Sat, Jul

I’d like to take this chance to say a whopping thank you to those who made the annual Widthwise Round Table discussion on the state of the wide-format print sector such a great afternoon. I’ll be flagging up some of the key points of view in the December issue of Image Reports. Meanwhile, hope you’re all enjoying your newly landed October/November issue.

Tomorrow I’m chairing our annual Widthwise Round Table discussion on the state of the large-format digital print sector in the UK/Ireland. If you have a burning question you would like me to put in front of the print chiefs who will be participating, now is the time to ask it! You’ll be able to read a report from the event in the December issue.

As it’s National Poetry Day today I have to ask whether business strategy is as imaginative as it could be, or whether it is somewhat more prosaic at the moment? And if the latter, how much has that got to do with the looming Brexit deadline….thoughts to me please!

As troubled Xaar announces that it’s ceasing all its Thin Film printhead activities we have to wonder at the impact it’s going to have on this sector - and ask whether there are lessons to be learned. Would be interested in hearing your thoughts….

What do you want from a conference? Thought I’d ask the question given the announcement by Fespa UK and Vism of the new ‘Thrive in Print’ conference, which will take place in autumn 2020. We’ve all been to trade shows etc. where the talks are somewhat poorly attended. Is the problem with the actual programme, speakers, or with where/when the events take place? What would it take to get your bottom on a seat in the auditorium?

I was working over the weekend and wondered how many of you would be too. And then I started wondering how many companies pay staff extra for putting in the hours on Saturdays and Sundays, and whether any increased payments are paid on an ad hoc basis, or taken into consideration in an employee’s salary. Would like to know how you deal with that side of things….

I’m just about to sign-off on the forthcoming issue of Image Reports but can squeeze a few more pics of unusual/beautiful large-format print jobs into the Think Bigger Gallery. If you have anything you want to put forward, you know where to find me… but be quick!

In putting together a substrates feature for the next issue of Image Reports, it has become very clear that environmental concerns are now really impacting the provision of greener alternatives to ‘traditional’ print media. So are you increasingly using them? And, if so, is it for one or two sectors/customers or across the whole range of work you undertake?

Kit manufacturers love a machine certification. Why wouldn’t they? It’s a rhetorical question, but this isn’t - Do you pay attention to the various certifications awarded the kit you’re looking to buy? Let me know either way - it’s good to build up a picture of the technical proofs that matter to you.

Wow, the new Hexcite group looks like a force to be reckoned with. Given the size, scope and funds at its disposal, its aim of becoming a world-leading provider of bespoke immersive experiences for brands and retailers sounds not unrealistic. So how difficult will it be to compete?

Is it always good to get an award - or is there some embarrassment when you realise that you are the only contender in a certain category? Just asking, because it seems to me - having been a judge on certain occasions - that there is little merit in winning in such a way, but if there’s still marketing miles to be won perhaps that’s more important to entrants….

So, according to a survey by marketing agency Marketingsignals.com, UK-based companies are increasingly turning away from print media to digital. Surprise, surprise - it’s a digital agency for goodness sake. We’ve heard the same message many times, but it’s a story those in the digital space are happy to keep retelling. Yet we know it’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to print - but where are the pro-print stats? Thinking we should be doing more to counterbalance the digital propaganda.

Good to see swissQprint is setting up a UK subsidiary when so many foreign companies are thinking of walking away - whether part of the EU or otherwise. Is it because the Swiss manufacturer doesn’t expect this Brexit chaos to adversely impact the print sector? What about you?

Want to sit down with peers to discuss the state of the wide-format print market? I’m holding the 2019 Widthwise Round Table panel discussion in London on 8 October. If you would like to take part please drop me an email and I will come back to you with the detail. Many thanks

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