Growing with Communities: Future Book Forum 2019 drives publishing innovation

Leading publishers, book producers and distributors gather this week at Canon Europe’s annual Future Book Forum in Munich, Germany (20-21 November 2019). The theme of this year’s event is ’Growing with Communities’, exploring how publishers and printers can uncover new growth potential by building and nurturing communities of readers.

Future Book Forum brings together industry peers from the publishing value chain

Ideas for publishing innovation are shared in Growth Accelerator workshops

Future-proofing through collaboration, innovation and integration

The two-day forum is now in its seventh year, bringing together industry peers from every link in the publishing value chain across the globe. Here they will be inspired by new growth opportunities, explore how to successfully deploy the latest technologies to drive their business forward and consider how to future-proof the sector through closer collaboration.

Peter Wolff, Vice President, Production Printing Products (PPP), EMEA Commercial Printing, Canon Europe explains: “Since 2013 we’ve been actively building this community of like-minded publishing professionals. We’re united by our appetite to innovate and shape a positive future for the industry in a world of changing consumer demands and the explosion of content. Future Book Forum has become an important platform for meaningful discussions about future business models, changing consumer needs, the reinvention of content formats, the role of data in improving customer journeys and the need for collaboration and automation for the future success of the publishing ecosystem.”

This year, prominent faces from the publishing and content industries will share inspiring stories and case studies about the value in building networks of consumers and the growth revenues that will follow. Speakers include Mark Allin, former CEO of John Wiley & Sons; Verónica Reyero Meal of human insight specialists Antropologia 2.0; Sara Domville, Chief Revenue Officer of home cooking content hub America’s Test Kitchen; Ben Johnson, Head of Communities at Springer Nature; and Charles Tide, CEO of expert community platform builder Zapnito.

Future Book Forum is chaired by author and business advisor Peter Fisk, who is convinced of the power of communities to redefine the connection between brands and buyers to fuel industry growth. He comments: “Consumers are the main drivers in the publishing industry today, and publishers have an opportunity to bring them together in communities where they can share their passions and do more together. It’s a chance to fundamentally change how publishers engage with their markets, shifting from selling to enabling, from transactions to relationships, from supply to support, from publisher to facilitator.”

Delegates will also hear from Leanne McNulty of not-for-profit organisation Room to Read, which seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in low-income communities by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Since 2017, Future Book Forum participants have collaborated to deliver thousands of free books to developing countries through the charity.

Shared expertise, accelerated growth

Future Book Forum encourages active participation in group Growth Accelerator workshops. Ideas collected through these are shared openly and debated in a panel discussion.

With a focus on practical implementation, Day 2 of Future Book Forum 2019 is steered by Sven Fund of fullstopp, a popular moderator of the event since 2017. An evangelist for systematic automation and process management in publishing, Sven brings together publishers and book producers to explain how they have embedded innovative practices in their business,

Delegates will hear from publisher Thames & Hudson and UK on-demand book producer Severn Print about how a crowdfunding business model, in combination with digital printing solutions, is generating growth opportunities for publishers and printers alike. Educational publisher Compendio Bildungsmedien together with Swiss digital book printer Edubook will talk about how digital print is enabling the individualisation of learning paths, transforming educational offerings.

Roundtable sessions will enable participants to explore several topics on technology and business innovation, hosted together with independent solution providers, experts and technology users. The hosts will discuss the key takeaways from the event including:

  • The ‘Smart Books’ publishing business model
  • How to grow through communities by increasing reader engagement
  • The role data analytics and artificial intelligence play in improving business processes
  • How the latest publishing production methods can develop new products and services

Future Book Forum 2019 concludes on both days with an inspiring keynote from the sporting world about how innovative technology can support a fan centric business. One of these speakers is Fernando Piquer, founder and CEO of Movistar Riders.

During the event delegates can also experience a range of live digital book production workflows. Canon digital printing presses on show include the ProStream 1000 and ColorStream 6000 Chroma (continuous feed inkjet), the VarioPrint i-series (cutsheet inkjet) and the imagePRESS C10000VP and VarioPrint 6000 TITAN (toner). These are integrated with partner finishing technologies from Hunkeler, Tecnau, Horizon, SDD and CP Bourg to showcase different end-to-end production scenarios.