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Boost in pre-regs for Visual Impact open

Wednesday, 12 September 2018
By Jake Nelson

Sydney 2018 has opened at Sydney Olympic Park, and organisers are optimistic about attendance after a surge in pre-registration numbers.

Pre-registration numbers reached around 2500, up 25 percent over last year, according to Peter Harper, general manager, Visual Connections. It’s a sold out show with 108 exhibitors including such companies as Epson, Mutoh, Miamki, Roland, Océ, Neopost and Currie Group, again with the largest stand. “We’re hoping for about 3000 to 3500 guests at the show, and we’re quietly confident. The floor space has sold out, so all the exhibitors are here, and they’ve outdone themselves,” he said.

Aside from the wide variety of exhibitors, Harper believes one major attraction is the business breakfast seminars each morning. This morning the Real Media Collective, the new industry association launch kicked off the breakfasts. This was Sydney’s its first glimpse of consolidated industry group that brings together three associations; the Australasian Catalogue Association, print advocacy organisation,TSA and paper organisation, APIA.

Kellie Northwood, (pictured) CEO and guiding light of the new Collective, fronted the 8.00 breakfast at Sydney Olympic Park to introduce the consolidated group. She spoke of the path taken and the support received from members and print industry customers.

She detailed the results of surveys of her members that showed they wanted an organisation that was focused on lobbying government on their behalf. Engagement with Australia Post is well advanced on a detailed list of ‘demands’ by the RMC. Another focus is on developing industry specific training and working with TAFE and universities.

As part of the research up to 127 retail and creative stakeholders were surveyed. Many indicated that although up to 80% of their marketing budgets are spent on print they’ve never been asked to a seminar on how to develop a print-based marketing campaign. Northwood said that further engagement with print customers is high on the agenda. Other established initiatives, such as Data Days and Awards will continue under the new brand.

RMC is committed to developing real data on print’s effectiveness in order to boost its use. In a Facebook world of ‘fake’ news, print is one of the most trusted media channels.

Although there was a fairly select attendance at the breakfast she rallied the troops that were there, claiming that the industry has for too long been on the defensive, now it’s time to go on the front foot in terms of advocacy and promotion.

She maintains  that of all the initiatives undertaken by RMD, the production of it own publication VoPP is the largest investment. The current winter issue is the fourth ‘edition’ and has a QR code on the cover seeking new readers.

Tomorrow’s breakfast, hosted by Dscoop, features Brendon Cook, CEO of outdoor media giant oOh!Media. “We’re trying to introduce print people to large format,” said Harper. “We think that’s one of the big futures of the print industry, and we’re looking at that as we head into PrintEx next year.”

Visual Impact runs until Friday September 14 at Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park.

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