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View Full Version : What did you Think of GUA Vegas?


mark_jetzer
04-23-2008, 06:12 PM
First the GUA was great! Great venue, food, drinks, people. Excellent job by all involved! The Bullpen was excellent.

Now the thoughts,

1. Kodak says we're number 2 in packaging. That's a very distant 2. Myself and many others would like to see some Packaging Specific sessions next time. Maybe Flexo, Pandora, workflows, things to address our unique prepress concerns.

2. An advanced RBA class for the power users.

3. Put all the presentations on CD and give them to us right from the start.

4. FREE INTERNET!!!!!! and WIRELESS!!!!!!!

Those are my thoughts right now. I'm sure I'll come up with more during my 5 hour flight back to Grand Rapids.

Mark

tclifford
04-24-2008, 01:10 AM
Mark and all...

thank you for coming. We just had a 2 hour board meeting talking about all the feed back we had heard. We hear you loud and clear. We hear that people want more RBA...but why stop there? What about Color Flow classes? MIS Classes? Business link? InSite? Prinergy?

Sound off folks....

we are listening...

tc

hansen
04-24-2008, 02:20 PM
As a first time visitor I didn't really know what to expect. I was very impressed by the other attendees. Everyone I spoke to was extremely open and friendly. It felt like we were all members of the same tribe.

I would like to see more hands-on classes, perhaps with different "tracks". Maybe offer classes for newbies, intermediate and power users or newbie/intermediate combined and advanced.

I'd also like to see longer sessions with more content, even if it meant fewer sessions overall. On more than one occasion we ran out of time just when things were getting interesting.

The hotel was very nice, rooms and staff we great. However, there were some very nasty surprises at billing time. A 45% surcharge for calls made from the room!! Ouch!

Also, 15 bucks for internet and no wireless in the rooms! What the ....??

Overall it was a very positive experience and I would recommend it to anyone.

wendytf
04-25-2008, 06:07 PM
Handouts before the classes would have been a big help. Sometimes the short description isn't enough to help us decide if it's in our interest. Info about the presenters would help too. One session took up over half of the class for introductions.

My first visit to the lab only had 3 stations being attended by someone to help. When I couldn't get my question answered, I went back twice to find the one and only guy that could help me, and he wasn't there. I'll be posting a pdf of my problem here with hopes to find an answer.

I didn't get to ask my MIS question, and I'll be watching for the thread that will be started here for help.

I did get lots of information. The venue was great. Vegas really is the city that never sleeps.

I will comment on the room charges later. I haven't left Vegas yet. I'm on my honeymoon now. Got married yesterday! (Tom, thanx for keeping it a secret.)

thanx GUA for another great event

Eric Biggins
04-25-2008, 08:10 PM
First- Congratulations Wendy!

Second- I would like to follow Wendy's comment about the Labs, with a question...are there going to be more Kodak staff (especially in the labs) next year to support the goal of 500 attendees?

Also, it may be a good idea to come up with a better way of utilizing lab time (number system like a deli counter, time limit for each 1:1 lab discussion, scheduled time slot sign-ups, etc). I know I was a culprit of once I got a hold of someone in the labs, I hesitated letting them go until i got a lot of my questions answered. I felt kind of guilty doing this, but because of how hard it is to connect with Kodak personnel (like Wendy mentioned) in the lab, around all of the sessions you are trying to fit in, you don't have a lot of choice.

Thanks,
Eric

ryan-chermok
04-25-2008, 08:22 PM
The GUA was excellent. It's good to see how open Kodak is to their customers.

I am waiting for the MIS thread, too.

aferruzza
04-25-2008, 08:39 PM
Being a first timer at the GUA:
I thought it was very well organized and very informative.
Thanks to the GUA board for a Great Conference.
Also a quick thanks to all the kodak staff for all the
time spent with us in the labs to discuss
some of the prinergy/leopard issues.
EVERYTHING WAS AWESOME.

rob.morgan
04-25-2008, 09:54 PM
About the lab... I noticed 2 different objectives from the delegates in there. Some wanted to see a demonstration of what was new and the others had specific questions about how to set something up or why something did not work. I think we did a good job of demonstrating the new stuff but the Q&A part could be improved.

My suggestion for the GUA board would be to create a separate area for Q&A to Kodak staff. Some place smaller, quieter with just a few tables and laptops. It's difficult to do this in a large room with lots of loud machines and people milling about. Eric's idea of taking a number would work well here if there's a lineup and we could have bio's of the staff so you know who to speak to.

There also seems to be an expectation that the staff in the lab should be able to demonstrate all of Prinergy or Insite and I think this discourages some of our developers from signing up; as many of them specialize in a certain part of the product and wouldn't be comfortable in a demonstration environment.

I'd also like to encourage those that did have questions or problems to not wait until next year to raise them. I fielded a number of questions that I'm pretty sure could have been answered by posting to the forums or by calling the Response Center.

Thanks to everyone for coming. It was great to meet you newbies and see familiar faces again.

Cheers,
Rob

tclifford
04-25-2008, 10:11 PM
What about the idea of signing up for session and round tables months ahead of time like you do college classes? As for the lab..maybe speed-pass liek they do at Disneyland? Great feedback - tc

First- Congratulations Wendy!

Second- I would like to follow Wendy's comment about the Labs, with a question...are there going to be more Kodak staff (especially in the labs) next year to support the goal of 500 attendees?

Also, it may be a good idea to come up with a better way of utilizing lab time (number system like a deli counter, time limit for each 1:1 lab discussion, scheduled time slot sign-ups, etc). I know I was a culprit of once I got a hold of someone in the labs, I hesitated letting them go until i got a lot of my questions answered. I felt kind of guilty doing this, but because of how hard it is to connect with Kodak personnel (like Wendy mentioned) in the lab, around all of the sessions you are trying to fit in, you don't have a lot of choice.

Thanks,
Eric

tclifford
04-25-2008, 10:13 PM
Oooooooo love that idea - note to self for 2009 - tc

My suggestion for the GUA board would be to create a separate area for Q&A to Kodak staff. Some place smaller, quieter with just a few tables and laptops. It's difficult to do this in a large room with lots of loud machines and people milling about. Eric's idea of taking a number would work well here if there's a lineup and we could have bio's of the staff so you know who to speak to.

Eric Biggins
04-25-2008, 10:23 PM
I think we did a good job of demonstrating the new stuff but the Q&A part could be improved.
I've got to correct you on this one Rob...I think you guys did great in both aspects and I should have mentioned that before, but I do agree there is always room for improvement.


and we could have bio's of the staff so you know who to speak to.
That is a really good idea, so people don't spend a half an hour waiting to talk to someone, to then hear the dreaded..."you should talk to that guy over there"

There also seems to be an expectation that the staff in the lab should be able to demonstrate all of Prinergy or Insite and I think this discourages some of our developers from signing up; as many of them specialize in a certain part of the product and wouldn't be comfortable in a demonstration environment.
I think your idea on the staff bios would help this problem, as the staff may feel less pressure if everyone knows their specialties before asking them questions.

Thanks,
Eric

tclifford
04-26-2008, 04:21 AM
Yea Wendy, We love you. Enjoy your new man and hold him tight!

rock on!
I haven't left Vegas yet. I'm on my honeymoon now. Got married yesterday! (Tom, thanx for keeping it a secret.)

thanx GUA for another great event

mark_jetzer
04-26-2008, 12:25 PM
Congrats Wendy!

I like the Lab/Q&A idea split. I ran into the same thing. Got a lot of question answered and saw things but I always felt a little guilty like I was eating up all the time with one or the other.

Idea: About a month or so ahead of the GUA collect questions from GUA Members and give them to the Kodak people. A make a FAQ out of it to give out. I heard of lot of the same questions being asked. Not all the questions, distill it down to say the top 25.

Great overall, again.

jwebber
04-26-2008, 06:21 PM
About the lab... I noticed 2 different objectives from the delegates in there. Some wanted to see a demonstration of what was new and the others had specific questions about how to set something up or why something did not work. I think we did a good job of demonstrating the new stuff but the Q&A part could be improved.
... SNIP ...
I fielded a number of questions that I'm pretty sure could have been answered by posting to the forums or by calling the Response Center.


Yes, there were some difficulties in the Lab, but that is unavoidable to some extent. Despite that, I thought the Kodak staff handled things pretty well and I appreciate Rob's comments. It is always good to see impromptu groups of users talking with the Kodak techs rather than seeing themselves as rivals. I like to think our members value each other as resources.

Overall comments on the conference - I thought it was valuable as usual, which is why I have been attending every one since '03. A few concerns, though, not necessarily in order of importance:

• We used to get a complete list of Kodak employees in attendance. That helps.
• A list of available software benefits for conference credits was provided. I didn't see that. [OOPS . . . Never mind. I missed it!]
• The workflow survey is always valuable and is usually completed and discussed at the same conference. It fell apart this year.
• Does Kodak still love us? The keynote was pretty much a rehash from last year. And, maybe because they were pretty conscious about making Creo users feel appreciated, there were lots of perks - e.g. cameras and printer discounts ( I bought one and I love it ). This year not so much.
• Oh yes! I definitely agree with those who have said that to not have FREE WIRELESS INTERNET ACESS at an event like this is ludicrous! ( I hope that isn't how they make what happens in Vegas stay in Vegas!)

tclifford
04-26-2008, 08:28 PM
- delegate listing with Kodak employees is coming. email me off line and i'll tell you how to speed the process.

- a listing of available software I thought was included in the GUA bag with other papers... email me offline and I'll see you get one right away.

- Workflow survey is being done electronically and was on the kiosks at the HUB but not many people took the survey so we will send it out electronically. It should be out on Monday of next week. I'm working with Xara on that. Next year we want to have it out ahead of time so you can put more thought in it.

- Keynote - The Board hears you and agrees!!!! We will do better in '09 with that I promise you. Any suggestions?

- Wireless internet is up to the hotel, but maybe we can control and bring a wireless setup to the conference room and hub area...would that be helpful for your laptops and iphones to be able to get WiFi in the meeting rooms?

great suggestions... keep it coming!


• We used to get a complete list of Kodak employees in attendance. That helps.
• A list of available software benefits for conference credits was provided. I didn't see that.
• The workflow survey is always valuable and is usually completed and discussed at the same conference. It fell apart this year.
• Does Kodak still love us? The keynote was pretty much a rehash from last year. And, maybe because they were pretty conscious about making Creo users feel appreciated, there were lots of perks - e.g. cameras and printer discounts ( I bought one and I love it ). This year not so much.
• Oh yes! I definitely agree with those who have said that to not have FREE WIRELESS INTERNET ACESS at an event like this is ludicrous! ( I hope that isn't how they make what happens in Vegas stay in Vegas!)

tclifford
04-27-2008, 03:40 AM
Heres a link (http://printceoblog.com/2008/04/kodak-graphic-community-meets-in-las-vegas) to a one of the first write-ups on the conference. Thank you all for making this so great! - tc

paulh
04-27-2008, 04:46 PM
Tom - Here's another one...

Kodak’s GUA Meeting Is a Winner in Vegas (http://www.graphicartsonline.com/blog/1820000382/post/1800025380.html?nid=3470&rid=909575083)

That came out Tuesday night of the Conference. It was a little eerie reading a report on the GUA Meeting last Wednesday morning... when the event hadn't yet finished.

dwyers
04-27-2008, 10:42 PM
Once again a great event - the 2nd year for myself.

Coming out from Australia was a long haul and even longer on the way back but it was worth it to just be able to get a sense of community and be able to bounce silly questions off guys like Peter Baker and James Bredenhof, and to see Colorflow.

The last couple of days seemed to really die off this year - i guess too many people were off taking in the sights or sleeping off the event from the night before :-)

The comments i would make mirror the previous - internet access is important - but also i would like to see pricing on the software list provided and i was a little disappointed there was no RBA support in the lab. Handouts would be a great idea to plagiarize for reports on the return to work as well.

The digital surveys would not complete without a US or Canadian phone number - i had to fake one to get it to go through.

All in all a great event!!

Any ideas where the next one will be???

Dennis Wyers.

Gerry Moloney
04-28-2008, 04:45 AM
Great Conference yet again, and thanks to the Board and all the Kodak Staff for all the leg-work they put in to make it so successful.

And yes Dennis, the 30 hour round trip is tedious, but worth it. It's the 6 hour stopover in LAX with nothing to do on the way back that is the killer!!!

My thoughts are.....(mostly similar to the previous ones)


Congrats Wendy


It is getting harder and harder to cover all the interesting topics, so handouts or copies of the presentations prior would be a great help in deciding what is the most value to go to. And as previously mentioned, it would make the report writing easier when you get back.......


Maybe have some senior representation from Kodak Asia-Pacific at the Exec Bullpen. This would make it more relevant for us Aussies to raise some non-US&C issues as well. (Mind you, we could take them up with our Account Manager.......if we ever saw him.........hehe!)


Prior to registraiton, publish a list of the Kodak staff attending, along with the sessions that are available and their context. I got caught in a couple of non-interesting ones (e.g. Drupa Preview) that I wouldnt have gone to if I knew that it was just going to be about the stand layout. But, maybe I should just have read the spiral bound handout that came in the rego package a little better.


Longer sessions for the important stuff. Maybe we could vote for a 1 or 2 hour session prior to the event.


Wireless Internet.........Hmmm.....I cant wait to get my next bill from Telstra for my Aussie Wireless Card that I used in Vegas for 8 days. (Well, I dont really pay for it, but the CFO will be saying "what the *&^% were you doing?")


And..........Coffee in the hotel room for all of us suffering from JetLag


And Finally......Michelle, loved the chopper flight on the strip......great fun........thx.

Gerry

michelle.dixon
04-28-2008, 05:25 AM
And Finally......Michelle, loved the chopper flight on the strip......great fun........thx.

Gerry

One of the things I love about the GUA conference is meeting people I correspond with regularly regarding eCentral issues. Putting a face to a name is so cool. I LOVED the helicopter ride so thanks so much for coming along with me.

Michelle Dixon
eCentral Relationship Manager

allan.larson
04-28-2008, 05:35 PM
Our demonstration team show the shipped versions of the software, whereas guys like Rob, Brenda, James and many others are showing some shipped, some beta and possibly alpha. The point is to bring customers into the loop to make sure our canoe is shoved off the development dock in the right direction. Often a few J Strokes can be added after meeting with users and our features can be fine-tuned for all to enjoy later. I noticed a lot of you had interest in the Insite family of products and what is happening there.

Is there any value in showing an integrated demo of the shipped versions of things running together? By the show of hands, many at GUA already had Prinergy/Insite. We had the NexPress and did the end to end demo in a scaled down way from the main stage.Maybe with all the digital print changes coming in the next year, we could try to bring more of these pieces together into an ABC Print scenario where a suite of our products running together could show a bigger story than each piece on its own.

I wanted to thank all the customers who attended and schooled me and others about how we can better understand your worlds on a day to day basis. People used to ask if we could handle duotones and M99 files (hi Tom C and PlateMaster Club). Now it's JDF, MIS, APA, RBA, PDF and other three letter acronyms that seem to be AOK.

AL

jim
04-29-2008, 04:00 PM
This is my first conferece and enjoyed time with Kodak/Users. I too spent 30-45 minutes each time waiting on two demos. My suggestion is setting up demos as group sessions to help with the challenges of balancing the amount of people who need demos and those who need to field questions about products. I also like the time limit and number suggestion. One other suggestion as a newby would be to make the names and companies much larger on the name badges. Also printing the state on would help in recognition. This is my two cents and hats off to everyone involved.

tclifford
04-30-2008, 01:45 PM
Would having demo sign up sheets at the HUB be a good idea?

We are all over the name tag thing. It will be better next year!

keep the comments coming

tc

I too spent 30-45 minutes each time waiting on two demos. My suggestion is setting up demos as group sessions to help with the challenges of balancing the amount of people who need demos and those who need to field questions about products. One other suggestion as a newby would be to make the names and companies much larger on the name badges. Also printing the state on would help in recognition.

jim
05-02-2008, 06:13 PM
Thanks Tom, the sign up sheet for demos would work great!

glennt
05-02-2008, 10:28 PM
First timer, thought it was great. I agree lab time could have been better organized, demos seem like a good idea.

stephen.minney
05-05-2008, 07:46 AM
Hey Tom, why not set up a separate room for Demos and run a different demo each session. With 10 sessions you could run through the main products a couple of times. When people register you can have a check box as to what products people would like to see and organise the demos based on that.

Steve

mark_jetzer
05-05-2008, 12:24 PM
Hey Tom, why not set up a separate room for Demos and run a different demo each session. With 10 sessions you could run through the main products a couple of times. When people register you can have a check box as to what products people would like to see and organise the demos based on that.

Steve

I'm in with that idea. Say a room with 20-40 seats. Do a half-hour demo and a half-hour Q/A. That would work out for most who just want to see the new stuff. The Lab could then be used for more detailed demos and Q/A

jwebber
05-05-2008, 03:25 PM
I'm in with that idea. Say a room with 20-40 seats. Do a half-hour demo and a half-hour Q/A. That would work out for most who just want to see the new stuff. The Lab could then be used for more detailed demos and Q/A
That sounds like good idea. Instead of session presenters referring attendees to the lab to see the software demonstrated, they would refer them to the demo center. To be really efficient, they could even sign up a list of people on the spot, at the end of the session or something.

alina@ic-group.net
05-05-2008, 10:30 PM
It was my first time there too and I didn't know what to expect, every body was mostly nice. The ice breaker was not even remotely what I expected, I didn't know anybody and pretty much not ice was broken... also I had no idea how the RBA worked, I didn't know you had to sign or where to sign and if would be beneficial for me because we have Prinergy Evo and looks like everybody has Prinergy Connect so I felt alienated from the whole mass.

I enjoyed the Lean Sessions, Offset to Inkjet, Insite but I am wondering about going next year :(

In some of the sessions I was the only girl and I think men just had a hard time sharing info or tricks with the only girl in the room! Intimidated?

I meet some very nice people that share their thoughts with me!

Kodak:
Chris Echeverria
William Shultz
Shelly Mrketell

Attendees:
Kevin Honkomp
Jim Hartnett


Thanks guys!

tclifford
05-06-2008, 02:38 PM
Great feedback, thank you! If you had to plan the Ice Breaker, first time delegate social, what would you do differently. We always want to make this more beneficial... please help. -tc

[quote=alina@ic-group.net]The ice breaker was not even remotely what I expected, I didn't know anybody and pretty much not ice was broken.../quote]

alina@ic-group.net
05-06-2008, 06:26 PM
Well, to start, I'd have every body introduce themselves and stet what is that brought them here and what are expectations of the conference, mention the leader people in every single area and have everybody exchange business cards for future reference...


Just a thought

tclifford
05-06-2008, 07:40 PM
super...thank you

alina@ic-group.net
04-03-2009, 08:25 PM
Loved it but I can't go this time! No money! 24 people laid off....:(