year. More than any other year that I've attended. I made some special notes about IT Glue, Evolved Office, Char-Tec, Pros Elite, Concertium, and Untangle. More to come on these vendors also.
Yes, Thursday. What is Vegas known for?
It's the night life and the show floor on Thursday proved it. The show floor was empty, I guess many had slept in or had early flight out. I felt so bad for the vendors because it's quite the expense for the travel, the time and the cost of the event. In addition the show floor closed at Noon. Thus there was only three and half hours for traffic.
My flight out was 4PM that day. I had some time in the AM to visit with a few more vendors and had some chats with many of the Print4Pay Hotel members that were there.
All in all ITEX 2019 provided great value and a chance to have those special conversations with peeps that we normally don't have. The chance to see new offerings from new vendors, the chance to catch up with existing vendors and the breakout sessions. I would highly recommend ITEX2020.