Over 1200 attendees gathered at the Dscoop Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) event, held in Lyon from 7-9 June. Africa Print was invited to see the latest developments in the digital printing industry, learn about new trends and opportunities in the market, hear from notable speakers, and explore new ways in which brands can engage with customers.
Dscoop brings together Print Service Providers (PSP's) and converters to share new skills and strategies. The organisation is open and free for all HP technology users, industry experts and solutions partners and offers members training, tools and networking opportunities. At Dscoop, members discuss their challenges and how to improve their businesses by working together.
Keelan Leyser and Matt Daniel-Baker were emcees for the event. These Digital Illusionists have created a unique stage magic act using iPads and state of the art technology. Other notable speakers included neuro-scientist Dr Beau Lotto, business mentor Mark Rhodes, Shutterfly, Inc. and HP Indigo’s General Manager Alon Bar-Shany.
'It's the most exciting time to be in print,' said Keith Wilmot, Dscoop CEO. He highlighted a major trend at the event, which calls for greater collaboration between print service providers and creatives. 'Big brands need solutions to cut through marketing challenges and print is a phenomenal solution to these.'
SA Litho Label Printers Wins Inkspiration Award
Winners of the Inkspiration Awards were announced at the event. This annual contest showcases the very best work from HP customers and celebrates how they’re pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in today’s digital printing world.
SA Litho Label Printers won the label category for its Amarula campaign. A special edition of 400,000 unique Amarula bottles, representing the same remaining number of the endangered African elephant, was released with labels individualised by HP Indigo digital print and HP SmartStream Mosaic variable design technology.
Educational Sessions Deliver Relevant And Inspiring Content
Adam Curtis, CEO of South African company Hirt & Carter/Uniprint, gave a presentation titled 'A new age PSP – solution selling in the digital age', where he shared how a customer-centric approach with an integrated selling strategy can grow businesses.
Curtis has taken the lead in establishing a South African Dscoop community. 'There is an opportunity for those from the South African printing industry to get together and make Dscoop our own by creating an environment and content that is relevant to us locally.'
Some printers may be reluctant to share ideas with competitors, but Curtis said that they can't operate in isolation: 'We need to grow our businesses but we can only do that if we understand the broader environment in which we operate. Dscoop is about sharing knowledge and insight on non-competitive issues we face and working out solutions to these challenges.'
Tommy du Sart, CEO, Ren-Form Group and Director of Ren-Flex, educated attendees about in-mould labelling and shrink sleeves and why these are niche markets worth exploring. The new Ren-Flex facility features the flagship HP Indigo 20000 digital press, purchased from local distributor Kemtek Imaging Systems. This is the first installation of the machine in Southern Africa, and is currently the only HP Indigo 20000 used solely for the production of in-mould labelling worldwide.
'Dscoop is fantastic for networking, knowledge-sharing, and seeing which new technologies and applications are available,' said du Sart. 'It's an opportunity to collaborate with others to solve problems. We learnt a great deal about maximising digital print for marketing campaigns, and will implement this in our business.'
Brenda Harris, marketing manager at Didget Printing, said, 'Dscoop is hugely beneficial. It's great to see from some of the local entries on display that South Africans can compete with best-in-class in the international printing industry on creativity, innovation and aesthetics. The event once again highlighted the myriad possibilities digital printing offers.'
Printers are seeing the benefits of digital printing, such as speed, which allows for targeted campaigns and 'real time' packaging that allows products to go from design to shelf overnight. Another benefit is unique, customised packaging that stands out and gets brands noticed – key to targeting millennials. HP Indigo Pack Ready solutions allow both label converters and flexible packaging converters to participate in some flexible packaging applications with a lower barrier to entry.
'Digital printing is the ultimate means of connecting more personally with consumers, via packaging, a tangible and long-lasting medium, in a media space that is currently highly transient and congested,' said Harris. 'The potential of packaging as a powerful marketing tool can be fully realised when printers partner with marketers in this arena.'
High end retail and hospitality decoration
Solutions like Latex printing offer a wide substrate choice and odourless indoor prints. The decorative applications are endless, think: wall coverings and decals, window coverings, cushion covers, canvases and much more.
'Wallpaper is an untapped trend in South Africa. The margins are huge and there's major potential to print on many unique things,' said Graham Roy, MD of Graficomp.
In addition to educational sessions, there was also a solutions showcase, which highlighted products from HP and its partners. HP exhibited Indigo 12000 digital presses, and its bestselling HP Indigo 7900 press, which continues to break impressions records at customer sites, as well as the HP Indigo WS6800, HP Indigo 8000, HP Indigo 20000 and HP Indigo 30000 digital presses of its labels and packaging portfolio. PageWide XL applications were also displayed.
Partner highlights included Highcon's new Euclid Speed Boost, which dramatically increases the effective speed of the Highcon Euclid digital cutting and creasing machines by up to 40% for a B2 sheet size, reaching speeds of up to 2750 sheets per hour. Kernow Coatings launched KernowPrint, the HP Indigo line of printable synthetic materials featuring Cobalt Coating technology.