Interview: Nick Craig Waller talks Cross Media with Output
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By Kimberley Swift
12 July 2012
'The time is right' for Cross Media, according to marketing director Nick Craig Waller
Kimberley Swift's second interview concentrating on this year's shows is with Nick Craig Waller, marketing director of Informa Exhibitions and of its Cross Media 2012 exhibition, whose inaugural outing is in London on September 3rd and 4th.
What are the main features and benefits of the Cross Media show?
Cross Media is a concept, a hybrid of a conference and an exhibition, but with the premise of the conference being free of charge. It was born out of an Ipex advisory committee. We've just moved Ipex to London Excel; what London brings us is the opportunity for Ipex to become more international, but also we're looking to attract a new audience. We have a number of big brands, the likes of Canon and Xerox, who sit on the board, and they always talk about getting new customers. Cross Media will look to address that.
We are targeting three main areas – printers, brands and publishers – and we have three distinct messages for those groups of people. From a print perspective, the message is very much about demystifying the whole cross-media piece and how they can transform their business. From a publishing point of view, we're looking at the whole of the ecosystem in the printer make-up. From a marketing perspective, it's about increasing investment, understanding how I can integrate my online and offline campaigns, how I can embrace the power of print but also the power of digital, and knowing how to make the data work for me.
How are you looking to encourage marketeers and brands to attend the show?
Publishers are going to be listening to what the big brands are talking about. We've got some fantastic brands already speaking, like Crew Clothing, MTV and JustGiving. We've got some really big people from a publishing perspective, and for print and innovation, with the likes of Canon and Fuji on our speaker platforms. To be honest I've missed out a wealth of companies. It's a really balanced programme, looking at the cross-media issues, how people can engage with their brands and take away practical tips from those sessions. How are we going to get the marketeers out? It's all to do with the content. It's free-of-charge content, we're in central London – we're in the right place.
Why put the show on now?
I think the time is right now. If you look at the landscape, we've just had a very successful drupa and a lot of that content was all about the multi-channel piece – how people can look at other opportunities, other partnerships. It's not necessarily about buying big equipment.
What other issues does the production print industry currently face?
The same issues have been around for a long time. There's still a lot of over-capacity. Printers still aren't brilliant at marketing themselves, but they can come to Cross Media and actually engage and understand some of the marketing issues. How to engage with social media, win new clients and look at other channels, because it's not all about the kit. So many times I've had printers come and talk to me about what kit they have and think I'm going to be excited by that. What I'm excited about is how I can measure campaigns. What is the power of print? What is the potential for print? How you can get print to jump out at people and actually use it as a major part of your campaign? But also it's about how print can work a lot harder for you. It's not just something tangible you can hold and read on the train on the way home.
What role does the show play in the print industry overall?
It's really talking about the opportunities for printers. If you look at the trade journals, they talk about cross-media but no one actually talks about how people can take that journey. They know the name but they don't really understand what they need to do to make that transition.
We're in a good place. We're aiming for about 2,500 people over two days in September. We've got some fantastic speakers that are coming and brand ambassadors who are telling their channels about what we're trying to do with Cross Media. It is a launch show, but it's a different type of show. The concept is very content-heavy. We hope with those three segments, the printing, the publishing and the brand and marketing segments, that we're ticking everyone's box.
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