Roadmaps for Success in Production Print: Behind the Scenes at MAKE IT ‘22

Mathew Faulkner
Mathew Faulkner

EMEA Senior Marketing Manager, Professional Print, Canon Europe Ltd

We were finally able to host our first live customer event for our EMEA Production Print community since the onset of the COVID pandemic.
With the challenges of the last two years beginning to fade into memory, our mission was clear: to inspire print businesses to think positively and creatively about the future. 
The event programme was designed to give customers fresh perspectives on their business, so they can seize opportunities and create greater value for print buyers in a changed world.
With a blend of thought-provoking keynote presentations, live technology demos and business development tours and sessions, we helped over 1000 visitors imagine new strategies for their success. 
Our guests – including media, analysts, customers and partners – experienced first-hand how we’ve taken a fresh look at our products and services to meet real, every-day production challenges and evolving customer needs. 
And they saw proof of our commitment to continue delivering robust digital print and automation solutions that help them grow and future-proof their businesses. 
As we all turn our thoughts to the future, futurist Liselotte Lyngsø pointed out that you can’t spot growth opportunities without “putting your fishing pole in the pond to see what you might catch”. It was a reminder that if you don’t look, you won’t find.
Another thing that stood out in her keynote was her prediction that we’re entering ‘the precision era’. This is all about the layers of data that will continue to enable individualised services and targeting – something that will be normalised in print as advanced automation technologies are combined with digital print-on-demand, enabling brands to channel complex data into ultra-personalised print communications. 
Of course, Canon is a technology innovator, and we’re here to make sure customers have access to the technology solutions they need to adapt and prepare for the future. So we were proud to launch our newest digital cutsheet colour printer, the imagePRESS V1000. 
With a dramatic reveal, we showed customers the  clever design of the press, which gives print businesses the productivity, flexibility and automation they need for a successful future. The imagePRESS V1000 does all the hard work, so print teams can focus on delivering added value for their customers and driving growth.
A ‘deep dive’ with imagePRESS V1000 Product Marketing Manager Sara Milani explored the press in more detail, from the POD-SURF fixing system, to the new transfer technology, to the integrated cooling unit – all designed for maximum speed, media versatility and consistency. 
And walking around our Customer Experience Centre, customers could also get up close to several highlights of our Production Print portfolio, from the ProStream and ColorStream continuous feed inkjet presses to the LabelStream digital label printing solution and the Arizona and Colorado wide format printers.  
Automation has swiftly moved to the top of most printers’ agendas following the pandemic, and the ‘MAKE IT Seamless’ tours showed visitors how to make better use of their production capacity and skilled resources while reducing errors and waste. We wanted to show customers that the commercial benefits of automation go far beyond process efficiency, freeing teams up to share knowledge and creativity with customers. The result: motivated people, enhanced customer relationships and impetus for profitable new products and services. 
Liselotte Lyngsø also predicted a future in which the virtual world will run in parallel with the physical world, giving consumers extended choice and the freedom to move fluidly between the two environments. We can already see signs of this, with audiences increasingly moving intuitively between print and online channels. But one challenge that’s still vexing brands and print service providers (PSPs), according to our own research, is how to measure print’s performance in multi-channel campaigns. 
The ‘MAKE IT Count’ sessions, delivered by Canon Ascent Programme mentor Jo Lloyd, helped printers understand how brands measure campaign outcomes. Drawing on her years of experience selling print, Jo emphasised the need for PSPs today to grasp the tools that allow print to be measured like any other campaign element, and the importance of driving more consultative conversations with print buyers, focused on campaign outcomes.
MAKE IT ‘22 was an invaluable opportunity to be face to face with colleagues, press, analysts and customers again. I’d forgotten what it was like to meet so many people in person over the course of one day, and I’m sure that for everyone there, the live networking opportunity was just as energising and inspiring as the content.
The message was clear: opportunities are there for the taking. To ensure our success, we must open our eyes to the changes around us and – to borrow from Liselotte Lyngsø again – ‘listen louder’. We can all see that the pandemic has accelerated change, and she reminded us that we need to be prepared, responding to and anticipating our customers’ changing needs and expectations. 
These words in particular have stayed with me: “The distance from imagining something to creating it has never been so short”. The future is within reach, we just need to be ready for it!
Curious to see what Make It '22 was all about and watch back the sessions from the event including Liselotte's keynote? Register here on our virtual platform to get access.



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