Having worked on several print industry events in the past, namely FESPA, EcoPrint and InPrint, we decided to launch FM Future in 2019 to help print and event-based companies improve their communication strategy and storytelling. At a time when face-to-face events and meetings have been made unfeasible, the natural evolution for us has been to create a series of our own virtual summits - FuturePrint - to enable print industry professionals to share knowledge and network.
We aim to provide the inspiration and the tools to survive these challenging times. Now, more than ever, people need to be responsive to their customers and agile enough to embrace change. I feel that necessity is the mother of invention and now is the time to look at the print technology available today and use it to deliver more value-added services.
The truth is, it’s a time of do or die for many businesses. Those that stand still, or aren’t brave enough to challenge the way they work, risk going under. As human beings, we don’t like change. And over the past six months, so much has happened that many of us are still making sense of it. But with change comes so much opportunity.
Optimism for the future is important right now, which is why we encourage the next generation of print professionals at our events, or as we call them, ‘Young Guns’. In my view, new talent and fresh attitudes towards delivering print as more of a value-added service are critical to the industry’s future success. Thanks to the advances made in digital print technology, this new breed of print professional likes to push the boundaries of print and embrace the scope it offers to be experimental.
The great things about print haven’t changed – it’s still reliable, experiential, concrete, trusted and connects deeply with the consumer. But it’s this next generation who harness today’s technology and cleverly put it together with data to take personalisation and individualisation in print to the next level.
Positive opportunities for growth don’t necessarily require a complete reversal of strategy. Sometimes it’s more a question of digging into your expertise and really demonstrating your value in every customer conversation, rather than sitting back and relying on your customers’ loyalty and goodwill.
Both print service provider and customer stand to benefit when they collaborate more closely, understand each other’s commercial objectives, share ideas openly and focus on coming together to find creative solutions. All of which reinforces the underlying principle behind the FuturePrint Summit, namely, that our industry can grow together through exchanging knowledge and expertise. We want people to leave the summit feeling rejuvenated, equipped with new ideas and information about new tech, and optimistic about the future.