drupa 2012 : Something for Everyone
Exciting Stuff: I'm a digital guy in many respects. It will be interesting to see KBA, and what—if anything—it shows based on the Donnelley platform. I also want see what direction Heidelberg is taking, and want to get a better handle on manroland, now that it's two separate pieces, owned by companies we don't know a lot about. I'm curious to know where these (offset press) manufacturers may be headed and what they're going to do about digital and finishing. It'll be interesting to see what the finishing people will do that hasn't been done, and the potential of papers more adaptable to inkjet.
You've got to see Benny Landa, of course, who promises to revolutionize everything that's out there.
Don't Forget: If you look at Graph Expo, sheetfed (offset) has virtually disappeared from the show floor. Web offset isn't there, save a static unit displayed by Goss. Gravure and specialty items have been nonstarters for a long time. The finishing/postpress end, except for some digital equipment, doesn't make a strong appearance at Graph Eexpo. But all of that stuff will be shown at drupa, in spades.
Brimstone Hill Associates
What to Expect: What's most interesting to me is how the balance of inkjet, toner and offset play against electronic books or electronic presentment of documents. Books are one of the most significant places and we're seeing a lot of change. You look at e-books (and the perception is) everyone's reading on a Kindle or Nook, etc., and they aren't going to read paper books anymore. People in the business of printing paper books are seeing their run lengths go down, but they don't seem to have any trouble keeping their presses full with short runs of paper books.
What does this mean? That's one of the things I'm looking forward to seeing at drupa: Where is this crossover between electronic media and printed media, and how does it work in different applications? With books, there are clearly two different avenues to get to the same end, but they're really compatible. If you look at cross-media, where you're talking about direct marketing or any kind of marcom materials, there's plenty of room to play for both electronic and print. While print is going to become a smaller part of marcom, it will still play an important role.