Focus on sustainable media production at Print & Digital Convention

Exhibitors included Canon, FKS, Horizon, Konica Minolta, Kurz and Xerox

print & digital convention
The sixth Print & Digital Convention 2023 was held on 16 and 17 May in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Just after packaging fair Interpack, Düsseldorf in Germany hosted another important show – the sixth Print & Digital Convention 2023, which was held on 16 and 17 May.

A synergy of convention and a trade fair, the Print & Digital Convention again saw experts from the print and media industry speaking and discussing on trending themes such as sustainable media production, programmatic print, multi-channel publishing, value-added printing, printed electronics, label and packaging, etc.

Registering about 1,200 participants, the convention — one of the most relevant industry meetings in the field of communication and packaging industries — saw participation from an exclusive circle of some 70 top exhibitors, including Canon, FKS, Horizon, Konica Minolta, Kurz and Xerox, which convinced delegates with their creative solutions and exhibits, as well as 47 high-caliber speakers, who shared their expertise and insights in a total of 38 lectures.

“The Print & Digital Convention is an absolute heart and soul project. We are proud to see how this format has developed over the past few years,” explains Rüdiger Maaß, Managing Director of f:mp (Fachverband Medienproduktion). “Our great thanks go to the exhibitors, speakers and partners who consistently drive the concept in constant exchange with us. We are also particularly delighted with the approximately 20% new exhibitors, who not only enhance the ranges for our visitors, but have also provided many new ideas and impulses.”

Knowledge hub and in-depth networking

The unique concept of this congress trade fair made for a communicative and busy atmosphere at the Düsseldorf Stadthalle and for in-depth networking and high-caliber knowledge transfer at the exhibition stands and in the lectures. In addition, it provided exciting insights into innovative practice-driven solutions for print and packaging applications.

“Here brand owners, agencies and media producers find concrete solutions allowing them to efficiently implement their marketing strategies,” explains Sabine Geldermann, director drupa, Printing Technologies, Messe Düsseldorf. “The Print & Digital Convention convinced attendees this year again with its strong practical slant, concrete applications and the comprehensive know-how conveyed in the talks. This success shows us that we are on the right track and our themes and ranges strike a chord with the sector.” Ranging from digital transformation and print in a modern marketing mix to sustainable finishes, the latest topics, trends and views were discussed.

Applications and solutions that ‘wow’ users

They were among the crowd pullers at Print & Digital Convention — nine Highlight Projects were in the focus of many visitors and demonstrated with hands-on applications just what is possible in modern marketing with a perfect interplay of digital printing, digital media technology, print applications and multi-channel solutions. 

Experts along the entire supply chain had joined forces to implement the Highlight Projects, and specifically developed their cases for the Print & Digital Convention in close cooperation. Best practices here ranged from finishing options and strategies for brand management to cross-media campaigns.

Sustainable media guides

The demand for independent and high-quality information on such subjects as sustainability, environmental and climate protection, circular economy, standards, functions as well as current legislation, is as high as ever. Here the ‘Sustainable Media Guides’, which were officially presented on the two convention days for the first time, will close a gap in the media landscape from now on. This compendium of technical literature specifically edited for this purpose is to become a knowledge base for sustainable publishing. The project sponsors are the Brancheninitiative UmDEX as well as the professional association Fachverband Medienproduktion e. V. Presenting partners are inapa Deutschland GmbH, Canon Deutschland GmbH and drupa/Messe Düsseldorf.

Print & Digital Convention @ drupa 2024

The next Print & Digital Convention will be held as part of drupa 2024, the World-leading Trade Fair for Printing Technologies, from 28 May to 7 June. On a special area partners of the convention can introduce themselves to the international drupa audience. In addition, the Print & Digital Convention will organize one congress day at the drupa cube, the central stage for pioneering content. 

Likewise, the official Guided Tours of drupa will be organized by the Fachverband Medienproduktion. The focal themes of these guided trade fair tours are sustainability, finishing and Programmatic Print.

Speaking on this year’s convention, Timm Edelhoff, Managing director, Horizon GmbH, said, “Our staff had an incredible number of interesting talks at the Print & Digital Convention. We meet our partners here and can exchange ideas with the sector. We feel in good hands – especially in the robotics field. Our strategy towards integration and robotics is becoming ever more important. This is why we are particularly pleased to see more and more exhibitors offering integrative solutions for processes at the convention. To us, the Print & Digital Convention is a great preparation and kick-off for drupa 2024.”

Oliver Heiss, General manager Sales Center & Eastern Europe, RISO GmbH, said, “We have been at the Print & Digital Convention for the first time this year and we really like it. The atmosphere is great and we are especially delighted with the interest shown by visitors who have given us an enormously positive feedback. Customers stop, get advice and we are very excited to see the ongoing after-show exchange.”

Silvia Wiener, head of Print Media Consulting, inapa Deutschland GmbH, said, “The Print & Digital Convention is a good industry meeting where you get to talk to many people. The conference agenda was impressive and top-notch in terms of content. We are proud to be a Presenting Partner of the Sustainable Media Guides which were launched at the Print & Digital Convention. This project provides the possibility to transfer thoroughly researched expert knowledge related to sustainable media production themes to the creative sector, to relevant training institutes and marketing people within industry, thereby also ensuring cross-industry knowledge transfer.”

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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