Yes, the weather is atrocious for April (well it is here anyway). The high winds have me thinking about high climbers - by which I mean those poor bods having to attempt hi-rise outdoor graphics installations. Wondering to what extent adverse weather impacts your schedule - and how you accommodate necessary changes to timescales?

The VM & Display Show runs next week (16-17 April, Business Design Centre in London). Will you be attending? Will you be actually exhibiting? I see a number of PSPs will be – which is great to see. I aim to get along to have a look see, so maybe see you there. If I miss you, let me know if the show raises any interesting issues for you.

A friendly nudge to remind those of you with staff eligible to enter the 2024 Printing Charity’s ‘Rising Star Awards’ that they only have until tomorrow to do so. Successful applicants get up to £1,500 to invest in personal skills development and training – not to be sniffed at!

With Drupa now around the corner I’ve spent this week in Dusseldorf hearing from exhibitors on introductions planned for the show. I’ve outlined key announcements, but as we move towards the event I’ll bring you more information - and news currently under embargo…


Are you sure you are not breaching any regulations pertaining to your business? Swanline Group has - inadvertently I add - and is graciously going to share its experience to help others at a Microsoft Teams webmeet from noon on Wednesday, 27 March. It follows the company having invited the EA to undertake an audit, which flagged up the issue. By talking openly about it Swanline hopes to help other businesses (with an annual turnover exceeding £2m and using packaging to send out clients jobs)  to avoid similar pitfalls as regulations become more stringent later this year and the regulators begin to actively look for business who are not declaring their packaging.  To register for the online briefing go to:

So, what do you think - are the introductions being exhibited at Fespa Global this week making you excited enough to spend? Our last Widthwise survey showed relatively flat investment expectations for 2024 - have you changed your mind?

Here’s wishing all of you heading out to Amsterdam for Fespa Global a successful trip. I’ll keep you all updated with news of launches etc as the show progresses.

With SDUK 2024 over and Fespa Global around the corner, what are you hoping to see in terms of technical innovation? We’ll shortly be asking about your investment and growth plans in the Widthwise 2024 poll so that we can analyse the data for the trends across the UK/Ireland large-format digital inkjet print sector – but feel free to jump the gun and drop me an email!

Dataline’s introduction of MultiPress 6.0 Sirius - and confirmation of its expanding technology partnership programme - highlights some of the impressive integrations happening within the wide-format print sector. Many of these will be highlighted at Fespa Global later this month. I’d love to hear from you post-show if any particularly pique your interest.

What did you make of the Budget, and do you think it’ll make much impact on your business? If you don’t have a postcard, an email will do! Thank you

How are you getting on with decarbonising your operations? I was impressed to hear that 400 Midlands-based SMEs have signed up to Aston University’s West Midlands Decarbonisation Net Zero Programme - which sounds a fab support. Have you signed-up to any help scheme to improve your eco-credentials?

Thought I’d issue this timely reminder that Sign and Digital UK 2024 - and co-located Printwear and promotion Live! - open at the NEC on Sunday. Yes, Sunday. This is the first SDUK under new owner Datateam so it'll be worth heading to Brum to see what's changed. If the diary is looking packed next week, there’s always the weekend. 

What do you think about possible print industry participation in the new Design Factory Birmingham project - or in the existing London or Manchester ones for that matter? The Birmingham hub will be based at Aston University, where associate pro-vice-chancellor Professor Tony Clarke flags up that “this unique space on campus will bring together multi-disciplinary teams of hands-on innovators, collaborative thinkers and creators. We will be delivering a wide range of services including software application development, product design, creating protypes using a variety of technologies including laser and water cutting, digital and design training courses, and helping companies obtain innovation grants for projects.” Worth a bit of investigation?

Large-format trade printer RMC will be one of those exhibiting at the Sign and Digital UK show at the NEC on 25-27 February, where it “seeks to facilitate valuable connections with existing and future clients”. I’m seeking to strengthen my own connections at the event, and now frantically planning my diary appointments, so let me know if you want to catch-up in Brum.

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