Learning and Networking: Canon thINK Ahead 2020

Annual Event Goes Virtual Amid Pandemic Concerns



Eve Padula, Colin McMahon


The annual thINK conference is an invitation-only event designed for Canon Solutions America inkjet customers and prospects. It brings the leaders at the forefront of the inkjet revolution together, featuring sessions that are tailored to all inkjet experience levels. Although it is normally a multi-day event, this year’s conference was held virtually on a single day due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the tagline “thINK Ahead,” the 2020 event included inspiring keynote speeches, a wide variety of tracks for inkjet users, breakout sessions, and exclusive content from expert thINK partners.


The Opening Keynote

Rather that occurring at the beginning of the day, Canon’s opening keynote speech took place around lunchtime. While this may seem strange, it fit the tone of the event. thINK 2020 was not about new beginnings; it was about overcoming struggles to reach new heights. Francis McMahon, Executive Vice President of Production Print Solutions at Canon, asserted his belief that COVID-19 had reignited the need for innovation and continued development. He suggested that the period prior to the pandemic had perhaps been one of complacency, where everyone thought they knew where the market was going and how its timetables would look. Yet, with the initial revenue hit, Canon re-evaluated its investments and moved ahead with the products that would make sense in the post-pandemic world.


As part of this “onward and upward” message, McMahon announced the opening of Canon America’s Customer Innovation Center (CIC). The CIC has been designed to showcase Canon’s new products, allowing visitors to experience unique and varied demonstrations.


Canon America's Customer Innovation Center


Informative, Engaging Sessions…and More!

Canon thINK 2020 included dozens of sessions with a wide variety of moderators and presenters. Attendees were able to pick and choose the sessions that they wanted to attend virtually based on their own interests. Just some of the topics included digital printing, direct mail, book publishing, Industry 4.0, large format, inkjet technology, new announcements from Canon, workflow, finishing, sales and marketing, and of course COVID-19. The event also included some presentations from Canon’s Gold and Platinum Partner Connections, as well as various product demonstrations.


The Closing Keynote

Alex Honnold, a professional American rock climber, closed out the thINK 2020 event with an inspiring keynote about his passion for climbing and perseverance. In 2017, Honnold completed the first free solo ascent of El Capitan (Yosemite National Park) in under four hours. The feat has been described as “one of the greatest athletic feats of any kind, ever” and was documented in the film Free Solo, which was shot almost exclusively on Canon equipment. Honnold’s inspiring story about never giving up and following your dreams brought a nice close to the thINK event during a year that has been anything but typical.


The Bottom Line

Keypoint Intelligence has published a much more detailed overview of the 2020 Canon thINK event to clients of its Production services, including Business Development Strategies, Customer Communications, On Demand Printing & Publishing, and Wide Format. Subscribers of these services can access the full show review here. Not a subscriber? No problem! Just send us an e-mail at sales@keypointintelligence.com for more information.