Wed, Sep

It’s interesting to see that new companies like Your Print Partner are coming into the large-format textile print market which, lets face it, still lags somewhat behind mainstream Europe despite the oft discussed opportunities therein. Why do you think this is the case, despite all the technical advances we’ve seen in this space over the last couple of years?

In an e-missal last week I asked whether all the changes to the UK trade show calendar had reinvigorated what I understand to be a flagging appetite among UK printers for trade shows? Now that Heidelberg has joined HP in deciding not to exhibit at the next Ipex, I have to ask what role you see future trade shows playing if they are no longer considered a cost-effective sales/purchasing platform? Are vertical market events more useful?

What are your thoughts on the print trade exhibition offering? We’ve heard of various changes/additions to the show calendar and event make-up over the course of the last year or so, Informa Exhibitions’ decision to relaunch Northprint as North Print and Pack 2013 being just the latest. Have the moves reinvigorated what I understand to be a flagging appetite among UK wide-format printers for trade shows per se?

Warning: I’ve been asked to point out to you that if you haven’t re-registered to receive the printed format Image Reports in the last year then your subscription could be about to expire. Wide- and grand-format printers in the UK and Ireland are eligible for a free annual subscription - just visit www.imagereportsmag.co.uk/subscribe and complete a registration form to make sure you don’t miss out on any of our upcoming issues.

News of Paul French’s move to Metamark got me thinking about recruitment in the print sector, and how the same well-known faces move around from one company to another. So how do you manage to land the big catch – that person you know all your competitors would like to have. Money talks, no doubt. But what else do you use as bait? And once you’ve reeled in your prize how do you keep it?

Having just got back from hols I see it’s been full-on in terms of wide-format developments! The findings from the latest BPIF Printing Outlook though are something of a downer – but I’d like to know just how representative they are of those involved in the wide-format space. In Image Reports’ own Widthwise Survey of wide-format printers earlier in the year 43.3% of respondents said their wide-format margins were better than other parts of their business. Is that still ringing true?

How many of you use the likes of Google Analytics and how many of you know if you’re breaking the law by doing so? News that up to 90% of UK website owners are currently ignoring EU laws requiring websites to obtain ‘informed consent’ from users before employing cookies to store information from a computer or mobile opened my eyes to the issue – hopefully it will prompt you to make any necessary checks so that you don’t fall foul of a hefty fine.

If you operate in an area that is going to be affected by the Olympics, how are you planning to cope? Home working is hardly a solution for those in manufacturing, so what contingencies do you have in place?  I’d be interested in hearing how you plan to negate the chaos with a view to publishing some of the more ‘creative’ solutions.

Good news! The Image Reports’ website is now fully back up and running after a malware attack. Apologies to all for the inconvenience and thanks for your patience while we resolved the matter.

It’s great to see youngsters training for a career in wide-format digital print – and to see the first fruits of Walsall College/Roland’s hard work in forming the new ‘Award in Basic Principles of Large Format Digital Printing’. If you are working closely with a college or industry body to develop training programmes I’d love to hear from you.


As more print companies diversify into installation services etc, news that GTMS has gained SAFEcontractor accreditation made me wonder how many other firms in this sector have gone the same route. Please get in touch if you’re happy to talk about how the safety issue is impacting upon your business.

All indications are that this time next year Fespa will be hailing its 2013 event at ExCeL London as its greatest success. Of course, it’s not just about exhibitor numbers and square metres of floor space, but news of more halls being added to the original floorplan to meet demand is no bad PR for an event that was already promising to draw the crowds. So what is it that makes some shows particularly attractive – even while we watch other established trade events struggle?

Do you measure your carbon footprint? The odds are you don’t. But could having that information help you conduct valuable conversations with potential and existing customers who are increasingly wanting their suppliers to live up to their own sustainability mission statements. Or do you think it’s just not worth the bother? I’d be interested in hearing your take on the issue ahead of a Sustainability Report being produced by Image Reports.

We have been talking for some time about the likely mergers in a print sector that is rapidly changing shape so the GTMS/RS Sets move comes as little surprise, especially as they have been working together on projects for some time. What is more surprising is that we’ve heard of relatively few other companies pooling their resources in this way in the first half of 2012. OK, there are plenty of ad hoc, ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’ type of arrangements, but perhaps fewer official ‘mergers’ than we might have expected. Why do you think this is?

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