Print Next: It was great to see you in real life again!

Commentary by Lasse Krogell, NOPA

A couple of weeks ago around 130 persons gathered to join the Print Next event,  the first possibility for the Nordic and Baltic print professionals to meet face to face for some time. The event was organized by Grafkom together with Grafiska Företagen and NOPA. Unfortunately, only a small group of NOPA members were able to attend. Here you can read some of the findings I think are of interest to our community.

First on the stage was Madeleine Thor from IRM, the Institute for Advertising and Media Statistics. Statistics always look at the history and as we all know ads in printed products have dropped already for a long time. In Sweden the market share of print ad was 57 % in 2010 and digital had a share of 20 %. In 2020 digital was 65 % and print 16 %.

A little later marketing specialist Mats Rönne entered the stage. He talked about the effectiveness of advertising. His message was clear. Print is still very effective and results in better value for money spent. But he pointed out that those who decide how to spend ad money often go with the flow and votes for online. It is not trendy to use print. He had a slide saying; Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM.

Also, Mr David André from 21Grams came with similar findings in his presentation. He referred to a study made for Royal Mail in the UK, Driving Effectiveness with Direct Mail – WARC/Royal Mail, where direct mail showed very positive ROI benefits. The print industry has a big challenge. How can we encourage the decision makers to use more print?

Mr. Jon Erik Ofstad from the Danish company Subscrybe gave us a very interesting presentation of how subscription is gaining ground as a business model. Previously every household subscribed for the daily newspaper. Today we subscribe for internet connection, Netflix, Spotify and other services. He did not give the audience any concrete examples of how a printer could utilize a subscription model in its offering, but this is certainly something to think about.

In the afternoon we had Esben Mols Kabell from Lasertryck / Scandinavian Printing Group showing some interesting statistics of how their sales had developed during the pandemic. All in all, the trend is positive. He also showed a slide where their HP T250 HD inkjet web press does the job of 40 sheetfed digital presses. In earlier posts here I have written about the productivity potential of a modern offset press. Mr Kabell told that they have printed 10 jobs with print runs of 1000 copies in one hour with one Heidelberg XL 106-8 press. He claimed that 10 such presses would take care of the Danish market and 20 would cover the entire Swedish market.  As the print market will continue to decline with an increase in number of jobs with smaller print runs, his advice was not to do everything yourself, but to specialize. Perhaps you have heard this before.

The third session was about sustainability. We heard two presentations by Ulrika Rosén, Sustainability manager at Skyltmax and Roy Jensrud, Production- and Sustainability Director at Cappelen Damm and also Håvard Grjotheim from Scanbook at the closing panel discussion. Much of the discussion here was about carbon footprint and the greenhouse gas protocol. From this part I wrote down some thoughts:

  • Measure, reduce and compensate
  • Be responsible and honest
  • Every actor in the value chain should take responsibility of his own part of the emissions

It was really enjoyable to meet colleagues after a long time and Print Next was definitely worth visiting.

Hope to see you all at coming events!