For the Professional from Practical Experience:
#XUG15EU – The 1st Conference of Multi-Channel Innovations in Berlin
European premiere: The first “#XUG15EU” Conference takes place on May 26, 2015 in Berlin. XUG stands for XMPie User Group. The initiator and organizer is Christian Kopocz, a renowned multi-channel expert who is active in the US-founded XUG for marketing and as representative of European interests.
It is all about recognizing and fulfilling customer and market demands which, over and above cross-media applications, inspire marketing through communication innovations. Meaning: The goal is not to distribute a single message through all channels, but to appropriately tailor content for all relevant communications platforms. And to do so to the highest possible degree on auto-pilot.
In an interview with Christian Kopocz, Andreas Weber of Value Communication AG asked him to explain the motivations and background as well as the special value of the new initiative.
(German version available). — Read interview in 4 minutes!
From your perspective, why is it important to conduct a special event along European dimensions regarding “multi-channel innovations”?
Christian Kopocz: With our initiative we meet the demands of changed market and customer demands. In 2007, when we started XUG as XMPie User Group, the technical basis of the extremely complex XMPie software architecture occupied center stage for us. We were focused on information exchange among us colleagues. However, the market has been changing for years, forever faster and is full of surprises. This is especially evident in the advances of cloud services and mobile applications.
Christian Kopocz: Nothing remains static: Since the time that traditional print shops transformed themselves into providers of marketing services, the changes brought on by technology and customers, demanded the exchange of information ever more through additional channels – besides print, Web and email, video content, social media and mobile services became relevant. Individualized solutions are in demand.
Are these additional demands the same everywhere?
Christian Kopocz: No. In spite of all apparently standardizing effects of globalization, the markets and our members on the different continents are wired quite differently. From the USA, our country of origin, we aim to meet the specific demands of our European members with the first XUG15EU. We select themes that relate to their individual demands – and we create relevancy for individual regions/countries and/or the Continent of Europe as a whole. As the XMPie User Group we see ourselves challenged to deliver – in addition to relevant themes around the XMPie solutions – innovations in multi-channel solutions that apply to all in this field of activity.
To put on such an event, partners and sponsors are needed. Why and for whom is this beneficial?
Christian Kopocz: It is beneficial to all parties along the multi-channel value chain. We fulfill overall objectives. Because the XUG is a non-profit organization with no intrusive sales agenda. Together with our partners, we ensure collaboration and cooperation among our members. We can communicate accordingly and make the essence of our activities more interesting – for instance, by financing top-tier keynote speakers, by organizing webinars, in short: spicing up day-to-day operations.
So, you are less in need of classic sponsors as you are of constructively operating partners?
Christian Kopocz: That’s right. We bet on competent partners rather than just on more or less passive sponsors. We live multi-channel innovations actively through our communications mix. And we are demanding. That’s why we ask for a high level of competency among our partners, which benefits all of us. To just display the logo of a sponsor is so yesterday; today we integrate the expertise of our partners to the benefit of our members. Which brings us back to relevant and focused communications.
Which partners have you been able to acquire so far?
Christian Kopocz: As a matter of course, our initiatives focus for the time being on partners in the areas of software and marketing. But also creative niche providers, like for instance in the haptic area with something as “un-digital” as paper. Or specialists in the areas of maps and geo services. And, by the way, we also found immediate interest among especially innovative niche media and community operators. In addition, we hope to attract important providers in digital print solutions which are dependent on print innovations in the multi-channel scenario.
What additional value does the XUG initiative offer, as compare to other symposia?
Christian Kopocz: First of all, as previously mentioned, we unite cross-country users of the XMPie software, with a focus on Europe. These users are communication service providers as well as industry and branded companies. They engender questions on day-to-day operations, demands and yearnings. Meetings occur in a manageable circle where conversations are candid, knowledge is exchanged and new strength and inspiration is gained for their own organizations. Our members continue this dialog throughout the year via a variety of channels. With their customers and their business partners. – In short: At XUG we see ourselves as impulse providers for our members and, unlike pure product-oriented expos and conferences, we do not just focus on new technology, but are proactive with new and valuable applications: Small but mighty, independent, extremely close to the membership and their customers, we quickly adapt to changing demands. Meaning, we create and realize innovative multi-channel solutions at their fines! Each day anew!
Statement by Christian Kopocz on #XUG15EU via XMPIE Bog: