LONDON CALLING 5 HAS BEEN declared the best we have ever done by Duplo UK managing director Peter Jolly. Held at Somerset House last week it attracted more than 200 companies with 300 or so guests climbing the stairs to the gallery rooms of the landmark venue.
The company had taken soundings from customers during the summer which led to the addition of paper supplier Fedrigoni to the list of exhibitors. “Customers told us they wanted to be inspired,” says Jolly, “as much as to look at equipment for finishing. It’s why we chose to show the Mitamax photo book machines there too.”
THE EVENT WAS A SUCCESS IN terms of revenue generated, the company closing deals valued at £300,000, but more importantly starting conversations that will takes the company through to Ipex. Among the announced deals Rapidity is acquiring a DC 745, Prontaprint Walsall an Esko cutting table and Lefa a perfect binder. Various other smaller deals were also concluded he says.
“It is as much a relationship event as a sales event,” he adds, “though from the sales side we now have a full pipeline of leads which will take us through to the next major event. And the VIP night gives customers the opportunity to meet people behind the scenes that they speak to but wouldn’t normally meet.” Speaking at the VIP night, Jolly stressed the importance of change: “When I spent two years working on the road selling for Duplo, it became clear to me that there were two real types of printers – the “stay at home” printers and the “innovators”.
IT WAS FRIGHTENING HOW MANY printers I visited and when asked “how is business?” they responded with, “well, we are waiting for the phone to ring”. Many of those, of course, were not there when I went back a second time.Then there were the innovators. Those that understood the fresh opportunities in our industry. Social Media, digital printing, marketing and differentiating their products to stand out from the crowd. I think it is safe to say that in this room, tonight, we have the innovators of the print industry.”
As well as Duplo, London Calling attracted participation from Friedheim International, Fujifilm, Renz, Vpress and Vivid, with a number of visitors from Italy, who will be handled by Duplo International.