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Tue, Dec

As we come towards the close of 2020, trade exhibition organisers are being bullish about physical events going ahead in 2021. We’ll have to wait and see - but even if they do, will you attend? A poll (by FuturePrint and Ricoh) of 139 companies from 16 countries shows that a third (34.06%) will only attend an international event, when vaccination takes place. Let’s hope that happens sooner rather than later for so many reasons, including getting people doing business again in person.

Can I ask - which associations are proving valuable during these strange times? If you belong to one that you think is working particularly hard to support you please let me know - whether it be print specific or otherwise. I’d appreciate your input. Many thanks in advance…

 

New report ‘Work in BETA: The Rising B2B Decision Maker’ has me wondering if you think very hard about the age of those you recruit, and whether attitudes of certain age groups impact your strategic thinking? Plenty in the BETA generation - those aged 21-40 - must be clamouring for jobs with real career potential right now, and looking at this report they appear a hardworking bunch. But do reports like this lead companies down the path of ageism?

I’m planning my features list for 2021 and would welcome your input - what do you want me to talk about / investigate? It’s as simple an ask as that - the answers maybe more difficult to come by! Thank you.

 

Given that today is the International Day for Tolerance I’m wondering if this current Covid-19 situation is making you more or less accepting of things that get your back up in business? Late payment comes immediately to mind! Has your outlook and stance on certain issues changed along with the economic landscape?  

Given that we’re a week into the second period of lockdown - with the remaining three still seeming quite a long haul -  I’m taking the opportunity to remind you that the Printing Charity has a confidential helpline should any of your staff be feeling the strain. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 01293 542820

In this enewsletter we again flag up case studies sent in by kit and consumables manufacturers/suppliers to show the benefits of their products to the wide-format print community. PSPs too now spend a great deal of time, and no doubt resource, on case studies to show off their capabilities, but I’d like to know if this marketing exercise is as valuable - or more so - than it once was? Short animations seem to be the new marketing tool trend. Wondering what tack you’re taking to engage new customers?

How is lockdown impacting your business? Can your non-production staff work from home effectively? The questions could go on…. probably best to say, let me know if there’s anything I can do at Image Reports to flag-up any key issues you’re having. You know where to find me. Good luck all.

Just to say I’m sending good wishes to you all with this newsletter. The wide-format sector has proven to be resilient, innovative and strategically agile over the past few months, but as another lockdown looms I am no doubt one of many wondering what it will do to the print industry and to all of your businesses. The extension of furlough is something to be thankful for, but will it be enough to get you through? Here’s hoping so.

With significant proportions of R&D budgets being poured into software development for this sector, I’ve got to ask, where are you most hoping to see improvements/innovations that will most significantly impact your own operations? ‘Workflow’ is a no brainer, but I’d love to hear from those of you willing to talk more specifically - and from anyone wanting to highlight other areas.

Personalisation - what opportunities is it throwing up for those of you in wide-format print? It’s another area that we’ve talked about for years now, but is the current situation - having exacerbated the online buying trend - making you review your decision about getting involved? Or is Web-to-print - necessary to reach the B2C market -  an issue you’re still wrangling with?

So, Drupa’s online ‘preview’ programme starts next week, and the Fespa Global 2021 website has gone live (along with its marketing campaign)  - but how many of you think you’ll actually attend these events in person - if they do indeed go ahead? As we’ve learned, much can happen in a very short space of time, so perhaps it’s far too early to ask the question, but of course the organisers - and exhibitors - will be data crunching and crystal ball gazing to try and predict the answer and make a call accordingly. How close to the show dates do you think you’ll need to get before you decide how to play it?

If you’re looking for new retail clients, are you looking towards the small, local shops and high street businesses? According to a new study by Forrester Consulting - on behalf of small business platform Xero - that’s where consumers want to buy nowadays. So could you win from an upswing in that quarter, or are print requirements from such operations too small change to be worth the bother?

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