#LondonCalling: Duplo to put economics at heart of micro-expo
Duplo UK announced last night that the sixth iteration of London Calling, its micro-exhibition focused on print finishing, will take place at the East Wintergarden, in the heart of the capital's financial district on October 15th and 16th. This, its sixth such event, will also mark the company's thirtieth anniversary year and is titled Without Limits.
With Ipex's future withered to the point of pity and weary marketers turning to roadshows in order to attract their print audience, Duplo's plan for London Calling – now one of print's premier UK events – is to put economics at the heart of business. The company will use the opportunity to release eight new products, including a saddlestitcher with a touchscreen interface, alongside 'virtually the whole range' of its collating, folding, stitching and slitting equipment.
Each London Calling is represented by a cohesive theme; its adventure to London's financial district plans to address how British print businesses can become leaner and more profitable to stave off the competition of, say, Vistaprint. "What we can do is to automate a customer's business to the point where they can compete," explains Tony Lock, group commercial director for Duplo International. "That can enable them to perform better locally, in their niche or with a specific product, leading to better profitability."
"We can do that by helping customers to speed up their workflow," adds Sarah Crumpler, marketing manager for Duplo UK, whose team spearheads this event. "Business automation allows printers to process high-volume work more quickly, giving them more time to finish the high-value, low-volume products, using third-party products that have the same product ethos as ours, such as the PBT range of equipment for the production of lay-flat books."
Interestingly, a number of machines will be attended by a customer operator, who will field questions about life at the coalface with the equipment. This approach is characteristic of Duplo, one of the rare vendors with no pretension about the realities of business. While its breakfast opening will not reoccur this year, it will include a modest number of discussion-led seminars, as well as an applications café. This latter feature will not be restricted to Duplo products, with the manufacturer preferring to take an holistic – and very realistic – approach to investigating the routes to profitable output.
Those who have hit their thirtieth year are usually pleased to affirm that, by that age, one is more open-minded and willing to grow. "We aren't afraid to make mistakes," both Duplo representatives told us independently at last night's launch at The Shard. In order to advance, one must trial more radical ideas and become more open-minded. Duplo's approach is at once crystal clear and refreshingly pragmatic, and lends itself to the promise of a dynamic and salutary affair.