Vels Jensen: a new direction for PacPrint ’09?

I agree with you.

A cancellation [of PacPrint 09] is not an option, nor is a postponement. The industry as such would be seen to be throwing in the towel and one should not forget that both Printing Industries and the Graphic Arts Merchants Association of Australia (GAMAA) would stand to lose some fair dinkum dollars from a cancellation.

Likewise, the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre would not be thrilled and PacPrint could easily lose its regular spot.

[Click here to see Steve Crowe’s editorial from the December issue, ‘Putting on a Positive Spin’.]

Having said that the show must go on, there are obvious cost pressures and it would make sense that we perhaps put an entirely different spin on PacPrint ‘09.

Most international companies and subsidiaries in Australia are under pressure from head office to cut costs, and PacPrint is simply too easy a target for such cost savings. With a different PacPrint this year, it may have an easier time getting wings with everyone.

As suppliers and as an industry, we don’t want to be seen and considered ignorant and arrogant at PacPrint. In other words, it would not be good if we are seen to have no sense of the present and to simply proceed “as usual” without any understanding and acceptance of what is happening in the economy and industry.

By the time we reach [the] end [of] May I personally think the industry will have just gone through some major consolidation and a very tough period, with overseas investors taking some shares and chunks of ownership in leading printers due to the depreciated AUD/NZD and because some printers are struggling for cash, direction and/or competitiveness. That alone will lead to a different feeling at PacPrint ‘09.

The majority of the cost for exhibitors – less so for the digital suppliers – is the huge cost and effort to install and uninstall the heavy metal: up to 50% of a company’s total show cost.

So, rather than putting equipment on display that the majority of the industry may not be able to invest in anyhow and which they somehow can see in the local market already – be it at non-competing printers or in the showrooms of manufacturers – it would make more sense to focus on the likes of:

1. Promoting the industry to the public in general – “Join a colourful industry”;

2. Promoting the real green facts and figures of the industry – “Join an environmentally-friendly industry”;

3. Spending time showing the less fortunate (ie. less profitable) printers how a print business can become profitable: looking at lean manufacturing, OEE, benefits of workflows, benefits from ideal production and factory layouts, benefits of technology, benefits of using the best consumables, industry benchmarking workshops, local and internationally, and so on – “Print can be hugely profitable if done right”;

4. Promoting cost-effective print to print buyers – “Print remains the best way to reach the consumer”;

5. Educating finance institutions and lenders on the industry — “Invest in a solid industry and equipment that is marketable worldwide”.

And while we are at it, moving the National Print Awards to Canberra and getting government more actively involved in the event, while putting to them our fears, cheers and ideas relating to the Australian print industry. If government is willing to chuck $6.2 billion into the auto industry to safeguard 7000-plus jobs, everything equal, that would equate to a bit more than $90 billion for the print industry to safeguard private enterprise and small businesses employing some 100,000 people.

I believe this is exciting and useful stuff that would bring real value to the industry and would certainly give everyone the impression that it’s not “business as usual” but that the industry is alive and kicking goals.

I guess we will know more come January, as [the] end [of] December is the deadline for all registered exhibitors to have paid remaining deposits and balances on their PacPrint ‘09 stands.

Andy Vels Jensen
Managing Director
Heidelberg Australia New Zealand

Comment below to have your say on this story.

If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at  

Sign up to the Sprinter newsletter

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.