Leatherhead, UK - "Printers should not sell printing", says Frank Romano, contributing editor at WhatTheyThink ahead of an Ipex 2010 Great Debate exploring how printers should be selling print. Instead, printers should sell solutions to their customers' promotion and marketing problems. "Print is a commodity because all printers have great quality and great service, so the major differentiator is price. Solutions are a profit opportunity because they emphasise value-added services, like database, creative, and fulfilment."
Running on 18 and 22 May, More than ink on paper - how should printers be selling print? is one of a series of free expert panel debates at Ipex 2010 tackling some of the most critical issues facing the print industry today. Produced by world print authority, Pira International in association with Ipex, The Great Print Debates will bring together experts, thought leaders and high-profile industry representatives from 18-25 May 2010.
According to Pira, the days of selling print based on equipment specifications are over. Today printers need a technology or customer-driven strategy to attract profitable work that is more than just ink on paper. Frank Romano, Professor Emeritus, Rochester Institute of Technology and Great Debate chairperson is one of the expert panel from across the supply chain. The panel will discuss how printers can make money from services including fulfilment, personalisation and mailing. In addition, the panel will explore the optimum technologies needed to execute these strategies and the changing competitive landscape with digital increasing its market share from conventional printing methods.
The Debates come at a critical time according to Pira Consultant and Great Debate chair, Sean Smyth. "The industry is in an unprecedented period of change, exacerbated by the deep recession. Cash conservation is a short-term tactic, not a strategy to build a successful business. These debates provide an opportunity for industry players to put their heads above the parapet and think about how their businesses, and their careers, might progress satisfactorily under new conditions".
Three other important questions will also be debated: What will the printer of the future look like?, Will an Ipod for publishing kill printed media? and Green print: is it worth it? With full audience participation and interaction, The Great Print Debates will take expert commentary, lively debate and audience interactivity to a completely new level at a major exhibition.
Audience participation and interaction using simple polling technology will allow real-time feedback and drive the questioning of the panel chair, pushing the experts out of their comfort zone. Looking forward to the Debates, Laurel Brunner of Digital Dots reminds the industry, "It's all too easy to forget that understanding the important issues only comes with interaction and participation."
Debate participants will take away an exclusive study with scenarios and forecasts to 2020. With input from a special panel of authoritative print and publishing experts from around the world, Print to 2020 will provide a unique global summary of the major challenges, threats and opportunities facing the global printing industry. Building upon the themes discussed at the Ipex/Pira forums, the study will offer an exclusive roadmap for how these issues are likely to develop over the next ten years. Print to 2020 is published by Pira International.