Fri, Aug

As you read this I’ll be sitting in on a discussion between a well known supplier to the large-format sector and one of its customers, part of a two-day business investigation to determine strategic investment at the PSP. Would you be willing to have such a detailed and frank discussion with suppliers?

I’m out and about much of this week, investigating the scope of the interiors market for large-format PSPs looking to diversify into that space. If you are involved in more unusual aspects of interior print I’d love to hear from you.

I’ve got my swingometer at the ready and thought I’d conduct my own mini-poll among large-format PSPs - which way do you want the UK to vote today? Let me know.
While thinking polls, I’ll take this chance to advise you that the annual Widthwise Report on the state of the UK/Ireland large-format print sector has just been published. It is now available online to download free of charge at: http://www.imagereportsmag.co.uk/widthwise.  Let me know what you think of that too! I’ll be working on the questions for the 2018 survey before you know it, so if you would like to see something specific added to the list please get in touch.

At the risk of channelling Richard Wilson’s TV persona Victor Meldrew, the phrase “I don’t believe it” springs to mind when I consider that the Widthwise Report accompanying this issue of Image Reports is the tenth in the series - yes, it’s a decade since we embarked on the annual project to garner grassroots data on the state of the UK and Ireland’s wide-format digital print market and provide you with a sector and geographically specific report.

I’m liking this ‘Pledge for Print’ idea from the BPIF. It might be useful to know who’s actually signed up before the polls open on Thursday!

If you’re thinking of embarking on the BPIF MSc in Management course in September but are hard strapped for funds, look to the new bursary fund set up by The Stationers’ Foundation. Great to see this sort of support. More please!

Sorry, I couldn’t resist the headline pun - think the two minutes’ sun has got to me! A reminder to those of you thinking of diversifying into glass print that GlassPrint 2017 will take place on 29 - 30 November in Düsseldorf, Germany. 13 technical presentations (covering digital and screen printing) are now confirmed and more are expected to be added shortly. GlassPrint Live! will meanwhile will present topical group discussions.

Following a recent visit to Octink by PM Theresa May, CEO Will Tyler says he draws confidence from her commitment to keeping the interests of all SME's firmly on her agenda. What would you flag up to those hoping to secure the country’s top job if you had the chance?

The bright things at Insite Graphics have developed an offering that combines its dye-sub print specialism and a rented, illuminated tensioned fabric exhibition stand. The rental part of this ‘Brightbox’ offering has got to turn heads as much as the actual stands made with it. Good on you.

It was good to see a few UK companies take gongs at the 2017 Fespa Awards – I’ll make sure they are included in the next Think Bigger Gallery of work in Image Reports and online. Remember that I’ve always got my eye out for unusual/impressive large-format print jobs to show the world – so keep sending me your ‘wow’ visuals!

Here’s the latest from Fespa 2017 in Hamburg. An in-depth look at the technical developments and trends highlighted at the show will appear in the June issue of Image Reports, but if there’s anything you’d particularly like to flag up, drop me a line – though I daresay you’re more likely to want to keep any real business changing discoveries close to your chest!

By the way, the next Fespa is at Messe Berlin, 15 - 18 May 2018

I’ll be walking the halls of Fespa 2017 by the time this falls into your inbox. I’ll feed through info from the event as I get it. But, if you heading to the show, I’d love to hear what you think of the developments you see here, so stop me if you see me – otherwise I’ll look forward to the emails and calls when I get back! 

How is your business faring in these times of continued uncertainty? The Scottish referendum in 2014, a general election in 2015, the Brexit vote in 2016 and now another general election – and who knows, another Scottish referendum to come – have caused plenty to plump themselves down on top of their investment chest with a ‘wait and see’ attitude. Will what’s on offer at Fespa 17 in Hamburg this month convince you it’s time to open it up?

If you’re going along to Fespa 2017 in Hamburg next week make a point of popping along to the ‘Be Widthwise’ panel discussion that I’m chairing at 11.30 on Tuesday 9 May. UK print chiefs will be looking at the soon-to-be-published Widthwise 2017 survey findings, so get along and see if you agree with the data, and with them!