Meant to write this when I got home Saturday night.... but due to unforseen circumstances it was more like Sunday morning when I made it home, and I didn't have my laptop until today. Anyway though....
First of all, I want to thank Steve and Irv for being all-around great instructors. All the lessons were put together extremely well, any time any one had a question they answered it in detail, and they just generally went above and beyond to make everyone feel comfortable and to not only make sure everyone got all the information they needed, but also to make sure they understood the information. You guys were both awesome and I wouldn't hesitate for a split second to recommend this workshop to any one that owns a Versacamm. Hell, Irv's constant wisecracks and watching him and Steven go back and forth were worth the price of admission alone! The goodie bags were also a nice touch. I also want to thank Steve and Jen for essentially closing down their shop for 2 days to have this workshop, without their sacrifice it wouldn't be possible.
It would be kind of hard to really recap the entire two days, so I'm just going to write about the stuff that really stands out in my head, hopefully some other people from the class will make it to the forum and they can add to this and fill in the blanks. We got alot of pricing and marketing information, all of which I'm sure will be extremely useful. We went over a lot of different materials and the different ways you can use them. Lots of hands on stuff, Versacamm maintenance, pressing several different types of heat press materials onto t-shirts, installing window graphics, Seramark wall graphics, DPF8000 (I think, correct me if I'm wrong Steve) on a concrete wall with alot of crevices and imperfections using a blowtorch (to quote Beavis, "FIRE!"), using the VersaCUT, using the laminator to mount adhesive vinyl to coroplast (probably my favorite piece of info we learned), mounting canvas prints, and I'm sure there was more that I'm leaving out. There was also an excellent section on color management that I was initially dreading, but the way Steve presented it made it fairly easy to digest, and I came away with a much better understanding of it. At the end of the first day we had a little trivia session where I won a roll of glitter heat transfer material (sorry Irv!), and at the end of the second day Steve and Irv stuck around to answer any lingering questions any one had. I had to get on the road around 5:30 or so, and Steve was just getting ready to demo the laser engraver when I left, so I'm not sure how much longer the class went, but I'm sure no one left with an unanswered question.
The class also went out to dinner on the first night to a place called the Macaroni Grill. The food was excellent, it wasn't very expensive, and Steve and Irv were excellent hosts, keeping everyone laughing and making sure every one at the table was included in the conversation. Again, Steve and Irv went above and beyond to make sure everyone was comfortable. Having really bad anxiety and just generally being as anti-social as I am, I can't begin to express how much that meant to me, and it definitely made my trip much more enjoyable than it would have been if they hadn't been so friendly and hospitable during classes and dinner.
All in all, I was extremely satisfied with the workshop and I had a great trip. I left with a treasure trove of knowledge that I didn't have before, as well as a lot more confidence in my skills with the Versacamm. I would highly recommend this workshop to any one with a Versacamm, even if you think you know everything I guarantee you'll at least learn one thing before the end of it, probably more.
I had a great time met some new people and hopefully new customers. Steve is a very good instructor and very knowledgeable w/Corel. I learned a lot more about operating my vs-300, and other machines imprintables sells.
Kim and I attended this session also, Steve, Irv, Jen and the entire SGL team were great hosts. In addition to what Mike stated, the takeaways for us were:
* Hands on with machines and materials
* Discussion on color management was invaluable
* Learning tricks and tips to maximize efficiency
* Intro to new tools and machines (VersaCut, Laminator and Laser are on my list!)
* Business promotions and product ideas
* Refresher on a number of install topics
Overall highly recommend this class, we feel more comfortable with the VersaCamm and considerations to select the right material for each job, as well as introduction to additional equipment that I hope we can add to our shop sooner than later. (I have I survived without the VersaCut Irv?)
I'm definitely interested in future classes and seeing some of the sessions videotaped so that when I get home and forget, I can refresh with my notes and a quick video.
Thanks again Steve, Imprintables Wearhouse, Irv, and Jen.
Paul and Kim Taylor
Thank you to everyone for the great feedback and reviews! It is always fun having the class and my VersaCAMM family always grows with each one.
anyone interested in the possibility of a 2 day advanced users class? Working on some possible subjects and content for it and would love some feedback!
I am interested in an advanced class that would help me fine tune my machine. For example, I had the opportunity to speak with Dana Curtis from Roland at the last couple NBM shows in Indy, one topic we discussed was the VW printer controls "DEFAULT, DEFAULT, DEFAULT." No offense Steve, but Dana disagreed with this. His theory was that every substrate should have its own printer settings fined tuned for each printers particular location, temp, humidity, etc.
Also, I have attended many of the NBM webinars where the discussion of profiles have surfaced. It seems most presenters feel manufacturer supplied profiles are a decent start, but for true color management (especially raster images) and ink limits either custom profiles need to be made or at least the manufacturer profile should be tweaked for each printers exact location, temp, humidity, etc.
All that said, I use DEFAULT, DEFAULT, DEFAULT and the manufacturer supplied profiles and have yet to have customers complain about color. I'm just the type of person who wants to learn as much as I can and learn more about the "why" behind these issues.
I agree totally with you on this. With the VersaCAMM workshop, there simply is not enough time to get into the nuances of those settings. There are many times when a subtle change can be made to improve the performance of the printer and the resulting job using those tabs. To go into the how and why on a beginners course would lead to a lot of confusion and not get anywhere. The average user at that point is just not ready to learn those tools.
One of the biggest topics that we are looking at for the advanced course would be color management to include working with a spectrophotometer and delve into profiling etc. We would go over the intricacies of the printer control tabs and how they affect the profiles, prints and printer. It was an easy place to start as there currently is no place for this type of training.
The second topic I am working on for the advanced class is a sort of print trouble shooting portion. We would go over different prints and see what made them go wrong and how to adjust your machine to correct them and get better results.
Any other ideas on what you guys and gals would want in an advanced course? Maybe a better in depth machine maintenance with replacement of certain user replaceable parts? Any advanced application projects you would want to see?