PRINT 18: Where Print Still Lives
We’re looking forward to attending the Print 18 show in Chicago, and you should too.
If this is the first time you’re hearing your dealership should consider taking a closer look at production and industrial print, then you haven’t been paying attention. Frank has been stumping for production and industrial print for some time now.
With dealerships pressed to diversify as office printing continues to nosedive, production and industrial print go hand-in hand as potential opportunities. Success selling production print is a prerequisite for selling industrial print.
But Frank isn’t the only one touting production print. This past June, I attended one of the five 2018 Canon Engineering and Solutions Summits, conferences designed to educate and prepare service leaders in Canon’s independent dealer channel for the company’s latest service offerings and initiatives. Somewhat surprisingly, one of the topics on the agenda was how to become a production dealer. Think about it. This was a room full of dealer service leaders, not dealer principals, and yet Canon was taking this message to the service organization. It’s all about winning hearts and minds.
We heard production is transforming and provides a tremendous opportunity for everyone in that room, including service personnel. According to Canon, production print is a $400 million market with 60% of that figure coming from aftermarket revenue.
You don’t have to travel far to hear that same message from Konica Minolta, Ricoh, and Xerox””all of which are fully vested in the production print space.
Now, let’s up the ante and talk about industrial print. That’s a world where we’re talking big, big volumes and the ability to print on all sorts of materials, not just paper. This past January, we attended EFI Connect and later this month, we’ll be at PRINT 18, two shows with a significant industrial print focus. At PRINT 18, we expect to see equipment from Canon, HP, Konica Minolta, EFI Reggiani, Ricoh, RISO, Xerox, and many other vendors. But what we didn’t see at EFI Connect and aren’t anticipating seeing at PRINT 18 are many dealers.
We understand the expense of sending a representative to these events, but the exhibits, product demos, educational sessions, and networking opportunities present a valuable experience for a dealer already involved in production and industrial print, or for those thinking about moving in that direction. That’s why we attend and will continue to attend those shows.
In the interest of full disclosure, we’ve heard attendance at the PRINT 18 show has been on the decline, and some vendors have either pulled out altogether or are shrinking the size of their exhibits. Some are focusing their attention on the SGIA show in October, which will be branded as PRINTING United starting next year. This will be a new, consolidated show designed to bring in brands, printers, and OEMS from across the printing spectrum. That said, we still believe it is in a dealership’s best interest to send personnel from their organizations to conferences such as these if this is a future direction for their dealership.
We leave you with another potent message from the 2018 Canon Engineering and Solutions Summit, regarding the perception that print is dead. Print may be on the decline in the office, but in the publishing world and beyond, it’s still flourishing. This begs the question of why dealers wouldn’t want to engage in a segment of print that’s NOT on the decline.
In case you haven’t figured it out already, that question is rhetorical.