thINK Ahead 2023 Held July 17-19, 2023, at The Boca Raton Reported a “Smashing Success” by thINK Board President, Lori Messina, and Echoed by Canon Solutions America Production Inkjet Customers and Sponsors Alike
thINK Ahead 2023, held July 17-19, 2023, at The Boca Raton, was reported a “smashing success” by Lori Messina, thINK Board President and President of Access Direct. thINK Board member and conference co-chair Shelley Hyde, Co-owner and Partner at PrintMailPro adds, “More important than what we as the thINK board thought of thINK Ahead, we are so pleased to hear the same sentiments from thINK Ahead attendees and sponsors alike. We do work hard to bring this amazing community together and to have the effort so sincerely appreciated by all is heart-warming.”
BOCA RATON, FL., July 26, 2023 - thINK, an independent community of Canon Solutions America production inkjet customers, brought together over 400 attendees and almost 40 sponsors for the ninth annual conference, thINK Ahead 2023, held at the newly renovated luxury property The Boca Raton in Boca Raton, Florida. While thINK Ahead is touted as one of the largest production inkjet user conferences, it is well-known for being a tight-knit community that newcomers are warmly welcomed into. thINK Ahead 2023 attendee Simon McCauley, Director, Product Development and Strategic Partnerships, Nations Photo Lab shared, “I think one of the most important things about thINK is the sense of community and the welcoming feeling that embodies the entire organization; everyone feels welcome and included.”
The annual in-person conference brings inkjet customers and industry experts together for informative keynotes, deep-dive educational sessions, press demos and networking opportunities, all designed with the objective of accelerating success for Canon Solutions America production inkjet customers. In addition, attendees are invited to participate in optional health and wellness activities to enhance their conference experience and build deeper relationships within the community.
Highlights from thINK Ahead 2023 include:
- Canon Solutions America Update: Francis A. McMahon, Executive Vice President, Production Print Solutions, Canon Solutions America, and Grateful Dead fan opened to “The Eyes of the World”, selected to represent the importance of community that thINK Ahead honors. Celebrating 35 years in the industry, McMahon shared his organization’s “customer first” philosophy and Canon’s strategic vision, financial performance, and the future of print.
- thINK Peace: The thINK community continued its thINK Peace fundraiser for the children of Ukraine. Attendees that donated during the conference received the uniquely designed thINK Peace t-shirt. To date, the community has donated over $16,500.
- Un-keynote Performance by freestyle+: thINK Ahead attendees were energized from a special “un-keynote” performance by freestyle+. Members of Lin Manuel Miranda’s renowned Tony Award-winning Broadway show, Freestyle Love Supreme, established freestyle+ to nurture diverse creative voices through improvised freestyle rap.
- Educational Sessions: Attendees chose from a variety of educational sessions designed to address the challenges and opportunities print industry leaders are facing today. thINK Ahead 2023 co-conference chair Chris Wells, Executive Vice President, DS Graphics | Universal Wilde, shared a continuation of his widely popular “Response Optimization” session. Other sessions ranged from workforce development and retention strategies, postal regulations, Wayfair tax compliance, sustainability, direct mail trends, profitability strategies, keys to maintaining a healthy business, and more.
- Canon Americas Customer Innovation Center Tour and Press Demos: Always a favorite agenda item at thINK Ahead, attendees were welcomed to the Canon Americas Customer Innovation Center for a tour and in-depth press demos.
- Canon Inkjet Print Innovation Wall: thINK Ahead attendees got inkjet inspiration from the 2023 Inkjet Print Innovation wall — take a look.
- Partner Pavilion: With 39 partners in the Partner Pavilion and thINK Theatre sessions, thINK Ahead attendees had the opportunity to explore end-to-end solutions to accelerate inkjet success.
- Fun, Networking, and Health and Wellness Activities: From the Cabana Nights poolside dinner party to optional health and wellness activities including pickleball, yoga, and a fun run, attendees were able to connect with one another on a personal level to builder deeper relationships within the community.
- Closing Keynote DeJoy: Louis DeJoy, the 75th Postmaster General of the United States, delivered remarks centered around the Delivering for America plan, a blueprint for putting the Postal Service on a positive trajectory.
- Closing Keynote May: Dusty May, FAU Basketball Head Coach, who led the 2022-23 men’s Florida Atlantic University basketball team to its greatest season in the school’s history, advancing to the Final Four, shared his insights on leadership, teamwork, and motivation styles that foster winning teams.
“We believe thINK Ahead 2023 was not just a success but a smashing success and we know we really owe a debt of gratitude to our executive sponsor, Canon Solutions America, and all of our amazing partners that not only provided the funding to make thINK Ahead possible but that joined us to provide the end-to-end solution expertise that helps our community truly accelerate our success with inkjet. A heart-felt THANK YOU to our partners,” Lori Messina said.
Tonya Powers, Canon Solutions America Marketing Director added, “Canon Solutions America has been the Executive Sponsor of thINK since it formed almost a decade ago, and we are pleased to support the thINK Board in their endeavor to bring Canon Solutions America production inkjet customers together to accelerate inkjet success. thINK is an independent community of Canon Solutions America production inkjet customers that all volunteer their time and I want to give special recognition to each and every one of them. Thank you to Lori Messina, thINK Board President, Access Direct President; Pete Studer, President, Impact and thINK Vice President/Treasurer; Shelley Hyde, Co-Owner and Partner, PrintMailPro and thINK Ahead 2023 Co-Conference Chair; Chris Wells, Executive Vice President, DS Graphics | Universal Wilde and thINK Ahead 2023 Co-Conference Chair; Larry Vaughn, Strategic Account Advisor, Thomas Printworks; Todd Roth, Vice President, Core Publishing Solution, thINK Board Immediate Past President; Naveed Choudhry, Sr. Operations Manager, Broadridge. Thank you to this amazing thINK Board—it is a pleasure to support you!”
Mark your calendars! thINK Ahead 2024 will take place July 14-16, 2024, in Boca Raton, Florida at The Boca Raton.
Hear what attendees think of thINK Ahead 2023:
- “I really enjoyed the content about how to build mentorship programs around some of our younger, upcoming stars in the industry.”
- “This is my first time at thINK and I'm really happy to be a part of the Canon family.”
- “Very informative, especially about the Wayfair Tax, future direct mail programs, and what younger potential buyers are looking for.”
- “Being able to interact and network with other people in the industry I found very enjoyable.”
- “It’s people that I work with on a day-to-day basis and our partners. I got to socialize with them, get to know them at a better level and share success stories.”
- “I extremely enjoyed thINK. It's a great place to meet up with all your colleagues.”
- “This is my first time at thINK. I thought it was great! I didn't know what to expect—and I definitely didn’t expect to learn as much as I did!”
- “I really enjoyed myself; this was my first thINK conference and I definitely plan to be back! The networking, the camaraderie, the education—it's all encouraging.”
- “Everything I learned and all the people that I've met have truly inspired me.”
- “It's my fourth time being at thINK. Networking with the other users is a great way to learn things and solve problems. I look forward to next year!”
- “I'll tell you what I think about thINK: it's just a great opportunity to make connections. New connections, old connections. There’s nowhere better than thINK Ahead to get connected.”
- “thINK Ahead was an amazing experience. The camaraderie, the innovation, the communication, all the educational sessions and activities—I’m very impressed!”
- “One of the most important things about thINK is the sense of community, the welcoming feeling that embodies this entire organization and makes everyone feel welcome.”
- “This is my first time at thINK, and I have been so surprised by the energy here and all the excitement of colleagues sharing their story, sharing what's going on in their businesses—I am very much looking forward to being back next year!”
About thINK Forum
thINK is an independent community of Canon Solutions America inkjet customers, solution partners, and print industry experts, and Canon Solutions America is a proud executive sponsor. Led by some of the most successful inkjet service providers in the country, it provides a forum for members to network, gain knowledge, discuss common challenges, and share best practices. For more information, visit thinkforum.com.
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