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Sat, Mar

As you read this I’ll be on my way to The Printing Charity’s 190th Annual Luncheon at Stationers’ Hall in London. Perhaps you’re on your way there too, in which case it’ll be great to catch up with you. But the purpose of me mentioning the event really is to flag up the incredible work of this charity - of which there is still such little awareness among print sector staff. There may be people within your company in need of its assistance, so please raise awareness. Thank you.

The Virtual and Augmented Reality Creative Summit takes place on 5 December at Picturehouse Central in London. OK, the line-up might leave you wondering about the programme’s relevance to print, but for those of you keeping a close eye on trends likely to impact your future output it’s perhaps worth investigating…

The plethora of awards ceremonies at this time of year makes me wonder how valuable a marketing tool they are for those that win a gong. Do contacts hear the noise companies make about doling out or winning these accolades – and do they help bring in business for the recipients. Just wondering….

InPrint 2017 kicks off tomorrow. Will you be going? Aimed at those integrating print processes into manufacturing lines it hardly seems relevant to those of you receiving this newsletter – but then again, we do keep banging the drum about PSPs making more of an effort see beyond their own back stairs....

What do you think of what HP is trying to achieve with its SmartStream Designer for Designers (D4D) beta programme? I’m loving it, but as a PSP how do you view the development?

Data from the BPIF’s latest survey is hardly cheering – but how representative is it of the situation in the large-format sector? I’d like to hear your take on that. I’d also like find out if there are any specific questions you’d like to see us put to the community of large-format PSPs in the next Widthwise survey. I’m currently putting together the questionnaire for the 2018 project so drop me a line if there’s something you'd like to see added.

If you are at - or have been to - Ipex this week, what are your thoughts on the show? Despite there being little in terms of large-format at the event, I know some of you were still intending to go along to keep abreast of what’s happening in terms of developments across the wider (no pun intended!) print industry. If that was the case, has it impacted your understanding of how the sector is developing and how you need to develop your business to compete?

I’ve asked this before, but I’ll ask again - is print one of the UK’s creative industries? I ask because I’ve been reminded that on 14 December there will be a Westminster Media Forum Keynote Seminar on the ‘next steps for regional development and the creative industries in the UK’? Chaired by Bambos Charalambous MP, delegates will consider the recommendations of the Independent Review into the creative industries, led by Sir Peter Bazalgette, which sets out proposals for an ‘Industrial Strategy’ for creative sectors. To my mind print needs representation. Am I alone in thinking that?

At the Inkjet Conference (IJC) in Dusseldorf this week Dr Veena Sarojiniamma, Industrial Inkjet ‘s (IIJ) head of ink technology, gave a presentation entitled ‘Inkjet For High Speed Wallpaper Applications’, the company’s MD John Corrall having said: “The European wallpaper market has been contracting slowly since 2006. Recent developments in single-pass digital printing have opened up new opportunities for interior design. Digital print at full production speeds removes the limitations placed on designers by conventional presses.” The opportunity for industrial scale players is obvious. What are your thoughts on opportunities within the wallpaper market for wide-format graphics PSPs?

An email today from a ‘cyber security’ firm has reminded me that we recently published a piece on the issue in Image Reports (at http://ow.ly/Ksqa30g2O1W). Are you using any kind of specialist to help ensure your have as secure a business as possible when it comes to online fraud? If so, I’d like to hear about your experiences.

The organisers of the new Pure Digital event - which will run for the first time in Amsterdam next April - recently ran a summit (read about it at https://www.puredigitalshow.com/blog/2017/10/16/pure-digital-summit-review-5th-october-amsterdam) to find out what form people think it should take to best address its aim - which is to educate creatives about the potential of digital print. Having launched a campaign called Think Bigger some years ago now address the very same issue we at IR would be very interested in hearing your take.

The recent Printing Charity/BPIF ‘social’ between industry retirees and apprentices is the prompt for this reminder to let your staff know about the help available for those in need of support – while still in work, or when out of it! Details can be found at: https://www.theprintingcharity.org.uk

I’m up at The Print Show searching out new developments and innovations for those of you involved in large-format digital print - watch this space. Given this show’s ownership, and this week’s announcement that in the US the SGIA has entered into agreement with Napco Media - a business-to-business media company - to form the Print United exposition, I’m wondering what your take is on what appears to be a developing trend. According to the US Department of Commerce, printing establishments there decreased from 35,016 in 2000 to 24,096 in 2015, a decline of 31.2%. At the same time, however, print shops have expanded their range of services. The ‘Idealliance 2016 State of the Industry Report’ notes that in 2000, 86.8% of print shop revenue came from litho offset. By 2016, that number had dropped to 42.3% as print shop owners looked to new technologies to increase their revenue and profit. Today’s printing industry is driven by this convergence of technologies and capabilities, a blending and blurring of market segments and specialties. Print United is set to focus on the opportunities this convergence presents. Do you think we have the right platforms to highlight this convergence in the UK/Europe?

Worth getting along to see who's who at The Surface and Materials Show at the NEC this week? The event blurb says it will be “showcasing the latest surface solutions for architects, interior designers, specifiers and industry professionals looking for cutting-edge innovations. It takes place 10-12 Oct: ow.ly/XHPo30fEFJo

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