Optimism reigns in wide-format shows Fespa survey
Opportunities arising from the shift to digital production are keeping printers optimistic according to Fespa's third Worldwide Survey. All of the 582 respondents to the survey, which was undertaken in Europe, Asia and North and Latin-America in February and March 2010, affirmed that the percentage of their revenue coming from digital projects will increase in the next two years, rising to close to 50% of income for businesses with fewer than 100 employees.
Shorter turnaround and shorter runs are driving wide-format printers towards digital technology and close to 70% of respondents are seeing these trends increasing. Around half of printers reported a trend in demand for versioning and/or personalisation, online ordering and integration with other marketing collateral (such as direct mail).
This expected revenue growth is stimulating robust demand for new equipment, with 37.4% of respondents planning to buy a new wide-format printer in the next 12 months, and a further 33.8% still undecided about such a purchase. More than half of respondents expect their spend on digital wide format media and consumables to increase in the next 12 months.
Print service providers are seizing opportunities to grow and diversify using digital, with 78% of respondents expanding the range of applications they produce. 68% of respondents have looked at new market opportunities or developed innovative processes or products to tackle the impact of the economic downturn. Nearly a quarter of respondents see the future success of wide-format print service providers as being able to deliver marketing solutions for the client.
Fespa sales and marketing director Marcus Timson said: Wide-format printers remain optimistic, alert to opportunities and focused on pursuing new applications or niche markets to generate growth for their businesses. The dynamics between clients and print service providers are clearly changing, but the most successful printers are adapting resourcefully, embracing digital technology and blending it creatively with other processes and value-added services to deliver the right solutions to clients' challenges."
Banners, posters, signs and POS/POP continue to be the leading applications for most respondents, with demand remaining stable across these product categories despite the economic downturn. A notable decrease was in backlit displays, with the percentage of respondents regularly producing these falling from 46.2% in 2009 to 26.4% in 2010. Increased demand was reported for billboards, photographic applications, decals and presentation graphics. Growth is also evident in emerging application areas such as textile, interiors, flooring and fine art.