Pacprint 2017 - How to get the most out of it?
With all the industry attention now turning to the upcoming show, Printers Post has taken a step back for a more objective view of the occasion. We have put together some questions that are worth considering both from a supplier’s and visitor’s perspective. They will help you make the most out of your time, effort and investment in the show.
Pacprint states on their site http://www.pacprint.com.au/about:
"With over 8,000 square metres of state-of-the-art equipment and technology on display, industry leading education and networking programme and an audience of more than 12,000 industry professionals, Pacprint is the event that brings buyers and suppliers together."
This is impressive reading but as a supplier, we should look beyond and ask ourselves:
- Who makes up these 12,000 buyers and will the type of products and marketing material we present meet their business expectations?
- With so many products and services on offer, what do we do that is different from our competitors, and how do we capture the interest of the visitors while they are at the show?
We can use the answers to these questions to formulate our Pacprint show objectives to really understand what we want to get out of it and also measure the level of success we achieve at the upcoming show.
When you are going to the show as a visitor, you come with a different set of objectives and are likely to want to see the latest industry developments and make valuable business contacts.
Some of the questions visitors will have on their minds:
What technology will I see at the show?
Which suppliers tap into our business needs and capture our interest?
Who will offer me the best value?
Who will offer me the best price?
Preparation pays off for those of us that find time to do some research and scan suppliers’ websites for details beforehand. Once at the show, it makes it easier to pinpoint products and services relevant to you and to take advantage of show specials.
Looking from an industry point of view, we at Printers Post have seen some major changes in the printing market over the past years and would like to share some of our independent insights:
Ø Trade shows have changed from "pure" trade visitors to a blended trade and end user market
Pacprint used to be frequented by trade only but because of the shrinking number of trade printers, it has had to attract new types of visitors. In addition, Pacprint is now co-located with Visual Impact Expo, which brings its own subset of visitors in the area of signage, engraving and displays.
This shift in visitor profiles has made it more challenging for suppliers to accurately communicate the landscape of their products and brand offering. One size no longer fits all.
The change in print business landscape also leads to questions such as:
Suppliers need to closely look at the reasons for doing shows and ask what is it in it for them. What are the opportunities?
How long will suppliers need to exhibit purely because their competitor is there and may get something that they wont?
Suppliers need to consider blocking out the noise and ask the tough questions, why exhibit?
Would suppliers get a better return if the cost to exhibit were invested in alternative marketing channels?
Independently assess why we, as a supplier, do what we do, which type of customers fits our culture and appreciates and pays for our types of services.
How does the supplier then identify them and reach out to effectively and economically communicate culture, added value and services to them?
Ø Nature of visitor consumer has changed
End users are now more web savvy, are less patient with "digital noise" and are facing a constant information overload. They are always on the look out for added value and are expected to multi task and to be accessible at all times. Targeting these end users and converting them into clients require a very different marketing strategy and process.
Ø Nature of research has changed
Once upon a time, not that long ago, if you wanted to buy a car, and do research on its market value, you would have go and see your local mechanic, buy the papers/magazines, read reviews and would ask if a mate knew this or that.
These days we simply go online and have access to car values and respective prices at the tips of our fingers, any time, any place. Then when we buy a car, you know you are getting the best value possible.
This type of behaviour has extended into many industries, including health, banking, building etc.
The web offers a perfect environment for information gathering about suppliers and their associated products and services. This online research capability means when visitors attend the show, they have a deep knowledge of the products and their technical capabilities. Visitors will also read up on reviews and take part in forums, to find out the background of the supplier and the product ranges on offer.
Ø Industry has gone from revolutionary to evolutionary - added value is key
The "industrial age" is well and truly gone... and the focus on quantity at fast and cheap rates is a thing of the past. In comes the "digital age" where customers want products and services that add value to their overall business operations and where suppliers are expected to take care of them after the sale and their month-to-month needs! The role of the supplier is shifting to manage ad hoc requirements on the spot and to be proactive in the client’s ongoing business needs.
With Pacprint 2017 kicking off just in just over a week’s time, the event will be sure to attract many participants and visitors as per previous years.
A downside of an event this type and size is that Pacprint is akin to "Christmas" for the industry, like a Seasonal buying opportunity show. Although this is ideal for attracting numbers, it runs the risk of making the price point the area of focus, affecting the suppliers adversely in the long term.
On the upside, Pacprint offers an outstanding opportunity for lead generation and remains a central meeting point for industry technology and services. It allows suppliers and end-users to exchange ideas and to view and demonstrate the latest market developments.
On this note, we at Printers Post wish all the exhibitors, visitors and the organizers all the best, and hope for a positive "win, win, win" outcome!