The Print Show 2022 – It’s a knockout!


And not just because I got to meet Frank Bruno – not at all! But also more on that later…

The event was a must-attend in the printer’s calendar, with all the top brands making an appearance and a feeling of minor competitiveness between them when it came to presentations. These were definitely businesses that wanted to be there and wanted you to hear their offerings.

Stepping into the ring…

Honestly, it was quite moving after all the lockdowns and Covids and things of the past few years – quite invigorating to be able to actually converse in-person, at an event, once more. There’s just something about being there, isn’t there.

Sitting there, talking with a variety of printers throughout the day, it really gave me the feeling that the print industry is back on track again. Things are returning to some definition of normal. Not quite how it used to be, but well on the road to that general direction.

The message I journeyed there to deliver was definitely a business one-two: Covid has left a lot of the print industry in tatters and the only way to recover is to embrace technology, fully and properly. Taking on Web2Print right now could be the best thing you ever do for yourself, for your customers and for your coffers – especially if you’ve left it this late.

It’s never too late to transition into being a technical organization – and the best time to start is still right now.

The Real McCoy

I also took the opportunity to impress on new players the genuine help offered to them, within the pages of my book, The Definitive Web2Print Sales Manual. Now onto its third edition, the tremendously positive feedback I have received about it has been truly overwhelming and I would like to thank all of those who have purchased and read it. It has also been an honour working with ePS to ensure it continues to be shared with the whole Web2Print community.

I tried to make it clear to the printers I spoke with, that there can be no “one size fits all” guide, and that any which purport to be so, are going to bob and weave on the real issues; namely, how to make Web2Print actually work for you and actually turn a profit.

What the Manual tries to do is to tackle as ­­­many of the common and most challenging problems and enquiries that the majority of our customers seem to have had. They are also the fundamental challenges that the majority of printers entering into the Web2Print world will have to encounter, sooner or later; if you can nail these, it’s likely you will achieve overall success with your Web2Print strategy.

I try to pull no punches so that those new to the platform won’t have to take a dive or throw in the towel.

Below The Belt (a bit)

I did manage to engage with many printers, during and outside of my presentation. This, despite the fact the organizers had omitted me from the Speakers list… and, in general, hadn’t publicized my appearance at all… and spelt my name wrong. It was a bit of a sucker punch, but I’m no glass-jawed lightweight! Rather than throw in the towel, I just took it on the chin and came out fighting!

During my talk, I made mention of many of the concepts within this Manual; how to talk about the product to non-technical printers; how to sell the product; how to maximise the native technology so that it is appealing and embracing to users.

While the pandemic was raging, we took the opportunity to do some shake-ups of our own and I also briefly touched on the outcomes, post-pandemic, of those activities, while avoiding a more…  blow-by-blow account.

The question and answer bit at the end of the session was a great way for us to really throw our hat into the market-wide Web2Print ring and address concerns about how to roll with the punches thrown by the whole Covid affair.

Seriously, though, there are a huge number of people who want to start their Web2Print journey but aren’t quite sure about the specifics. Perhaps they’ve chosen a platform, but don’t know how to select customers, or even how to start selling at all. Or perhaps the platform options entirely overwhelm them, altogether. I tried to spread reassurance where I could – for instance, I used to be a contender Web2Print-unbeliever but eventually came around and now am practically an evangelist and very happy with what Web2Print has done for us, personally, here at Syncoms.

It is very clear to me, after my visit here, that people are definitely willing to engage; there is still cautious curiosity, but uncertainty about first steps; uncertainty about the technology, as much as about technology in general.

I gave away many copies of the Manual to these customers as part of our attempts to provide legitimate help to other printers who might otherwise be feeling alone with these thoughts. I hope they prove useful. You know, so that when the gloves are off, they’ll be able to effectively put up their dukes…

Know Wot I Mean, Harry?

Okay, yes, the multitudinous boxing references have been building up to this moment but this is Frank Bruno! Winner of 40 out of 45 of his professional fights, 38 by knockout. Motivational speaker for mental health and champion of Alzheimer causes everywhere. Absolute legend. And what a humble man. What an inspirational speaker. We could all do with being a bit Frank Bruno in our everyday lives. Be more Bruno-esque. Brunovian.

I asked him to sign a copy of his autobiography for me, too.

Yes, there may be a bromance here. A Brunomance.

But it’s all good. Know what I mean?