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Mon, Sep

I see that Printdesigns has introduced a ‘Best Price Promise’ price guarantee to corporate customers buying printed display stand products. The company is inviting customers to email it a link to any retailer openly offering any of its products for a lower price. Once verified, the Printdesigns will lower its prices to match - or do a better deal. I thinking I know what many PSPs will say about such ‘initiatives’, but isn’t it just what we should expect in a competitive market?

So, here we are amid another show season and all the associated jostling for position in what is an increasingly competitive sector. You’re likely heading to Sign and Digital UK as this issue lands, and we’ve got Fespa 2017 just around the corner too. But what other shows/events will you attending this year? Anywhere your customers will congregate?

I’m currently putting the final touches to the Widthwise Report 2017, and yet again it’s clear that when it comes to environmental concerns, PSP’s views - and actions - vary wildly. From an editorial standpoint we continue to take the view that where customers lead, suppliers must follow, so it’s interesting to see environmentally-friendly Stormboard clinching the M&S Big Innovation Pitch at Ecobuild 2017. We hear a lot about the sustainability of paper-based print projects, but there must be plenty of ‘green’ jobs that use other substrates. If you have handled anything of late that matches that criterion I’d love to hear from you.

Have you branched out into packaging? If so please get in touch as it’s an area I’m exploring in terms of large-format PSP diversification. Looking forward to hearing from you

The Two Sides and Print Power ‘Essential Knowledge Day’ takes place this Thursday - 23 March - at the iCon Centre in Daventry. One of the topics being covered is the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that comes into effect next spring. If you send emails as part of your marketing strategy, you will be affected by this new regulation. So, is your own business ready? Are you able to advise and help your clients? If you’re wondering what the changes will mean to your operation it may be worth checking out the event, where Jason Cromack of MyLife Digital will explain the potential impacts of the new GDPR and what measures your business must take in the next 12 months to be compliant. Click here for more information and registration

The Association of Creative and Print Managers in Education (ACPME) is looking for input from large-format hardware, software and consumables manufacturers and suppliers at its annual conference, which this year takes place in Glasgow, 4-7 June. If you’re interested, get in touch with Darren Lewis. Details at: http://www.acpme.ac.uk/index.php/glasgow-2017/

Have you recently completed any really unusual large-format digital print jobs that you are happy to share in the Image Reports and Think Bigger galleries of work? If so, please drop me a line or two about the project and a high res picture that I can print in an upcoming issue – of course it will go online too – the intention being to help stretch people’s imaginations about print possibilities. Cheers

What are your thoughts on Canon’s attempt to fill the gap in the roll-to-roll market with its new UVgel print technology? Must say it was looking good when I saw the first printer to incorporate the technology at its press launch yesterday. No white or clear ink/varnish though which surprised me somewhat, but apparently the market is not calling for it. Canon said it would consider development if required. What’s your thinking?

If you’re thinking of moving into textiles you’re going to love this issue - the ‘What To Watch’ feature gives you a heads-up on all the latest developments in terms of digital print production, while the Zeitgeist piece points out that you can get involved without shelling out for new kit at all!

Peter Kiddell of the Fespa Association UK has asked me to pass on his thanks to those who have already taken part in its Print Training Needs Survey, and to ask those of you who haven’t to please do so. You can find the poll at: Fespa UK Association Print Training Needs Survey

With trade shows like Sign and Digital UK and Fespa 2017 within our sights I’m wondering whether many PSPs will be actually exhibiting at any fairs this year - here or abroad. I know of a few that are as they attempt to get new offerings and possibilities in front of new customers. If you, are please get in touch – I’m very interested to find out which companies are helping make noise and get a broader swath of potential customers to ‘wake up to wide-format’.

In the news today we have the key findings from the Fourth Drupa Global Trends Report and the announcement of Fespa’s second global Print Census, both of which provide a valuable global view. Meanwhile, here at Image Reports, we’re in the throws of analysing the data from our annual Widthwise survey, which closed a week ago – and I want to take this opportunity to say a really heartfelt thank you to the 243 UK/ Ireland-based large-format PSP who took part. Such a fabulous response will enable us to deliver a really insightful, process/regional specific report in May. Better get my nose back to the grindstone…

What are your thoughts on Fespa dropping its dedicated digital show and making its main show a wider reaching annual event? You can see more on what CEO Neil Felton has to say on that topic - and others - in the March issue ‘Talking Point’ interview that will be published/online next week.

I’m loving the ‘Conference in a Case’ graphics package just brought out by Insite Graphics. The idea of being able to shove all your seminar/exhibition graphics in the overhead locker on the plane and cut down on the hanging around at luggage reclaim is a winner with me. What innovative solutions are you coming up with to ease your customers’ pain?

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