Canon Europe recently held its annual three day Production Printing Business Days event for its professional graphic arts customers in Poing (pronounced Po-ing), in the Upper Bavarian district of Ebersberg near Munich, Germany. I went along with more than 500 Canon customers and prospects from across Europe to see all the latest technology innovations from Canon at close hand, including the new Océ ProStream and Océ Colorado 1640 printers that were both launched earlier this year.
Under the theme, ‘Celebrate the Power of Print’, Canon aimed to inspire delegates by showing how its extensive range of technologies, combined with solutions from a range of finishing and workflow partners, can help commercial printers and in-house print departments expand their capabilities, access new revenue streams and embrace new business models with the potential to deliver increased value for their customers.
It was also a showcase to present how much Canon has continued to develop its offering for the professional graphic arts market since Drupa 2016, just over a year ago, with a number of really exciting new solutions for the production of high-quality direct marketing collateral and wide format signage and graphics - and it didn’t disappoint on any level.
As a first time visitor to Poing I can say it looked very impressive, and any new visitor would get the sense of walking into a hall at a show such as Drupa to be greeted by every current Canon technology (and some pretty amazing future tech) running live in a production workflow environment.
The full range of Canon technologies on show included high-volume continuous feed and cut-sheet inkjet presses (Océ ProStream 1000, Océ ColorStream 6000 Chroma, Océ VarioPrint i300), production and light production toner presses (imagePRESS C10000VP, imagePRESS C850/C750), and wide format devices for flatbed and roll-to-roll production (Océ Arizona 1280 and 6170, Océ Colorado 1640, Océ ColorWave 700.) The finishing and workflow solutions being demonstrated included products from GMC, EFI, Dalim, Axode, Cosmos and Pageflex.
I am particularly impressed with the way Canon Europe is continuing to storm ahead in the wide format sector and, with some 6,000 Arizona flatbed printers already out in the field, it came as no surprise to learn that its new 64” roll-to-roll UV gel Colorado 1640 wide format printer is just the first of many, and we can expect to see a 3.2m version in the near future.
Speaking of the near future, the company says it has big plans next year for a 3,000 ph photo quality B2 inkjet production press called Voyager, and the printed samples I handled looked incredible. It is aimed at the commercial print, labels, folding carton, and high volume photo market. I am not holding my breath until next year though, but from the way it was presented to me I think this could seemingly give the Fujifilm Jet Press a good run for its money when eventually launched.
So Canon Europe has all of this amazing new printing technology that can really help your business perform at the highest level across multiple market sectors, but how do you know where your company and its own particular service offering fits in to any of this? You know your customers better than anybody, but how many times have you discovered that one of your existing customers is buying different types of print from another supplier? It goes on a lot more than you might think, and this is why Canon Europe came up with the idea for Elemental, a fully integrated multi-channel consumer marketing campaign for the launch of a fictitious beauty brand, and it’s nothing short of brilliant.
Featuring original images captured by fashion photographer and Canon Ambassador Clive Booth, the Elemental campaign illustrates how a PSP can facilitate and deliver a complete campaign, from advertising and direct mail to raise initial brand awareness, through in-store promotions and exclusive events in the retail space, all the way to purchase and the unboxing experience at home.
There are 27 individual Elemental campaign assets detailed within the beautifully crafted Elemental Campaign Guide featuring everything from promotional communications, to retail point-of-sale materials, to in-store décor, to promotional packaging. These were all showcased during the open day to illustrate how diverse pieces of printed campaign collateral can complement one another and work together to deliver a consistent customer journey, moving seamlessly between digital and analogue marketing channels.
The Elemental campaign guide brochure clearly explains and demonstrates how PSPs can realise their potential to work with brand owners and agencies to produce intelligent, multi-channel campaigns where consumers can engage with a company/brand either in a physical store, on an online website or mobile app, through a catalogue, or through social media.
It’s a lot of cross media to you and me, but not as we know it, and certainly nothing to get hung up about. Think of it more as cross media deconstructed and as such, when you eventually see the campaign guide, everything falls clearly into place. I could almost hear pennies dropping around me as we were shown how each ‘print element’ has its own place within a multi-channel campaign.
Overall I found the visit stimulating, inspiring and, judging by the number of printers I spoke with while having a crafty smoke outside, highly successful.
Take a look at the video below to see for yourself:
Canon UK opened a new showroom facility earlier this year near Birmingham, and if I was looking into new ways to broaden my printing company’s appeal to brand owners and their agencies, I’d say this might be a good place to begin my journey.