Published in Imaging Spectrum issue May 2009 and Recycler Trade Magazine issue May 2009
One hundred-ninety exhibitors and nearly 2,700 attendees met together to do business, network and see customers, old friends and/or industry faces at the 2009 ITEX tradeshow held in Las Vegas, Nevada on 18-19 March 2009. OEMs, dealers, remanufacturers and suppliers met under the roof of the Las Vegas Convention Centre and launched and promoted some of the market’s biggest products and solutions for 2009 for the copier/printer imaging industry.
“We have exhibitors from Manage Print services, document management software, VAR, office supplies, imaging products, wide format, mailing systems and of course office equipment. Our education is one of the finest out there. Our attendees know they will learn something at ITEX every year,” Eneida Lojewski, event director of Imaging Network Company, said.
As tradeshow research has predicted, tradeshow attendance was down. “We did notice a 20 percent drop from last year,” Lojewski said. However, the news was not all bleak. “The traffic is slow,” said a Xerox representative. “But the people who are stopping by are the C-level executives and/or the decision makers. So it makes up for it.”
On the tradeshow floor, companies were divided based on their market. OEMs occupied the front of the hall. Suppliers and dealers were located in the middle, while remanufacturers were more toward the back and outskirts of the hall.
This could be due to the fact that for many in the remanufacturing industry ITEX was a place to get together with customers in a relaxed yet professional atmosphere. Many companies were not necessarily there to promote or launch any new products. Instead they were there to make a presence.
Erick Jones of UniNet said, “ITEX is more a place for UniNet to come and show its face. The feeling is more relaxed than at [other industry tradeshows].” Some companies exhibit to meet with their customers and to see what is going on in the industry. Lounge chairs were even located in many booths for a place for customers to come in, have a seat and catch up.
As always, part of the buzz around the hall was not who was there and what was being launched, rather it was who was not there. Hewlett-Packard, a platinum sponsor of ITEX, pulled out at the last minute.
“Towards the end of the week of March 13th, [HP] told us that they would not be exhibiting. But prior to that, they told us to leave them in all the marketing materials since they were not sure. I think everyone is suffering with the economy, and they were not immune. They wanted to cut back on more expenses by not bringing a booth or their staff.”
ITEX gave the distinct impression that 2009 will be a year of solutions. OEMs and remanufacturers, alike, covered the hall with their different managed print service solutions and document management solutions. Office supplies and equipment and imaging products were still promoted and launched; however, the main focus for both exhibitors and attendees was solutions.
On the OEM side, Konica Minolta recently launched its Optimized Print Services (OPS) MPS program. Xerox brought its European PagePack program to the States and Lexmark promoted its Value Print programme. While remanufacturers International Laser Group (ILG), Micro Solutions Enterprises (MSE), West Point Products and Parts Now showcased their new MPS programmes. Full details of these MPS solutions will be in the June issue of Recycler.
Although solutions were the emphasis of the show, companies still promoted and launched products and service offerings. Parts Now! recently entered the toner market and was busy promoting its new toner line at the show. “Parts Now! was a full solution provider, the only thing missing was toner,” Pam Olsen, director of marketing said. It took the company a few years to find the right partner and launch a product it feels is quality and fits into its product line.
NuPro was excited to launch its HP9000 and HP4250 fusers. “These are two of the most popular fusers in the market,” said Juan Cazarez, director de Cuentas, U.S. & Latino America. “These are the jewels of the industry.”
Densigraphix promoted its toner cartridge line, imageToner. The company has carried the line for about a year now, but it recently released compatible CMYK cartridges for the Konica Minolta Bizhub C250/C252 series. Densi also promoted its Ricoh Drum Developer Kit.
Along with Xerox’s Page Pack MPS program, the company focused on its eco-friendly solid ink strategy. The ink, which comes in solid form and can be used like a crayon is green conscious and non toxic.
Although MPS seems to be the biggest trend for 2009, companies shared their feelings on what this year’s other big developments in the industry will be. Densigraphix’s Dana Valley, vice president of sales said, “2009 will be the year of colour.” MSE’s Craig Faczan and Xerox’s Guerrero completely agreed. Focusing on more than just the product, was another common theme. Many companies echoed that providing value, quality and ease of use are just as important in today’s market place as the actual product. Along those same lines: “The ability to give credit,” ILG’s Steve Templin said. And continuing on from 2008 – green initiatives. This trend isn’t going anywhere any time soon, most say.
Overall ITEX seemed to be a positive experience for all involved. Some companies were there just to have a presence, network and see old faces, while others were there for hard leads. Both were accomplished at the show. ITEX 2010 is scheduled for March 3-4, 2010 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.