Sign up for HP Latex Academy March 13-14

HP latex inkjet printer trainingHP will host HP Latex Academy 2.0, March 13-14 at the company’s new Graphic Arts Experience Center in Atlanta. HP will pick up your hotel stay, dinner and transportation to and from the airport. All you’re responsible for is getting there. The Academy will detail all the ins and outs of latex inkjet printing with HP’s Designjet L26500 and L28500.

HP says attendees will gain a better understanding of the L26500 and L28500 printing technology platforms, learn the latest about media from HP and third-party sources and network with HP technology experts.

HP experts will also discuss the application versatility of the printers, their productivity and ease of use, the environmental benefits of the technology and how to justify your investment based on HP’s ROI calculations to position its L2 series within the production environment.

To register and for more details on the agenda, location information, directions and more, click here and use the registration code: RSLEX. And, be sure to tell them that LexJet sent you.

HP Offers Free Training Programs for Latex Printing and Ecosolutions

Sustainable large format printing with HP latex printersHP recently announced two free training programs: HP Latex University and the HP Ecosolutions Trained Printing company program for HP Latex Printing Technology Users. The only “cost” is to register at either www.hp.com/ecosolutions/tpc or www.hp.com/go/hplatexuniversity (the links go to the same registration site, by the way).

HP Ecosolutions: This training program includes nine modules across a range of sustainability topics and takes about two hours to complete. Themes include: “Go green” with your HP Latex printer, develop your organizations commitment to sustainability, and turn your new knowledge into new business. The program is designed to help you gain new knowledge and use new promotional tools to assist customers looking for wide-format graphics solutions with a reduced environmental impact.

HP Latex University: When you register at HP Capture via the HP Latex University link above, you will have access to workshops led by industry experts, online webinars and instructional guides to key HP Latex applications. Basically, it’s a set of training materials to help HP Latex users successfully produce a wide range of outdoor and indoor wide format graphics applications with HP Latex Printing Technologies.

If you have any questions, need help finding the right printer and materials for your business, or would like to know more about HP Latex Printing Technologies, contact a LexJet customer specialist at 800-453-9538. LexJet carries the HP Designjet L26500 61-inch Latex Printer and the HP Designjet L28500 104-inch Latex Printer.

Behind the Scenes with the Undercover Boss, FASTSIGNS’ CEO Catherine Monson

CBS reality show Undercover Boss covers Fastsigns
FASTSIGNS CEO Catherine Monson as "Louise Steely," and Gary, a Culver City FASTSIGNS employee, apply graphics during the filming of Undercover Boss, which aired on CBS last Friday. Photo courtesy Studio Lambert.

Reality is not always as it seems, especially reality television. Just ask FASTSIGNS CEO Catherine Monson, who was recently immersed in the unreal world of reality television. Monson and several FASTSIGNS locations were featured on Undercover Boss, which aired this past Friday, May 4, on CBS.

When hours of raw footage are condensed into about 45 minutes of air time, distortion is inevitable. Surprisingly, however, this particular episode of Undercover Boss was relatively accurate, according to Monson.

“I was disappointed by some of the things they left out, and I felt they overemphasized the emotional aspects, but that’s what makes for compelling television,” says Monson. “When they first approached us about being involved with the show, we weighed the pros and cons and how it could possibly affect the brand. We decided the pros outweighed the cons, and that was certainly the case.”

In case you didn’t catch the show Friday night, Monson disguised herself and went to work in the trenches at four FASTSIGNS locations: St. Louis, Austin, Culver City (Calif.), and Phoenix. Each contact at the location was told that they were filming a reality show called Second Chances, and Monson’s “character” was the subject, so it was kind of a show within a show.

During the episode we learned about the struggles and triumphs of not only Monson, but the people at the four locations at which she worked. Monson says the four locations were chosen after the production company scouted and scoured the FASTSIGNS franchise network for the most interesting stories.

I won’t spoil those stories for you here, in case you didn’t catch it when it aired, since you can see the full episode at http://www.cbs.com/shows/undercover_boss/video/. The show will no longer be available at the CBS website after May 21.

“It is unnerving to have two HD cameras on you ten hours a day. Yes, I was nervous, and people got to see that I can’t make a sign, and I made a bit of a fool of myself at times, but that’s okay, because I think it’s not only a great thing for our company, but also the industry as a whole. Not a lot of people know that a sign shop can do vehicle graphics and all kinds of different signs, all the way up to big outdoor installations,” says Monson. “When we were first allowed to let our franchises know about it, they were very excited. We advertise on FOX, CNN and MSNBC, but we can’t afford advertising time on CBS in prime time on Friday night, so the extra exposure was great for everyone. Our franchise partners did an amazing job putting up all kinds of graphics to promote the show. And because it’s such a unique show, some of our franchisees got a lot of coverage from local media. There were 125 viewing parties around the country where they invited customers to watch the show and do some of the things I did on the show, like weeding vinyl.”

Beyond the personal stories at the locations she visited undercover, Monson was able to identify three areas of improvement for FASTSIGNS corporate: E-mail marketing, training and eCommerce. Monson took the suggestions to heart and FASTSIGNS corporate has begun to implement them.

“We’ve made some good progress. Not only do we have an on-your-behalf email marketing program, we have a do-it-yourself marketing where the individual franchise can completely customize the template,” says Monson. “I really learned that we need to ensure that all of our information about marketing initiatives, programs and training reaches everyone at each franchise. Also, we are almost finished with our training curriculum on big outdoor installations, and we have eight locations using our eCommerce website, and plan to start rolling that out to more locations in the weeks ahead.”