It’s a Multi-Channel, Multi-Educational World
Print surrounds us every day. It is on the bus driving by. It is on the bus shelter we wait in. It is in the subway tunnel. It is on the billboards. It is in the mail. It is in the restaurant. It is in the retail store. Print is far from dead—but it is no longer the only way we communicate.
David Steinhardt, Idealliance’s President & CEO, notes that right now, the biggest trend he is watching is a question: “How does the PSP work across all of those channels of communication?”
His suggestion for attendees of PRINT 17 this year is to pay particular attention to the wide range of digital technologies that will be on display, and be on the lookout for ways to expand the shop’s offerings beyond what you have traditionally offered—no matter what “traditionally offered” actually means to your shop. “Printers have to be looking at ways of diversifying their portfolio,” he says. “That is the business of print.”
One of the beauties of this show, for him, is the ability to see it all in one place, and make direct comparisons between solutions, which can be difficult to do any other way. But don’t just go to window-shop—walk the show floor with purpose. “It goes back to printers wanting to know where to put their investments,” says Julie Shaffer, Vice President, Marketing & Meetings, Idealliance. “They need to be looking for not just the hottest trends, but where they can invest to grow into the future and improve their business.”
Steinhardt notes that attendees should think beyond just the technology, as well. To get the most out of PRINT 17, he strongly suggests taking advantage of all of the free educational opportunities that will be available.
All of the associations, he says, will have training theaters on the show floor this year, and Idealliance, in particular, will have 11 different sessions focusing on a wide range of topics. “I think that’s a great trend because people are wanting to not only get the technology landscape, but now drill down and learn more,” he says. “They know how to do it, now what are the next steps—how should they look at diversification?”
The association, he says, is also using the show this year as a jumping off point for a whole new branding initiative. Stop by the booth to see the new look and feel, and learn about the wide range of new programs they are launching over the next year, as well as get a look at the brand new State of the Industry report they are releasing for the first time at the show.
“We’re really excited about [PRINT 17]; it is coming a year after the merger—we became Idealliance in July 2017. So this is the first real show since the merger, and we are hitting the ground running with a number of new programs.”
Toni McQuilken has been writing and editing for more than a decade. Her work includes B2B publications – both in print and online – in a range of industries, such as print and graphics, technology, hospitality and automotive; as well as behind the scenes writing and editing for multiple companies, helping them craft marketing materials, write press releases and more. She is a self-proclaimed "tech geek" who loves all things technology, and she knows that she is one of a select group of people who get to do what they love for a living.