Fri, Aug

Did you ‘attend’ virtual.drupa last week? If so, did you find it a worthwhile experience, and one you’d repeat? If not, what put you off?

According to a recent survey of SME’s, a quarter of small businesses in the UK reckon they’ll not be in business beyond the end of the year as a result of the pandemic. How do you see your company faring? Apart from the ending of furlough etc., other issues that I’m hearing about - such as likely consumables price hikes and hefty rent rises - look like they could well reshape this industry. I’d love to have your thoughts - happy to keep them anonymous of course.

I thought that on a Monday morning you’d like to read something to make you grin - this article in The Guardian last week did it for me:



What are the most major issues and burning questions you have in regards to inks and media? I am working on a feature covering both for the upcoming issue of Image Reports – so let me know what you most want to hear about! It’s all about you…

On a scale of one to ten, how intrepid do you rate yourself? Perhaps not that highly - heading into the unknown is not for the fainthearted - but, as a business leader, you must be at least middling, given that constant exploration and evaluation of opportunity and risk are part of the job description.

We’re all navigating tricky new terrain, as we try to get to the other side of this pandemic. Within these pages you will find help and sustenance - including a ‘Funding Your Way Forward’ Top Tips feature. At grassroots level we continue our First Person series of articles with Raccoon owner Richard Clark, explaining how he’s reinvigorating his business ready for the upwave. For Nathan Swinson Bullough of ImageCo, a key element of that preparedness is becoming a greener part of the supply chain - check out what he has to say, and more to the point, what he’s doing about it.

In keeping with the theme of exploration, turn to Talking Point for insight from consultant Peter Mayhew on the legislation, technologies and market developments this sector needs to spend more time investigating, then nip over to Zeitgeist to understand where Ai intelligence is likely to take preventative machine maintenance, and when!

When you’ve done that, and digested your Easter eggs, help us help you explore the state of the UK large-format print sector - yup, the 2021 Widthwise Survey is live from 6 April, with the report out in the summer.

Today’s the day - with retail reopening across England. Do you think it’s going to have any significant impact on your business? I’d love to have your input on this, and on may other issues relating to doing business in the current climate via our 2021 Widthwise Survey. Yes, I’m shamelessly asking you to go online at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/WW21IR  so that we have as big a data set as possible on which to base the 14th annual Widthwise Report in the summer. Thank you in advance.

Calling all wide-format PSPs - your sector needs you (and so do we) to click through to https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/WW21IR and take part in our annual Widthwise survey. This is the 14th consecutive year (I know, I can’t believe it either!) we’ve undertaken this task, so that we can deliver you a data-led, grassroots Widthwise Report on the state of the wide-format print market in the UK and Ireland. The overarching theme of Widthwise 2021 is ‘the great reset’, and the report will reflect on what has been a tumultuous, disruptive and difficult year, but also look forward and examine the realistic expectations and viability of the sector longer-term. We can only do it with your help. You are usually fabulous - last year we had more than 220 PSPs respond. Help us to help you again in 2021. Thank you.

Is the appointment of a chief technology officer to the Precision Proco board an indicator of changing mindsets and focus within PSPs? I know that technology - its development, implementation and utilisation - has always been a core concern, but are you finding it increasingly necessary to have someone dedicated to joining all the dots? Just asking…

I have been asked to remind you that the new display and POS interest group is calling on large-format PSPs to take part in its short survey so that it can get a better handle on what the sector needs to do to engage young people and get them to consider a career within print. The survey can be found at: https://bit.ly/2QgUgWy - your input would be appreciated.

For how long and to what lengths have we talked about the benefits - and difficulties - of developing and using fully-fledged ecommerce solutions in the wide-format space? It’s a rhetorical question really - we all know it has been, and continues to be, a headache of an issue. But is the enormous shift in online buying patterns accelerating system development and changing your outlook? News releases and blogs coming in to me from vendors and integrators suggest that’s the case - what’s your grassroots take on the situation?

With news that Perry has been unveiled as the mascot for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, I’m wondering how many of you expect to gain from related print work? Would love to hear from anyone expecting to benefit from the event - assuming we’ll be in a position by then where it can actually go ahead!

Thought I’d take the opportunity to ask if you can let me have pictures, and a bit of info, on the most unusual large-format print job you have completed this year. If you’ve done anything whacky or wonderful I’d like to see it please, as I’m working on a gallery of such projects.

With World Out of Home Organisation chief Tom Goddard heading up a new advisory consultancy aimed at speeding up the digital transformation of the space, I have aquick question:what do you think about OOH advertising - is it still a key large-format print space?  

With the British Coatings Federation issuing another warning of raw material availability and prices hikes in regards to printing inks, how prepared are you for an increase in consumables costs? What are you going to do to recoup any price rises? Can you afford to pass them on to the customer, or are you going to have to swallow them? Can you?

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