Fri, Jul

In normal times it would have been the PIA/BAPC Conference today – but we’re not in normal times and everyone’s talking about just one thing. In line with the coronavirus discussion I have to ask - are you managing to remain open for business, and if so, does business continue to come in? Is there anything we can do to help?

It had to happen given current circumstances - the cancellation of Drupa 2020 that is. With so many events casualties of COVID-19, I have to ask how that is impacting those of you reliant on that sector - and on various other likely to close attractions - for the bulk of your work?

How was the Budget for you? To quote Paul Galligan, CEO Bionic, “The new Chancellor has put it all on the line for the UK’s SMEs at a critical time for the UK economy. Delays to the time to pay services, the roll out of a new Coronavirus Loan Service, the temporary abolishment of business rates for specific sectors and a £3000 cash injection for small businesses across the country will create a much needed safety net for hard-working SMEs up and down the country. It remains to be seen how quickly businesses can access the cash injection and be repaid having claimed compensation for sick pay. It is vital that government services are swift. Overall, though, SMEs needed a turbo-charged response to the crisis, and it looks like they've got it." Agree?

As events get overtaken by measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 I would like to know if your business is being impacted by the virus. Are there measures you are putting in place as the likelihood of staff and supplies shortage look increasingly likely?

So Fespa Global 2020 has succumbed to Covid-19 virus developments. Hardly surprising. Wondering what will happen now with the very international Drupa and even homespun Sign and Digital UK. Of course we’ll keep you up to date with show information. Likewise, given my fingers can fly across the keyboard from my desk, we’ll continue to update you on other industry news too!

The Image Reports’ annual Widthwise poll closes today, so let me say a huge thank you to the 200+ large-format print companies that have again generously given of their time to take part in this independent sector specific UK survey. I’ll now start number crunching in earnest and you’ll get the analysis later in the year. Don’t worry, I’ll remind you when you can get your hands - and eyes - on the findings. Wonder what surprises we’ll come across his year…

How big of an issue is printing onto green substrates within your firm these days? And have you made a conscious effort to improve your overall ‘green’ credentials to meet customer demand? OK, I know, you’ve probably already answered these questions as part of the 2020 Widthwisw Survey (if you haven’t done it yet, please be quick and head over to https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NJQNCG9), but I don’t have that data yet and given the ‘buzz’ around the topic - finally! - I’d love to know if you noticed a marked change in client attitudes and are making strategic changes to make your own business more sustainable? Let me know - you may even end up in the Widthwise Report…always looking for trailblazers.

Will be interesting to see how the coronavirus impacts European trade shows this year. Have you changed your mind about attending

What’s the most novel substrate/surface you’ve printed directly onto with your digital inkjet technology? I’m looking for the whacky and wonderful in the wake of Agfa’s partnership with TFL to develop a solution to decorate leather. I’ve heard of straw, cotton wool, ice….

Are you at Euroshop 2020? I’ve spoken with a few PSPs that had intended to go the monster retail trade fair, but that have cancelled plans for various reasons. Is it a ‘must attend’ event for your company? If so, I’d love to hear why. Perhaps it’s because you see the future - as with the interactive dynamic lightboxes launched by the ABS Group. Nice that! Anyone doing anything similar here in the UK?

Quick question: when does a customer - or a supplier for that matter - become your ‘partner’? One assumes ‘partner’ means there’s more to the relationship than an exchange of money, but it seems to have become general marketing parlance for anyone in your supply chain. Being a ‘partner’ once meant something special. Has that lustre been worn away?

So Imageco’s Nathan Swinson-Bullough has joined the Fespa UK Association board. Hopefully he’ll make sector representative noises about how the association can best represent and support large-format PSPs - I know from a recent meeting with its president Nicole Spencer that she wants more print companies to be more vocal about the issues impacting business today. You’ll be able to read more about that in the Talking Point interview in the upcoming issue of Image Reports - about to land on desks any day now so keep your eye open.

Right, I’m looking for disruptors - those of you who consider your company to be changing things up to meet the demands of a new decade in post-Brexit Britain. Perhaps you’re doing something outside the box in regards to marketing, recruitment/training, the environment, your service offering etc… If you think you’re flying in the face of convention and would be happy for me to shine the spotlight on your strategising in this year’s Widthwise Report please get in touch. P.S. The 2020 Widthwise poll is still live at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/VBZZCYS

So, has life as you know it changed much since we left the EU? If it has - or you think it’s about to - and you’re up for a conversation on the topic please get in touch. Much appreciated.

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