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Industry Report


The future of digital printing


It’s something that everyone is thinking at the moment – what will the future look like once we exit the coronavirus pandemic. Ronald van den Broek, general manager sales EMEA at Mimaki Europe and Christian Duyckhaerts, FESPA global president, came together to discuss the future of digital printing in a post-COVID-19 world.


N


o-one has a crystal ball and no-one knows what is around the corner. The uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic has made it difficult for any business to plan ahead. In a webinar hosted by Mimaki held on Thursday, April 23, Ronald and Christian offered their thoughts on what the future of digital printing could look like in the months and years to come. Hopefully by the time you are reading this, we are seeing some semblance of normality returning to business.


Two sides to every story For listeners, the webinar provided insight from two sides of the coin – the printer and the manufacturer.


Christian has been involved directly with large format printing for nearly two decades and on the board of FESPA since 2002, so he is well placed to present the views of printers in a situation as unprecedented as the coronavirus pandemic.


In his role as FESPA global president, | 18 | June 2020


Christian is in constant contact with the printing community, of which he stressed has been affected quite strongly by the COVID-19 crisis, with work on average having dropped by around 50-80%. However, he added that he has seen some printing companies respond in a positive manner to the crisis by printing protection items such as masks, information displays and guidance stickers.


The crisis has seen a lot of co-creation between businesses, with companies and colleagues working together to get through. Christian offered an example of this: “FESPA Spain and FESPA Netherlands associations have created a marketplace for their members to offer COVID-19 related products for the time being. The printing community is already focusing on ways to bolster business for the future.”


This is both interesting and reassuring to


hear. Christian added that in the short- term this could mean still creating coronavirus-related products, but it could in the longer-term mean creating new


Stickers produced by Stickerdrops to boost a local hospital's fundraising effort


sales lines and tools. He said: “Everyone is aware that we see the success of web- to-print in the future. Or perhaps offering


www.printwearandpromotion.co.uk


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