The vision for this year’s IPIA Everything’s Possible in Print Conference held at the Congress Centre in London on 3rd July 2018 was to share the benefits of using print with as wide an audience as possible. Certainly the event lived up to its name, showcasing many diverse applications and covering many technological ideas and combining this with research and case studies to show print delivering results.

An intriguing point was made by Sofar Sounds explaining how digital fatigue was leading to a hunger for ‘real’ experiences and equates this to the resurgence of print and how its haptic qualities make people feel connected, how it’s easy to share and hard to delete. It was clear print is a differentiator.

Wunderman brought a different perspective, reiterating that brands want an emotional connection with their customers and shared footage of Echo Look which will take photos and videos of you on voice command. He quoted Comscore that 50% of all searches will be voice activated by 2020 – a change that will bring a new dimension to marketing.

A number of organisations shared their latest technology: Xmpie showed how their software supported fully personalised applications; LOCR demonstrated their personalised mapping technology, Talking Print wowed everyone with how they had incorporated sounds and lights into a brochure, EFI explained how they printed on any substrate, Fujifilm showed the new JetPress and Vivid explained how foil blocking techniques increased product views by 6 times and talked about how they were working on ideas for light up packaging which sounded intriguing.

Duplo reminded us of the multiple benefits of print, including how it offers a unique experience and Webmart reiterated the need to join digital and physical.

A plea not to kill print came from another medium, TV. ITV Studios use high quality printed brochures to promote their shows as it beautifully brings to life their stunning programme imagery. Adrian’s biggest disappointment seemed to be that not enough of us watched Love Island (sorry Adrian).

Proof of print working is essential for building a business case. MarketReach updated their excellent neuroscience research originally showcased in Private Life of Mail and urged marketers not to forget that consumers live offline too. Marketers were encouraged to go on the JICMAIL website, the industry benchmarking tool for the mail. Xerox shared a number of case studies which showed how print had increased response for many customers in a variety of industries.

Woodland Trust and Premier Paper brought an environmental angle showing how their carbon capture scheme had planted 187,000 trees and had increased sales through a genuine CSR achievement.

Ice Blue Sky rounded off the presentations by presenting a cool head and a calm voice when dealing with GDPR.

Graham Reed made a heartfelt tribute to Tod Norman who presented at the Conference last year. I was also lucky enough to work with Tod on mail seminars and can only echo everyone else when I say he made data insight fun and accessible, gave his time to anyone and was a joy to work with.

Overall the Conference shared many aspects of the possibilities of print and I can only see this growing and evolving for next year’s conference.