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Nationwide Print MD Julian Hocking was invited to attend Drupa 2016, which took place in Dusseldorf. Here is Julian’s report from the event:

Drupa is the most important international event in the print industry; taking place every four years, it gives businesses and investors a platform to discover new technology, discuss global trends and develop key relationships.

The motto for this year’s conference was ‘Touch The Future’, highlighting its ambition to place “the industry’s innovative power centre stage” and provide a platform for future technologies. Next-generation print, packaging production, multichannel, 3D printing, functional printing and green printing were all given special attention.

Drupa is important because it’s a key forum for new technologies and ideas. Print is changing rapidly and here at Nationwide Print we need to be at the forefront in order to remain competitive.

Digital print is going to become dominant in all forms and sizes – including B1. The quality of digital is now matching litho and the cost is becoming more attractive, especially for SMEs like us.

Other interesting developments also caught my attention. For example nano technology is a new way of printing and it’s to do with nano-sized pigments having very powerful colorants. It’s extremely interesting and is happening now!

However, perhaps the most important development for Nationwide Print is the evolving ‘total solution’ and ‘added value’ approach to printing needs showcased at Drupa.

Print has become more than ink on paper. We recently purchased state of the art equipment and software from global technology company Ricoh. MarcomCentral offers a complete online Marketing Asset Management solution for delivering cross media campaigns. One of the reasons I travelled to Dusseldorf was to promote this collaborative project with Ricoh.

One of Nationwide Print’s biggest clients, St Austell Brewery, will be the first to benefit from the new system. We plan to help them manage their multiple brands in a more effective way. With improved asset management, we will create a highly responsive process that minimises human touchpoints and reduces errors. MarcomCentral adds value to what we do and enables us to offer a total integrated digital solution.

As well as research and promotion, the trip also offered me an opportunity to network – catching up with old colleagues and making new contacts. Dusseldorf is a vibrant city that I probably would not have visited if it wasn’t for Drupa. I enjoyed good food and company, and the biggest bonus was a direct flight home to Newquay!