Rochester - home of Kodak
Kodak invited me to attend their annual Prolab workshop in their Hometown of Rochester, New York, USA. The workshop was attended by 200 of Kodak's professional photolab clients, some attendees were amongst the biggest labs in the world.
The workshop centered around Kodak's lab software DP2, the sessions ran in three streams, basic, advanced and management. The sessions were ran by the programmers and tech support people from the DP2 team. Not a PR person in sight.
To my thinking, this is a pretty brave thing to do. Like any software, it cannot be perfect and it will attract crticism. So to run a show this way you would need to be confident of your product and people.
So the information we got was incredibly useful, the opportunity to have our questions asked by *the* guy (Tom Apeland) who invented the product was exciting. The risk Kodak took is a bit like marketing with social media, you know someone is going to say something bad about your company/product on your public blogs, but you know you have to be there, so you had better be watching and ready to respond, and hope your fans help out.
This workshop was a risk that really paid off. Well done Kodak. I will continue to be amazed at the depth of talent and foresightedness this company delivers.
(what is DP2? Kodak's print software, more on this in a future post.)