PDF In-Depth

Miami "PDF" Vice with Stephan "Sonny" Jaeggi

February 06, 2006

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Things change, people move on -- after 36 years of being a place for leaders and educators to talk within the publishing industry at large, Seybold Seminars canned the rest of its conferences for 2005; citing reasons of "insufficient vendor and attendee interest."

And at this point, there's no word on any events for 2006.

But just because it doesn't make sense for MediaLive (now owned by CMP Media) to run a PDF focused event, it doesn't mean that the industry still doesn't need one.

In fact, very far from it...

Sure, we're seeing that with the advent of the web providing cheaper and more efficient methods of distributing information about products and services -- there's still a need for good old fashioned face-to-face communications.

And it's great news for the PDF community that well-known Swiss PDF expert Stephan Jaeggi stepped up to the plate and in conjunction with the folk from XPLOR, created the PDF-Forum for Print Production. Equally, it's fantastic news that he decided to hold it at Miami Beach in Florida. At least for me anyway, since it made a nice change from the freezing weather I was "enjoying" in the days and weeks prior.

The conference itself was broken down into both educational conferences and a rich in-depth series of tutorials which spanned a total of 4 days. Attendees were also able to explore the main expo area which contained a colossal series of exhibits over three halls. It wasn't quite DRUPA, but it's safe to say that many an attendee's foot could have done with serious attention from a masseuse after walking from one side to the other.

Whilst some coverage was given to the electronic document use of PDF, the forum's focus was primarily on Print Production -- reasonably so, given its name and co-location with the Graphics of America (GOA) event.

PDF has become the preferred format for the exchange of prepress data for print production. PDF is also the internal format of most of the production workflows for commercial and digital printing. Standards like PDF/X and JDF help streamlining these workflows.

During the 4 days that I spent at the event, I noted that across the exhibit floor and during the sessions itself, that Jaeggi had assembled a who's who of the PDF industry. Whilst not all vendors were exhibiting, they certainly came along to scope out the event and possibly consider their options for the next event.

To give you a taste for the days' events this was the general structure of the conference:

Day 1

  • PDF/X and JDF: Important standards for PDF workflows
  • State-of-the-art PDF creation
  • Adobe Keynote
  • PDF and JDF workflows for digital printing
  • Web-to-Print and Dynamic PDF
  • Hot PDF tools for print production

Day 2

  • PDF for Commercial Printing
  • Do-it-yourself PDF workflows
  • Reliable PDF proofs
  • How far are we with device independent PDF workflows?
  • Microsoft XPS Document Format ("Metro")
  • PDF-FORUM closing session

We'll soon be posting an interview with conference mastermind Stephan Jaeggi, along with some collected feedback on the show's key sessions from Jaeggi, Dave Zwang and others. Stay tuned -- we've got a lot more PDF-FORUM content in store!

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