It’s 2016 and that can only mean one thing; it’s less than five months until drupa (31st May – 10th June) and the excitement in the AD office is palpable.
AD’s preparations for the leading print and crossmedia exhibition have been well underway for some time as we’ve been organising the pre-drupa International Media Conference (29th February and 2nd March, Messe Düsseldorf), but the arrival of January sees the activity intensify.
Right now, we’re helping clients to fine-tune their marketing and communication strategies to maximise their investment, and at the show we’ll be there in force to support them on-site. So it’s safe to say that we’re in full blown drupa-mode and will continue to be so long after the show ends in June.
So what should we expect to see at this year’s event? Since the last show in 2012, the general feeling is that the print industry, as a whole, is in a much better place. Back in 2012, the industry was suffering from a sort of crisis of identity. The global economy was still reeling from the 2008 crash, online and digital were continuing to revolutionise communications, print volumes were falling and the industry was rapidly trying to make sense of it all.
This year finds the industry in a different, more upbeat place and confident of print’s role in the modern marketing mix. Many of the above trends remain the same. However the difference is the widespread acceptance of the backdrop and a growing determination to innovate and adapt to these conditions.
Indeed, drupa’s own research from its second ‘Global Trends’ report published in March 2015 found that nearly half of print service providers (PSPs) interviewed expected an improvement in their economic fortunes and 39% reported an increase in sales. These are businesses that have taken a hard look at their business, worked out its strengths and weaknesses, identified where the opportunities lie and faced their challenges face on. It’s not easy, but many companies have proven that it’s more than achievable.
And there’s ample information and support in the market to help businesses to make print profitable, whether as a sole offering or as part of a broader, more integrated media proposition.
While there are still challenges, there is also great cause for optimism in certain sectors for both traditional and non-traditional print; from intelligent, personalised crossmedia communication, to the many emerging industrial print applications, to breakthrough technologies like 3D printing, all of which are capable of helping printers redefine their service offering in a digital world.
Print has weathered the storm and looks fresher for it as businesses and consumers fall back in love with print, reminded of its enduring aesthetic appeal and effectiveness as a communications medium.
Stay tuned to our Twitter and LinkedIn accounts for regular glimpses into the dynamic universe of print, publishing, packaging, multichannel marketing and visual communication, and look out for our next blog on the key trends we expect to see play out in print in 2016.
For further information on how we can support your business, please download our white paper on maximising exhibition ROI and contact Helen Tolino on firstname.lastname@example.org, or call her on + 44 (0) 1372 464470.