Media Expo launches SOTI conference in Mumbai 21-22 February

Discussion on changing trends in advertising

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Media Expo

Media Expo, India’s largest exhibition for advertising and signage solutions, has announced the launch of its first ever conference alongside the exhibition to highlight changing trends in advertising. With the theme being ‘Signage, Outdoor Advertising – Technology and Innovation,’ the SOTI conference will kick off on 21 February in Hall 3, Bombay Exhibition Centre, Goregaon East, Mumbai. The conference is likely to be inaugurated by Vijay Balamwar, deputy commissioner (Election), Municipal Corporation, Mumbai, who will be the chief guest.

SOTI conference will discuss key issues in the advertising industry, with discussions centered round how technology advancements affecting conventional advertising for business in India, outdoor advertising impacting the road safety, green solutions for the advertising and printing industries, and changing trends and opportunities.

The conference will start with the registration of the participants and a welcome tea followed by an inaugural speech and welcome address. In the inaugural session, Balamwar, chief guest of the conference, will speak on ‘How outdoor advertising impacts the road safety’. After Balamwar’s address, Sudhir Soundalgekar, director of projects at Raymond, will talk on ‘Increasing the sales – Reimagining the store’. Dhruv Talwar, head of brand strategy at Godrej Properties, will discuss ‘Brands on street – Future perspective in India’. Nagendra Pratap Singh, head of retail design, Raymond will talk on ‘Dynamic vs static displays at retail business’. Jay Mehtaa, general manager at TDI India, will speak on ‘Enhancing traveler’s experience at Airport and Rail Metro – Latest advertising trends’. Sam Patel, director of Arrow Digital, will deliberate on ‘Wide format market trends’.

In the second session, eminent business leaders from reputed brands like Vyoma Media, MOMS Outdoor Media, Moving Walls, and CASHurDRIVE will speak on a series of topics – ‘How technology and big data is driving the OOH industry’, ‘Creative promotional outdoor branding and advertisement on billboards’, ‘The four letter word on outdoor advertising; MROI (Market Return on Investment)’, ‘Car wraps and branding scopes and impact in the evolving advertising industry’.

A panel discussion on ‘Best Practices in Signage and Outdoor Advertising’ will be held during the third session of the SOTI conference on 22 February. The panel will focus on balancing safety, environment, aesthetics and revenue in advertising, and will comprise members from the Municipal Corporation of Greater Bombay, 3M India, Positive Images, Arrow Digital, Jasra Graphics, and HP. The panel discussion will be followed by a Q&A session.

During its fourth session, SOTI conference will highlight business leaders’ viewpoints on ‘Printing and material technologies – Achieving the best results’. A vote of thanks followed by high tea and networking will bring the SOTI conference to an end.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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