Getting the whole picture: Cross Media 2012 preview
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By Morwenna Kearns
30 August 2012
London's Business Design Centre will host Cross Media 2012 on September 3rd and 4th
As the financial gloom persists, businesses in a host of industries are choosing to take one of two actions to secure their survival: diversify, or specialise. Trade shows in the visual communications sector are no exception, with Northprint's evolution into North Print and Pack demonstrating how an established brand can rejuvenate itself by welcoming a larger business community though its doors, while new shows appear to be heading down the niche avenue. This autumn we will have the inaugural EcoPrint in Berlin, specialising in sustainable printing practices, and next week London will host Cross Media 2012, designed specifically to connect the various elements of modern marketing campaigns, including print.
In order to do this, Cross Media will depend on another development seen in trade fairs of recent years – the significant emphasis on education. While seminar theatres have taken up large footprints of show floors for some time, they are often seen as the supporting act to the new, headlining technology that visitors come to see – or in the worst case scenario, merely somewhere to sit down and rest aching feet. Specialist events will have to shift that focus onto the case studies, keynote speeches, tours, workshops and seminars, with the new kit on show at exhibitors' stands as visual demonstrations of the new trends and how businesses can join in. Thanks to a sturdy educational programme, this may benefit Cross Media's visitors and exhibitors alike.
There will be six seminar theatres at Cross Media 2012, taking place at London's Business Design Centre on September 3rd and 4th, all focusing on a different element of multimedia marketing although overlapping in key respects. The Print and Innovation Theatre will look at trends including packaging and cross-media approaches in general, while other sessions will offer advice on partnering and rebranding, implementing cross-channel marketing with a 'clear business approach', and educating customers on the benefits of cross-media.
There will also be the Cross Media Theatre, the Creative Theatre, two spaces dedicated to Digital and Direct Marketing, and an area for Publishing Strategies, featuring talks from over 100 speakers in total – including representatives from household names such as the BBC, The Guardian, TripAdvisor and Manchester City FC as well as exhibitors and sponsors like Canon and Fujifilm. Of particular interest may be the case study sessions, such as that on charity World Vision and how combining printed direct mail with online campaigns has secured fundraising support.
The show will receive an additional boost from its acquisition of mediaPro, an established show which attracted 4,500 key decision-makers from the marketing sector last year. How this may affect the clientele and focus of Cross Media 2012 – whether it will lean more towards marketing theory and away from print practices, originally predicted by some to be a significant element – may never be known, but it's likely to provide a wider scope to visitors.
Aside from the educational attractions, Cross Media 2012 will also be a trade show, with around 80 exhibitors demonstrating a host of marketing tools. On the print side, Xeikon will use personalised magazines and printed QR codes to show how paper is now a 'VIP media' for marketing thanks to web-to-print technology, and Fujifilm will show its new XMF ColorPath cloud-based colour management for screen, offset and digital printers, designed to help print businesses meet ISO 12647-2 standards. Konica Minolta will host Kern and its new mailing equipment on its stand, Ricoh is to demonstrate its cloud-based MarcomCentral software designed to support output delivery formats for print and other channels, and ROI360 will promote its web-to-print marketing solutions alongside Shuttleworth's MIS products. Not visiting the other exhibitors' stands would miss the point of the show, however: in order to understand and succeed in the coming years printers will need to know how perceived competing technologies can be integrated into their own business approach.
There will be a lot going on over the event's two days, so to help visitors plan their time effectively new iPhone and Android apps are available to download from the Cross Media 2012 website. Visitors can view the seminar line-up and floorplan, choose what they want to see and save their selections on an integrated diary on their smartphones – although be sure that Cross Media will practise what it preaches and offer more established modes of planning as well.
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30 August 2012 11:30AM
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