On the heels of a successful Graph Expo we are excited to do our part to contribute to our collective printing industry wisdom by hosting the Print Community Forum. It would be wonderful if there was time to gather insights and people in a room more often—build that excitement that comes from sharing ideas and learning new concepts. I think a small part of each of us misses some aspects of school and learning, no matter how silly (like learning how to say seal in French or lighting a beaker on fire like a mad scientist). As professionals, it is no doubt so rewarding to sit and learn something new without the strain of having to sift through a ton of information…just absorbing from listening to one voice…a voice connected to a human…standing in front of you. This is why the word “community” in Print Community Forum is so essential. Not only do events like it help you learn about the new and exciting efficiently, but they also allow you to interact with a room full of like-minded people.
Of course this month’s articles are also a great way to gain some insights, and while reading may be solitary, the conversations that it spawns also build community. There are several articles that discuss how to build sales, improve marketing and boost your bottom line. Our monthly Inspired Projects column looks at the crowd-funding model of Kickstarter, with a few successful examples that are graphic arts related to boot. I have backed some Kickstarter projects myself, chipping in some dollars when friends have an innovative idea. Most recently I supported a project co-founded by an MBA friend, Greg Goralski, who has successfully generated well beyond his funding goal and created an app called AppSeed, which turns sketches into mobile apps. This month we also throw in our two cents about moving into the mobile space in Mark Corrigan’s monthly technology column. I would also like to encourage you to take a look at Elliot Schiller’s article about wage subsidies in Canada. If you are thinking of innovating in a new space like mobile these are all compelling articles that help you figure out how to reduce costs or generate revenue. However, profit generation doesn’t always have to be so “digital”…make sure to also take a look at our sales column for some good old lead generation advice as well as read about how old tricks like finishing can win you new brownie points.