THE IMPORTANCE OF EVENTS AND EXHIBITIONS IN THE PRINT INDUSTRY

With Drupa 2012, the Print ‘Olympic ‘event coming up in a few months I thought it would be a good idea to analyse the  role of ‘Events’ within the print industry in this multi-media world of today.

First I would like to clarify what I mean by ‘Events’. Effectively I am thinking about exhibitions like IPEX and Drupa plus manufacturer led events including open houses in showrooms and focussed events in outside venues.

Events /Exhibitions have changed dramatically since I first started to tread the floors in the NEC and Dusseldorf Messe. Customers can now access information on products and services very easily via the web. No longer do they visit exhibitions on a ‘fact finding’ tour picking up hundreds of brochures.

Typically customers know what type of product or service they want and they have narrowed their choice down to 2 or 3 options and are coming for final verification. Or they have seen something interesting, say a new technology, in the printing press and come along to see it for themselves.

So exhibitions have changed. Basically people who are either in the buying cycle or are looking what is coming to plan their future strategy come to events. Let’s be honest everyone is too busy just to pop along anymore just because.

At Duplo we focus on one thing when we plan events. Making sure that our potential customers know what we are showing and talking about. Our customers can then make an informed decision if they need to attend. This is why for our latest open house (titled ‘The Event’ by chance) like our London Calling annual event we use extensive PR, prominent outside back page advertising, direct mail, email blasts and most importantly sale managers visits to inform our customers what we are doing.

So are Events important? In a word YES! I still have not yet met a printer who has bought a piece of hardware who has not wanted to see it first, test it, run jobs on it and most importantly meet the organisation who will service the machine afterwards. I think I have a few mores miles to tread in exhibition halls.

Tony Lock

Managing Director Duplo UK