It would be unrealistic to expect printers to continually invest in new machinery, long before the depreciated value of their old machines comes to naught, and that is why giant manufacturers will need to think out of the box to stay one step ahead of the crowd.

The route to adopt these days is, rather than new machinery launches, innovations in applications could pave the road ahead with growth and profits. A case in point is the 3-D effect for signages introduced by Digimatrix at Sign and Graphics expo or the digital printing on polypropelene for banners, which could be folded to A4 size and couriered to other countries or digitally printable wallpapers, both new introductions by HP. It would be easier to win and retain customer loyalty, if printers are able to add value to the services they provide.

The trump card holder will be the company which is better able to integrate these applications and value additions into its marketing strategy and increase brand value and sales.

January was a busy month with SGI expo, SGI awards, DIPA (Dubai International Print Awards) and Paper World Frankfurt, all happening back to back.

Epoc Messe Frankfurt will be organising the introductory Middle East edition of Paper World exhibition in March this year. So far there have been mixed reactions to this addition to the trade fair category.