Sun, Oct

Did you go to Viscom last week - and if so, did it live up to expectation? According to the organiser, aligning it with another two trade shows has been an effective move. Do you want broader breadth events, or more tailored ones?

As this is the first enewsletter of 2019 from Image Reports let me wish you a Happy New Year. Hope 2018 was a good one, and that this will be even better. As always, we’ll keep you up to speed with developments in the large-format print sector via this news-shot, our website and printed magazine. Once again, we’ll also bring you our annual Widthwise Report on the state of the sector – based on an analysis of the data provided by the UK and Ireland’s PSPs. The 2019 survey has just opened. Can I urge you to take part if you haven’t already done so. Go to: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/C83ZNBW

Well, this is me signing off for 2018. Wishing you all a very happy Christmas, and a prosperous New Year. Keep smiling….

Just thinking - this time next week it will be Christmas Eve and I’ll be on my way to family for a few days. The office will close down over the festive period, as many do. Will yours? Just wondering how many large-format print businesses will shut-up shop for any length of time beyond the prescribed Bank Holidays - and if so, whether staff get the time off as a ‘gift’ or whether it’s compulsory for them to hold over part of their annual holiday allowance to cover the shut-down?

What are your thoughts on the formation of the Sustainable Green Printing Foundation, a non-profit making educational arm of the long established US-based SGP? What its chair - Jonathan Graham of TE Connectivity - has to say about the need for the print sector to better connect with those greening their supply chains makes total sense to me. Do we need to do more in this vein in the UK?

No-one wants to think their company has a problem with unethical behaviour, but is it worth just taking the time to consider the issue given the findings of a new survey from Warwick Business School that shows nearly two thirds of the 1,000 workers polled have experienced behaviour at work that would “probably result in widespread condemnation” if the public found out. Maybe it’s time for all companies to rethink what is considered acceptable behaviour in the workplace.

At a recent meeting at its Swiss HQ, swissQprint announced it will present a new machine concept at Fespa 2019 in Munich next spring, and that it will announce further details in the new year. Just wondering if you find these ‘snippets’ of info. helpful?

So, Service Graphics is still investing quite heavily. Are you? The countdown to the Widthwise 2019 poll of large-format PSPs has started – it all kicks off at the start of January – and once we have that data we’ll have a much better inkling of how confident the sector is as a whole, and how it feels about spending. Meanwhile, if you’re treating your business to an early Christmas pressie, let me know.

Want answers to burning questions? Tell the organisers of the Sign and Digital show given they’re asking PSPs to get involved in shaping the 2019 event. Personally, I’d like to see them build upon the Mary Portas speaking coup they pulled off this year. Given most of you do work for high street brands, it was great to hear from someone with her vision, status and links to the big names on their marketing strategies – and to get a heads-up on where print is likely to fit within those strategies as time goes by. Would be great to get the same kind of insight from other key market sectors too don’t you think?

As editor of the FT I suppose you’d expect Lionel Barber to use his speech at the Printing Charity’s annual lunch to say: ‘Long live the printed word’ in this increasingly digital age. But what about printed images? To my mind, the ‘printing industry’ focuses too much on text in relation to print’s role in communication. Here in wide-format world we know very well the power of printed graphics. Thinking we should be making more noise about that. Agreed?

I’m en route to the Printing Charity’s annual luncheon today, so thought it timely to flag up the sterling work it has been doing since its foundation in 1827 and to remind you to make it known to your staff - they may find need of it at some point!

OK, so where do you stand on the Brexit situation? Do you want me to just shut up and not ask because you’re sick to the teeth of the topic and just want a resolution, whatever way it goes, or are your hard-wired into wanting a specific way forward? I would love to hear your views. You know where to reach me…

Yes, I’m planning Widthwise 2019! The annual poll of large-format PSPs will open in January. We’ll be asking the usual questions so we can bring you grassroots data and analysis of the sector, but is there anything specific you’d like to see thrown into the mix? You can have a nosy at previous reports at: http://bit.ly/2DoLDAv

Are women in your business falling into a gender pay gap? Apparently it was Equal Pay Day on Saturday - see the news: http://bit.ly/2PmDEvh - and the Fawcett Society and Warwick Business School have been flagging up the fact that little progress seems to be being made in ensuring women get paid the same as men for doing the same work. Dare I say it, but in print there has been, for many years, something of a divide between what have been perceived as men’s jobs and women’s. Sadly, to some extent, that divide still exists, so how do you determine fair pay across the workforce?

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