Industry leaders from all over Europe, Africa and the Middle East Region (EAMER) and several high-growth threshold countries in Latin America attended Kodak's first European Business Leadership Summit held in Switzerland from 16-17 October.

Interactive presentations and discussions touching on many of the aspects that are crucial for the future prospects of business enterprises were on the agenda of the two-day Business Leadership Summit, including: market, marketing, and innovation trends; continuous innovation as a strategy for driving growth; the potential that lies in the future for print and more. 

Kodak encouraged attendees to look beyond the limits of their traditional business segments. The event was also intended as a platform for international participants to engage in personal networking both with one another and with Kodak representatives. 

Antonio M. Perez, Kodak Chief Executive Officer, gave an introduction to the new Kodak in the wake of the companys successful reorganisation. Kodak’s business today is focused on the development and supply of products and solutions for B2B markets with high growth potential. According to Perez, Kodak is excellently placed to serve the packaging, graphic communications, and functional printing markets with solutions that power both end users and Kodak to sustainable, profitable growth. The interdisciplinary use of unique Kodak technologies and innovations is a key criterion here. 

Another crucial factor that will contribute to Kodak’s future success was outlined in a presentation by Philip Cullimore, Kodak Regional Managing Director, EAMER. Cullimore  discussed the importance of partnerships with other manufacturers to collaborate on the development of solutions for specific markets, for instance for producers of flexible packaging or corrugated and folding cartons. 

Kodak also embraces partnerships with innovative clients such as Tom Fenske, one of four brothers running the family-owned Fenske Media Corporation in Rapid City (South Dakota). Fenske Media is a leading provider of direct response marketing services using digital, workflow, and CTP technologies made by Kodak. Tom Fenske was not there to speak about the technical side, however; instead he described how his company systematically tracks and analyses email responses to score campaign profitability. Using smart tools, many of them developed in-house, he helps his customers increase their response rates, boost their sales with each new campaign, and generally enhance customer loyalty. 

Will Gompertz – renowned arts editor, author, and creative thinker – was another of the numerous prestigious speakers mobilised by Kodak. In a compelling presentation that included plenty of references to major upheavals and paradigm shifts throughout the history of art, Gompertz urged his audience to be just as unconventional as many famous painters in their ideas. He postulated that a radical change of thinking and a readiness to overturn fundamental assumptions are essential prerequisites for success – in art as well as in business. 

Lee Cronin, Professor at the University of Glasgow, took Business Leadership Summit attendees on an exciting trip into the world of 3D printing, which he explored from the perspective of its future potential for print. Cronin showed how the interdisciplinary use of innovative technologies – similar to the Kodak strategy – could in the future enable drugs in tablet form or contact lenses to be printed directly onsite in 3D. 

We were delighted that so many top-flight entrepreneurs and high-ranking executives from among our customers took the time to attend this event, said Cullimore. The inspiring atmosphere on both days was very conducive to personal communication on a high level, and I think everyone there – including all of us from Kodak – gained new insights that will help raise their awareness of future opportunities and put them firmly on a sustainable growth trajectory.