Hi. I’m Tony Hodgson and I work with an organization called PODi. That’s the digital printing initiative and it’s a global organization. It’s been around about 15 years now and it’s mainly based in America, but it’s got about 500 members worldwide. And its purpose is to grow the market for digital print and to help printers who are involved in digital print grow their business. As well as, you know, getting a community together of printers who want to learn more, and marketers, their customers, and publishers; and all about how digital printing can be used to benefit their business and take advantage of the great opportunities that there are in what is a growing area of the printing industry, compared with the rest of it which is kind of declining as we all know.
So I actually run PODi in the UK. I’ve not been doing it for long. Well, I’ve been a member, my sales, through various businesses at PODi for some years. And I just think it’s such a great thing. It’s a kind of secret really. Nobody much has heard of PODi over in the UK and in Europe and I’m aiming to kind of change that. So one of the things that we’re doing is running an event like the big AppForum event that PODi holds every year in the USA. In fact, I’m right here now with these guys from WhatTheyThink and I’m at the PODi AppForum in Las Vegas in January, and it’s been a fantastic three days here where I’ve learned a huge amount of new things that are going on and the networking and meeting people has just been brilliant.
And so my plan is to hold an event in London and we’re calling it the PODi European AppForum and it’ll be the first time that PODi have actually crossed the Atlantic for about seven years. They did something a while back that was a small event and we’re trying to get it going again in the UK and to build that community. So we have this event coming up on March 29th. It’s going to be held at the London College of Communication right in the center of London, and it’ll be a one-day conference. We’ll be featuring all kinds of applications of digital print.
They’ll be ranging from the use of digital print in the voluntary sector, for example. We’ve got a great case study of how the Citizens’ Advice Bureau have been using web to print to enable their local branches to produce localized, customized marketing materials, whilst the CAD can continue to manage the brands and keep control of the whole thing. And then we’ve got another story from a Chamber of Commerce and how they’ve used digital print with a whole range of multi-channel cross-media, social media, and email and personalized websites, together with digital print to grow their members, and they’ve had some really amazing results.
Looking to the publishing side where we’ve got someone coming to talk to us about how print on demand is working for them as a small publisher, with the interaction between print on demand and new developments with e-books, and how both areas are helping to grow each other for their business. So that, together with some pretty large-scale applications, customer acquisition, customer retention campaigns, and direct marketing, again, using digital print with other media in a full multi-channel cross-media ecosystem that is really well-suited to digital print. Because digital print, you know, is so much data-driven and it can fit and integrate really well into the world of email and online and digital marketing as well.
So those are some of the topics that we’ll be covering at our event. It’ll be a one-day event in London and there’ll be plenty of chances for networking and meeting other people, just like it’s been this great event that takes place each year in the USA. Okay, London’s not quite Las Vegas, and here right now it’s sunny and warm even in the middle of January. It’ll probably be still raining and cold in London in late March, but I’m hoping that we’ll get a good crowd come along, and not just from London and the UK either. We’re reaching out across Europe and we’ve got quite a few members and a lot of interest. So I’m hoping that this will be the first of a whole series of events that we can now start running at PODi, not just in the UK, not just in the USA, but also in other European countries as well.
So that’s the plan, and it’s on March 29th at the London College of Communication. And you can find out more on the website at HYPERLINK "http://www.appforum.org.uk" www.appforum.org.uk.