Helping our customers to ‘Make It BIG’ at FESPA 2022

Mathew Faulkner
Mathew Faulkner

EMEA Director, Marketing and Innovation, Wide Format Printing Group, Canon Europe

FESPA Global Print Expo 2022 was an important milestone in the wide format market’s recovery. As one of the first post-Covid international events for the print industry, it was a great opportunity to network with peers and share ideas and inspiration. In my new position, I had the pleasure of being onsite and I have to say, what a way for the industry to come back with a bang! 
Meeting face-to-face with our customers has always been a priority. And, after a long period of business disruption, this has never been more important. Given the technical nature of printing solutions, customers can see the true benefits from experiencing production live and by seeing and feeling the printed output first-hand.
With a focus on the future and looking at ‘what’s next?’, our aim is to help our customers return to profitable levels of growth and ‘Make It BIG’ – the theme of our campaign at this year’s event. It’s about going above and beyond in order to power further success. And inspiring our customers to look at the bigger picture and find new ways to flourish.
With consumers so easily distracted, brands need to make a lasting impression and deliver impact. That means they need to create the wow factor, with scale, vibrancy, special effects or personalisation. In an age of digital fatigue, print is the ultimate attention grabber – the bigger the impact, the greater the value. Print service providers can now mix different media and use creative formats to make print eye-catching. Delivering that ‘extra special thing’ is what will make a business stand out.
As an example, one of our European premieres at the event was FLXfinish+. It’s a unique UVgel feature of our Colorado roll-to-roll printer series that, with one ink set, lets large format graphics PSPs produce matte, gloss and mixed matte and gloss in one print, without the need for a varnish. It’s an amazing feature for applications like wall graphics and interior décor.
In my conversations with visitors on stand, the drive for even more creativity is also seen in the increased demand for personalisation and made-to-order applications. Coupled with added pressure on delivery times, workflows need to be smarter by integrating automated solutions both from us, such as our newly launched PRISMA XL Suite. It’s a package of software tools designed to help make creative applications quicker and easier. We also showcased how by using software solutions from our workflow partners, such as SkyCo, ERPA and OneVision, 24/7 production becomes a reality. 
Having seen more interest in end-to-end workflows that help bring these applications to life, we also created a range of retail applications to show our customers just how easy it is – and all the growth opportunities that are within reach. After simply customising and then ordering a product online (we used a frisbee), an automated workflow helps to pre-flight, plan, print and finish the product ready for final delivery with minimal human intervention. But the product itself is only one part of the overall print mix for retail. Think of all of the opportunities surrounding it that can help PSPs expand their offering. From the product’s packaging and its POS, to product guides and wider merchandise.
I’m very much looking forward to seeing the development of the FESPA theme for next year. “New Perspectives” will certainly capture the spirit of printers who are looking to seize new opportunities by opening themselves up to alternative revenue streams, new applications and more efficient ways of working. 
Looking at the show overall, it was a very strong reminder to me of what a vibrant industry print is. Great creativity and cutting-edge imaging and automation technologies are being used to deliver impactful and valuable output. And there’s a big appetite from our customers to continue to build on their success. I can’t wait to see how their journeys unfold as we continue to help them “Make It BIG” over the course of the year.