The Great Lakes Graphics Association and GLGA member company Color Ink, Inc. partnered to host a one-of-a-kind digital boot camp on June 2-5, 2019 at the Color Ink facility in Sussex, WI. Nineteen individuals from print facilities from across the country participated in the event with attendees rating their overall experience a five out of five.

Tearing a page from the success Color Ink has experienced with digital production print over the past decade, the event showcased a variety of digital printing and finishing platforms in a “real world” production environment. The boot camp helped industry professionals understand digital production print, make choices on purchasing equipment, implement it in their facility and sell it in the marketplace.

Some of the most progressive vendors and suppliers in the digital print market sponsored and actively participated in the event. This included FujiFilm, Komori America, North American Plastics, Zund USA, GPA Specialty Substrate Solutions, Konica Minolta Business Solutions/MGI, Agfa, Neenah Paper, Precision Graphics and CWT Worktools USA.

The idea for a digital boot camp sprang from a lunch meeting between Todd Meissner, president of Color Ink and Joe Lyman, president of the Great Lakes Graphics Association this past fall. Both believed an event hosted in a print facility where attendees experience a “deep dive” to learn from an experienced print owner could be a huge success. This idea is confirmed by Vance Kapalczynski, president of GLGA member company American Printing, who attended the event. Kapalczynski said, “The extremely open approach of Color Ink and their staff offered attendees an unfiltered opportunity to have questions answered and further build on a resource network to assist in making the best decisions for their respective companies.” Joe Olivo, president and co-owner of Perfect Communications, also agreed, saying, “Attending the ColorUp Digital Bootcamp was a great investment. Being able to see a variety of digital production processes under one roof coupled with the open discussions among participants and presenters allowed me to gain perspective that would be almost impossible to obtain in any other setting.” Finally, boot camp attendee Joey Dixon, vice president of operations at GM Direct Marketing, said, “Most conferences you get to see equipment or software run in a controlled environment. However, we were able to hear and see both sides of the equation, the supplier side and the in-shop, day-to-day real-world side. The ability to see and ask questions of Color Ink operators and staff as they go through the set-up and running projects was priceless.”

More ColorUp Digital Boot Camps will be held in the future, with one tentatively planned for May 2020.