I had the opportunity to attend the Print on Demand Initiative AppForum in Las Vegas last week where attendance was up 20 percent over last year, to 365 attendees. Many of them participated in a mobile phone poll at the Jan. 26 keynote asking to reveal just how bad 2009 really was by comparing their 2009 digital and offset revenue to 2008.

Many digital printing businesses did well — 67 percent said digital printing revenue grew, and 19 percent reported growth greater than 25 percent. The rest were evenly split among growth rates of 10 to 25 percent and 0 to 10 percent.

In contrast, just 13 percent said their offset revenues grew, and all of them were in the 0 to 10 percent range. The largest category of responses was 43 percent of firms with offset revenues declining by 10 to 25 percent.

Most experts at the AppForum say that the lost offset volume isn’t returning. However, significant opportunities are available to those who effectively integrate digital printing into communications programs using digital media. And that’s encouraging news for our industry.

Are you like the respondents at the conference who saw their digital business grow more than offset? What’s it like in your shop?