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What’s Behind the Curtain? How to Break into Décor Printing

According to Texintel, cultural trends are driving a change in the way consumers decorate their living and working spaces:

[P]eople prefer fast fashion and exclusive products that can be customized and personalized according to their specific demands. Customers are willing to pay premium prices and actively seek out platforms and brands that cater to their custom home décor needs. This trend is particularly evident due to the increasing purchasing power of Gen Z, who are more inclined towards online shopping. There is a strong demand for printed materials used in furniture. Consumers are increasingly looking for personalized and one-of-a-kind home furnishings, including curtains, upholstery fabrics, bedding, and cushions.

As a result, the market for digital décor has been forecast to grow strongly in the coming years. According to Allied Market Research, the home décor market in general is expected to reach $1.1 billion by 2032 at 4.9% CAGR. Polaris Market Research adds that digitally printed wallpaper alone is expected to reach $21.33 billion by 2032, with 19.4% CAGR. Display graphics equipment manufacturers across the board see growth in these markets, and many have been launching digitally printed wallcovering solutions. And many elements of décor can be produced on equipment you may already have. But how do you break into décor printing?

Join us on Wednesday, April 17 at 1 pm EDT, when wide-format printing consultant, columnist, keynote speaker, and masterclass educator Debbie Nicholson will offer helpful tips at how PSPs, display graphics producers, and others can take advantage of this high-growth market. Other participants have yet to be determined.

In this session, you’ll learn:

  • What specific elements comprise “home décor”?
  • What equipment is needed to produce these materials?
  • What are effective strategies for marketing and selling home décor printing capabilities—both to present as well as prospective customers?

A complete archive—slides and audio—will be available for download following this session.

You have the potential to open the curtain for the exciting possibilities of décor printing. If you are looking to expand into new markets and applications, you won’t want to miss this session, sponsored by EFI and swissQprint.

Debbie Nicholson is the owner of Think-to-Ink! She is a wide-format printing consultant, columnist, keynote speaker, and masterclass educator. She has been in the print industry for 28+ years. Debbie is passionate and committed to helping printing companies elevate their untapped potential. As the previous owner of a printing company, she understands what it takes to continually navigate change and the strength it takes to endure challenges.

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Recorded April 17, 2024

The State of the Cloud

Join WhatTheyThink contributor Pat McGrew and Pixel Dot Consulting’s Ryan McAbee as they look at the latest trends in software and workflow—which are not the same things! In particular, they will look at how the cloud—“that big, fluffy ghost that lives in our networks”—is transforming virtually every aspect of the print business in shops of all sizes.

The opportunities of cloud computing, cloud services, and cloud-enabled training bring more power to print manufacturing than we could have imagined a decade ago. The cloud offers seemingly endless storage and computing to power solutions that are changing how and where we work. Join us as we explore the current state of the cloud, how it applies to print businesses, and how to take full advantage of its opportunities.

What you’ll learn:

  • How cloud-based print management systems (PMS) enable print businesses to automate and streamline their print production workflows, reducing errors and improving overall efficiency.
  • How cloud-based solutions like online ordering portals and web-to-print tools enhance the customer’s experience.
  • The relationship between cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI)-based applications.
  • How to train employees in “cloud skills.”

A complete archive—slides and audio—will be available for download following this session.

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Recorded February 14, 2024

Secure and Automated—On-Demand Job Management Made Easy

Job onboarding is a common challenge for small and medium sized in-plant and commercial printers. In fact, roughly 40% of all print jobs, regardless of submission method, require time-consuming follow-up activities before the job can even move into production.

Join us on November 8th to learn how to easily jumpstart your job onboarding with confidence while avoiding the common pitfalls in this critical production area. Automate with efficiency when running a high number of small jobs with this intuitive, vendor-agnostic print-on-demand SaaS workflow technology.

Let our panel of experts guide you with examples, so you get this right the first time. Our panelists include:

  • Begum Walji, Global Software Product Manager, Ricoh Graphic Communications
  • Jason Jones, Senior Solutions Engineer, Ricoh Graphic Communications
  • Linnea Wolken, Senior Director, Global Marketing, Alliances & Operations, Ricoh Production WorkFlow Software and Solutions

In this webinar you will learn:

  • How to reduce job onboarding time by viewing and managing incoming jobs from multiple submission sources in one secure, cloud-based location.
  • Ways to improve your overall client communication resulting in increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • How to increase productivity by automating the entire workflow process of submitting print jobs, conducting malware detection, performing a pre-flight check, and ensuring print readiness without the need for operator intervention or IT expertise.

Attend this interactive webinar to learn how easily many onboarding challenges can be quickly resolved with a SaaS-based, vendor agnostic workflow solution.

A complete archive—slides and audio—will be available for download following this session.

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Recorded November 8, 2023

Labels & Packaging: Outside the Box

Digital label and packaging production still remains a small part of the packaging market, but represents strong growth opportunities. At the same time, brand and customer demand—and often governmental legislation—for more sustainable packaging is driving the development of more environmentally friendly options, as well as placing increased emphasis on packaging lifecycle analysis and what to do with packaging materials at end of life.

On Tuesday, October 31 at 1 pm ET, join WhatTheyThink’s David Zwang as he highlights the latest technology trends in label and packaging solutions. This session will detail how shifting market requirements are driving new innovations from label and packaging printing and converting equipment manufacturers.

What you’ll learn:

  • New label and packaging technology developments and trends.
  • How the digital transformation in both label and packaging printing are providing new opportunities for printers and converters.
  • The role of hybrid or bespoke solutions.
  • The latest new product announcements from such recent shows as LabelExpo Europe and PRINTING United.

A complete archive—slides and audio—will be available for download following this session.

This session is sponsored by Michelman.

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Recorded October 31, 2023

Finishing Touches: The Results of Taktiful and WhatTheyThink’s Landmark Digital Embellishment Survey

A look at the challenges and opportunities of this exploding growth opportunity.

Taktiful, the Digital Embellishment Experts, teamed with WhatTheyThink to conduct a first-of-its-kind study of digital ink and toner embellishment use. The goal of this study was to find out more about how print service providers are using the specialty inks and toners that are available as options for their digital presses. The resulting “Taktiful/WhatTheyThink 2023 Specialty Digital Ink and Toner Embellishment Study” provides insights into the size of the embellishment market and identifies areas for improvement as well as further market opportunities for vendors and print providers alike.

On Wednesday, September 27, at 1 pm ET, join the study’s principal investigators, Taktiful’s Kevin Abergel and WhatTheyThink’s Richard Romano, as they take a deep dive into how current users of digital ink and toner embellishment technologies are utilizing them, what the response from customers has been, how satisfied print providers have been with the sales and profitability of these jobs, where the challenges lie, and their general feelings about the future of these technologies. The report is based on survey responses from owners of specialty ink and toner technologies using them in conjunction with digital printing equipment from Ricoh, HP Indigo, Xerox, Kodak, Oki, Heidelberg, Fujifilm, and Xeikon.

What you’ll learn:

  • How current digital press owners and operators are using the specialty ink and toner capabilities of their equipment—how often, for what print applications, and what specific colors/effects.
  • The extent to which print providers find these capabilities to be profitable—and how they could be more profitable.
  • What the challenges in working with these capabilities are—and how.

If you’re a digital press owner—or planning to become one—find out how you can take advantage of this potential profit center. This webinar is sponsored by Matik/SEI Laser.

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Recorded September 27, 2023

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