The Independent Print Industries Association is building on the success of its EPIP (Everything is Possible in Print) conference, evolving it into the EPIC (Everything is Possible in Integrated Communications) next year.
This will strengthen the IPIA's role position between printers and creative agencies, brands and print specifiers, which represents the only opportunity for real growth for the industry, according to chief executive Marian Stefani.
Speaking at a networking lunch in Birmingham last week she said that ever faster machinery helped those companies able to take advantage but was not the real solution. The printing industry needed to talk out to customers, not a conversation that it is comfortable with.
“We have trained our customers to buy on price, which is why we started the EPIP initiative to ask the brands and agencies to engage differently with the printing industry, and to show them to think differently about innovation and the support that we can give them. Most people joining agencies are digital are digital by default. We need to show them that the printing is part of marketing.”
The expansions of the flagship event will coincide with a new look for the organisation and the recruitment of industry editor Brendan Perring. He spent eight years at Print Monthly and was key to the launch of the Print Show before joining a PR agency. At the start of the year he will become general manager of IPIA working alongside Stefani as it consolidates its place straddling those procuring print and those producing it.
As part of this effort, the IPIA is now rolling out a certification scheme, independently audited to demonstrate that printers are capable of delivering what they claim and so helping print specifiers to select a suitable provider to work with. "The certification scheme is independently audited so that members can show that they are properly set up. We are also field inquiries asking us for recommendations which we direct to members. You will see more about the certification when we refresh our brand and push out into the industry next year."