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A Tribute to drupa

Published on December 15, 2011

Andy Tribute and Cary Sherburne chat about the rapidly approaching drupa season and some of the key things they will be looking for.

Cary Sherburne:  Hi, I’m Cary Sherburne and Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com and I'm here with Andy Tribute, CEO of ATributes from the UK.  Welcome.

Andy Tribute:  Thank you very much indeed, Cary.  Nice to be over here.

Cary Sherburne: So, we’re coming up to drupa 2012, I’m not even really ready to think about it yet, but here it is, you know?

Andy Tribute:  I’ve had my room booked since last time, it’s all ready.

Cary Sherburne: That’s terrific.  And then you can talk, you know, as an industry expert, you know, you follow the industry and all of the, well, not all of the vendors, but probably 80% of them.  And maybe you could talk a little bit about why you think drupa is important, from an exhibitor perspective, as well as from an attendee perspective.

Andy Tribute:  Okay.  If we look at it first of all from the exhibitor perspective, drupa is essentially the one location that exhibitors want to show their very best, very latest products.  So it is the one place you can guarantee seeing anything that is new, going to change things, etc.  It is that significant.  So all the trends that we see tend to be exemplified at drupa, which you don’t see at smaller shows.  It’s a 14-day show, so, you know, people can have the time for set up and for getting a really established procedure there.  And it’s where we expect to see an awful lot.

And just take one area, the key level of interest for lots of people, still, is digital printing and this whole thing about high speed continuous inkjet, and that’s been around for some time.  But it will certainly be, once again, the inkjet drupa because it’s not just the existing suppliers we see, but we’re going to see a whole lot of new players coming in, and these are the offset vendors who are now seeing the opportunities to come into this.  So you’re going to see people like Mangroven, but one that really interests me particularly is KBA.  I think KBA is going to be fascinating to see.  But you’re also seeing things that have just been announced, for example, in the UK book, printing supplier, Timpson has just announced it’s going to have its own digital press.  TPS from Japan is going to have its own digital press.  All sorts of people are coming into this market.  And all we’ve got to find now is some applications and some customers who are prepared to pay the level of money they’re talking about, which is going to be the problem.

Cary Sherburne: Right.

Andy Tribute:  So it’s that sort of area, it’s the key thing.  But the key thing otherwise is going to be showing the principle trend in the industry of actually how we work together with the internet and how we make the internet part of the whole business model.  And that, I think, is the two trends that are going to be really there.  One is really the high speed inkjet moving on, and the second one is how we rebuild our whole businesses to build the internet as a core part of the business and becoming, to use this wonderful buzzword, multimedia or—

Cary Sherburne: Multichannel.

Andy Tribute:  Multichannel.  Whatever, communication suppliers, etc.  And it’s where you’ll really see this, and if you’re not in that sort of area of business, you won’t be in business at all, if you don’t adopt that sort of structure.  So that’s the key thing in terms of why it’s important to the vendors.

Cary Sherburne: And so you expect to see, obviously, lots of new developments in inkjet, I mean, Delfax is another one, I mean, they’re not offset, but, you know, they’ve made the announcement about Memjet.

Andy Tribute:  So it’s not just that, it’s Delfax with Memjet and there may be some other ones with Memjet, I’ve just been looking at some Memjet stuff on the floor here.  But it’s all sorts of things.  For example, everyone seems to be writing on offset, but offset’s phenomenal.  Some of the stuff you’re going to see out of the offset suppliers is going to blow your mind in terms of the increased automation, etc., and how they’re becoming more and more efficient.  Offset has not given up.

Cary Sherburne: Yeah.

Andy Tribute:  You know, it’s offset and digital together.

Cary Sherburne: Yeah.

Andy Tribute:  And it’s that sort of structure that’s going to be key.  In terms of the electrophotographic printing, that’s not stopping.  But those are very high up the development path.  Offset is right at the top of the plateau.

Cary Sherburne: Right, right.

Andy Tribute:  It’s just improving efficiency and making it more automated.  It’s getting to that stage as well, with the electrophotographic Turner base presses.  The inkjet is still on a very, very sharp development cycle.

Cary Sherburne: Yeah.  And then in terms of all the front end stuff—

Andy Tribute:  The front ends are all moving to integrate into the internet.

Cary Sherburne: Right.

Andy Tribute:  Another big word they’re going to see is cloud.

Cary Sherburne: Cloud, yeah.

Andy Tribute:  It’s going to be the cloud drupa, in a sense.

Cary Sherburne: Yeah, yeah.

Andy Tribute:  That’s going to be another key thing now.

Cary Sherburne: There we go, that’s more challenging than the...

Andy Tribute:  It is, yeah.

Cary Sherburne: The cloud drupa, I love it.

Andy Tribute:  It’s those sort of things.  And then you say, “Why is it important for the users?”  Well, it’s important for the users because you won’t, you’ll see how your future’s going to evolve.  If you don’t actually see this and get involved with it, you won’t really know how to direct your company, where your investment should be, how you should be changing your business models and all that sort of thing, because the whole thing, if you look at successful printers over the last ten years, they’ve all fundamentally changed their business models.

Cary Sherburne: Yeah.

Andy Tribute:  And it’s a constantly changing thing.  If you don’t keep up to date with the trends, and you don’t go to the shows and you don’t see what’s happening, then you won’t grow in the way and become more profitable.  And so it doesn’t matter, this is not a European show, this is a worldwide international show.

Cary Sherburne: Worldwide, yeah.

Andy Tribute:  You’ll find a huge number of people come from Australia.  A lot of people from China.  A lot of people from India.

Cary Sherburne: Latin America.

Andy Tribute:  Lot of people from South America.

Cary Sherburne: Yeah.

Andy Tribute:  More and more people from the USA.  The USA used to be just the vendors and a few bigger printers.  Now we’re seeing much more importance.  I think mainly because of scaling down on other shows, for example, I have nothing against GraphX, but a GraphX photo is a relatively small show.

Cary Sherburne: Yeah.

Andy Tribute:  Print is a bigger show, but print is not anywhere near the same sort of scale as some of the other international shows, you know, that assume, we may not be saying that drupa is the one to go to, we may be saying All In Print China is going to be the big one eventually.

Cary Sherburne: Right, right.  Right.

Andy Tribute:  Because that’s a huge show.

Cary Sherburne: China Print and Print China.

Andy Tribute:  China Print, all these sort of things.

Cary Sherburne: Yeah.

Andy Tribute:  You know, that’s a key one.  But if you’re a printer who’s looking as to where to take your business, where the future’s going to be, what you should be investing in to change your business, to maintain and build profitability, you have to go.

Cary Sherburne: You have to go.

Andy Tribute:  And you can’t just go for a day.

Cary Sherburne: Yeah.

Andy Tribute:  You got to go for a minimum of three days with a pretty sure idea of what you’re going to look at, and if you can take more than one person, so much the better.

Cary Sherburne: Yeah, because drupa, the website has lots of tools to help you preplan your visit.

Andy Tribute:  Oh, it does, yeah.  And, you know, I have to say, the drupa organizers are superb.  They really do put the whole thing together extremely well.  If you’re an analyst of the press, it’s fantastic.  You know, the support you get is quite amazing.

Cary Sherburne: Yeah.

Andy Tribute:  You get pretty tired, and I still get—

Cary Sherburne: You’ve been to a few.

Andy Tribute:  I’ve been to not quite as many as Frank, but one less, but I’ve been to more iPex’s than him, etc., but I’ve been to lots.  It’s been fascinating being involved on a day to day basis with all the fundamental changes.  And they’re still happening.  You know, we’re seeing different changes now.  The implication of what the internet has done to force phenomenal change on this.

Cary Sherburne: Yeah, yeah.

Andy Tribute:  And that’s continuing.  And the big thing we’ve got is printers, you know, and perhaps I shouldn’t call, or be a printer any more, I should be a communications supplier.  But basically you consider yourself a printer.  We’ve got to rethink how we make print still a very important aspect of the communications market.

Cary Sherburne: Right.  

Andy Tribute:  And there’s a huge amount of education on that.

Cary Sherburne: Right.

Andy Tribute:  And that’s why I think what we’re doing is good in WhatTheyThink because we’re doing that educational side.  But we need to extend, and one of the things that I think is important, and I think it’s interesting at drupa, is they’ve been developing a thing called the drupa Innovation Park for a number of years.

Cary Sherburne: Right.  And drupa Q.

Andy Tribute:  And drupa Q.  And I think what they’re going to be doing this year is making that almost like a mini show.  And I’ve suggested to the drupa organizers, they should actually offer the ability for people from the advertising industries and the internet industries and these sort of things, to basically be able to come just to that part of the show.

Cary Sherburne: Right.

Andy Tribute:  Just to see what multichannel communications is about and if they then want to go and see what putting marks on paper is about as part of that, then go into the rest of the show.  But to actually operate that as a specific multichannel communications environment—whether they will do it, I don’t know, but I think it’s a great opportunity for non-printers, people in the communications industry, who want to see how communications and cross media and everything else is going to work in the future, that’s a place, I think you’re going to see some fantastic things.

Cary Sherburne: That’s a great idea.

Andy Tribute:  And that’s a key thing I think people need to think about.

Cary Sherburne: Great, well, thank you.

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