Managing an inkjet business in the face of uncertainty - challenge or opportunity?

Special panel discussion at IMI Europe’s Digital Printing Conference

As we've seen from recent events we live in an uncertain world and although we think we know where we are heading it's not always the case. The US elections and the UK’s vote to leave the EU have caught markets around the world by surprise. There are always plenty of pundits and analysts with predictions, but to grasp a considered view of the future, assess the risks and how your business may fare is much more difficult.

The same is true in the inkjet world. I can't remember anyone suggesting a decade or so ago that one of the first industrial inkjet markets to thrive would be printing ceramic tiles, but that proved to be the case. Right now there are many other industrial print markets that are predicted to grow in the next few years - packaging, textiles, decor, commercial printing. Which markets are you active in?

So how to plan for the future? I remember when my wife and I were expecting our first child, a time when you don’t need to ask family and friends for advice, it is freely given! But one suggestion made sense - “listen to what everybody has to say, ignore it and come to your own conclusions“. This made total sense as the experience of others, although well meaning, was in a different context and at different times. It’s not a bad way of thinking through what factors are going to influence the growth of your business either.

So where do you get your information from in order to make decisions about the future? Well, for sure you talk to your customers, go to trade shows, and read industry magazines. But there's a lot of value in going offsite to somewhere where you can listen, discuss and think about the future. And that's where strategic conferences such as the IMI Europe Digital Printing Conference coming up in Amsterdam at the end of the month can prove essential. And we will be discussing “Managing an inkjet business in the face of uncertainty - challenge or opportunity?” at our Inkjet Outlook panel discussion at the end of day one.

Many of you will remember that I handed over the management of IMI Europe nearly 12 months ago. Dr Tim Phillips has been doing an excellent job of improving the brand image, rethinking the events we organise, and broadening the reach of the business. I'm still involved with IMI Europe as Chairman, and have been helping put the conference programme together this year. It looks to be an excellent event with many new speakers with new views and outlooks on what’s going on, and some are from companies you may not even have heard of. So if you want to sharpen your business thinking, bounce views and ideas off your industry peers, and return to your office with a wiser outlook of the industry and of the world ready for 2017 and beyond, then this is the place to do it.

Tim and the IMI Europe team will be at the InPrint show in Milan next week, so in addition to finding full details on our website at you can meet with them there and pick up a brochure. I'll be in Milan too and Amsterdam and I look forward to catching up with all my industry contacts. See you there!

InPrint Industrial Print Show 2016, MiCo, Milan, Italy 15-17 November
IMI Europe Digital Printing Conference 2016, Novotel, Amsterdam, 30 November - 1 December