thINK Ahead 2023 Wraps Up Successful Conference

thINK Ahead 2023 Wraps Up Successful Conference


Boca Raton, FL—An independent community of Canon Solutions America production inkjet customers, thINK brought together 400+ attendees and almost 40 sponsors for its ninth annual conference. The three-day thINK Ahead 2023 wrapped up at the The Boca Raton in Boca Raton, Florida.

While thINK Ahead is billed as one of the largest production inkjet user conferences, it’s comprised of a tight-knit community that warmly welcomes newcomers. 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.”

thINK members include inkjet customers, solution partners and industry experts. Moreover, Canon Solutions America is the executive sponsor. Led by some of the nation’s most successful inkjet service providers, it’s a forum for members to network, gain knowledge, discuss challenges as well as share best practices.

“We believe thINK Ahead 2023 was not just a success but a smashing success. 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,” said Lori Messina, thINK board president.

The annual in-person conference brings inkjet customers and industry experts together for informative keynotes as well as deep-dive educational sessions. In addition, there are press demos and networking opportunities. The goal is to accelerate success for Canon Solutions America production inkjet customers. Furthermore, attendees participated in optional health and wellness activities to enhance their conference experience and build deeper relationships within the community.

Highlights from thINK Ahead 2023
Francis A. McMahon

Just some of the highlights of the three-day conference follow. The conference was opened by Francis A. McMahon, executive vice president, Production Print Solutions, Canon Solutions America. A Grateful Dead fan, McMahon’s opening was accompanied by Eyes of the World. Moreover, thINK selected him 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.

The thINK community also 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 more than $16,500.

In addition, thINK Ahead attendees were energized by 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.

Of course, attendees could choose from a variety of educational sessions that addressed the challenges and opportunities print industry leaders are facing today. Further, 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; as well as keys to maintaining a healthy business.

Canon Americas Customer Innovation Center Tour

Always a favorite agenda item at thINK Ahead, attendees toured the Canon Americas Customer Innovation Center and saw in-depth press demos. They also got some inkjet inspiration from the 2023 Inkjet Print Innovation wall.

What’s more, with 39 partners in the Partner Pavilion and thINK Theatre sessions, attendees had the opportunity to explore end-to-end solutions to accelerate their success.

In addition, there were networking as well as health and wellness activities. They ranged from the Cabana Nights poolside dinner party to optional health and wellness activities. They included pickleball, yoga and a fun run. thINK-Ahead-2023-logo

The conference closed out with two keynotes. First, Louis DeJoy, Postmaster General of the United States, delivered remarks centered around the “delivering for America” plan. It’s a blueprint for putting the Postal Service on a positive trajectory. Then, Dusty May, FAU basketball head coach, who led the 2022–23 men’s Florida Atlantic University basketball team to the Final Four, shared his insights on leadership, teamwork and motivation styles.

“Canon Solutions America has been the executive sponsor of thINK since it formed almost a decade ago,” said Tonya Powers, director, Marketing, Canon Solutions America. “We are pleased to support the thINK board in their endeavor to bring Canon Solutions America production inkjet customers together to accelerate inkjet success. Thank you to this amazing thINK board—it is a pleasure to support you!”

thINK Ahead 2024 will take place July 14–16, 2024, in Boca Raton, Florida at The Boca Raton.