There’s been a lot of negativity in the trade media lately. It seems that every time there’s one story about a bankruptcy or even a re-structuring, that particular story overrides all other positive articles. In the consumer media, it seems that every time there’s a feature about a new electronic gadget, that it’s invariably accompanied by articles forecasting the demise of some sector of the print industry.
Posts by Joe Mulcahy
Every month in this column, I’ve ended with the words “stay positive and stay focused.” However, there’s a lot of anxiety and uncertainty in our industry right now. So as we head into a challenging new year, my advice is simple: concentrate on what you CAN DO to improve – and don’t worry about events you CAN’T CONTROL.
First of all, I would like to thank all those who attended our Printing Survivor 2011 event in Toronto last month. A special thanks to speakers John Foley Jr., Jay Mandarino, Arjun Basu and Peter Muir for their inspiring presentations, and to our sponsors – Gold Sponsor Konica Minolta, as well as Sina Printing, SNZ Trading, Green Dot Litho and Harrison Mailing Services. We plan on making next year’s event just as timely and relevant, based on continuing feedback from our readers. Check our wrap-up story and audience comments on pages 28 and 29.
It was indeed a pleasure meeting and chatting with many of you recently at Graph Expo in Chicago. From the comments I heard, the 2011 version of the printing industry’s annual showcase for the Americas was quite busy and very successful.
Well, it’s back to work – though I suspect most people reading this have never stopped working! Hopefully however, you have had some well-deserved R&R over the summer. September signals one of the biggest events in our industry – Graph Expo. The 2011 version of the printing industry’s annual showcase for the Americas is set for Sept. 11 – 14 at Chicago’s McCormick Place. We’ll be there visiting the more than 450 exhibitors, feature areas, conferences, special events and seminars. Please stop by and visit our booth. And don’t miss our preview of selected exhibitors starting on page 17. I wish we could include everyone, but you can still visit www.graphexpo.com for more information. Enjoy the show!
Hopefully we’re all breathing a bit easier now because of the quick, legislated end to the strike at Canada Post Corporation. No matter where you stand on the issues (and feelings were flying high both in parliament, in the media and throughout the printing industry), you might want to check out the articles on pages 26 and 27.
At press time, Canada Post rejected the latest contract proposal from the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. CUPW had previously voted in favour of strike action if necessary. The union represents about 50,000 workers across Canada and its contract expired on January 31 of this year. Needless to say, a strike would have a huge negative impact on our industry, so let’s hope a negotiated settlement can be reached quickly.
I am proud to announce that this month we’re launching our first-ever industry event. We’re thinking of naming it, appropriately, “Survivor Printers, 2011: Valuable Strategies for Printers from Those who Continue to Prosper.” The title says it all. However, before we begin planning and production, we want to know what YOU want. It will likely be in September in Toronto. So please, tell us what YOU think and what types of events YOU feel the industry needs that can truly help ALL OF US move forward. The content and structure of this event will reflect your much-appreciated feedback. Please contact us and tell us what the industry needs right now and how these kinds of events can actually help us move forward. For more information, see our People and Events feature on page 14.
At press time, a federal election was imminent. Well, here’s the good news: banners, lawn signs and flyers will need to be printed. The possible bad news is that an election may see a delay in the extension (to Dec. 31, 2013) of the Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance (ACCA) which was to be included in the federal budget. “We have been asking the Conservative government to extend the ACCA…..and are extremely pleased that this has been granted,” says Bob Elliott, CPIA President. “However the threat of a federal election…..would potentially put this concession in jeopardy.”
We’re witnessing history. The uprisings in the Arab world continue to spread and at press time, revolts have already spread to Libya. These freedom movements underscore the tremendous influence of social media. WhatTheyThink.com recently published a 63-page report that examines Twitter, Facebook, You Tube and other social media that printers should be using to better communicate with current and potential customers. The report also examines websites, e-mail, blogs, podcasts and so on. Visit the website to learn more.
Welcome to a challenging new year and, hopefully, one with more positive news than we had in 2010.
Jeff Ekstein, president and CEO of the Willow Printing Group, co-chair of CPISC, CPIA director and PIA secretary, has a unique perspective of what lies ahead as well as some timely and sound advice in this month’s “For the record” feature. I echo his opinions, especially when it comes to the importance of getting together and becoming more involved in the good work done by our industry organizations. I also strongly agree that you should always insist on a fair price for the quality work you produce.
While 2010 was a very challenging year for many people, it did end on a positive note. I recently attended the Print World Show in Toronto. The crowds were excellent, especially Saturday and Monday, and I saw plenty of sold signs at booths like Agfa, KBR, Fujifilm, Nustream Graphics, Robert E. Thistle and many other exhibitors. Michael Steele of Sydney Stone was particularly impressed with his sales volume and the new leads he acquired.