The Italian Print4All conference, staged in Milan for the last two years, will take place this year in cyberspace after organisers decided to move the sessions online as a consequence of lockdown. And although the lockdown has been eased significantly in Italy, Print4All, for this year at least, will remain online.
This will boost international participation. The organisers staged a preview of the programme last week drawing an audience of 500, 25% from outside Italy and representing around 30 countries.
The initial concept had been to provide discussion points around seismic shifts that all industries are undergoing, namely big data, Internet of Things, sustainability, Artificial Intelligence and to relate these to the printing industry, almost as a precursor to the technology on show at Drupa.
And while Drupa has been postponed, the content for the Print4All conference remains at the same strategic level. This differs from other online activity which has been hastily assembled to provide immediate solutions and ideas for printers, from online events organised by inkish.tv, FM Future’s Future Print Virtual Summit, an online print exhibition and an ongoing series of online events hosted by Ricoh UK.
Print4All’s preview last week was a taster for the day long event on 24 June. The concept, radio journalist and presenter Matteo Bordone, along with general manager of Italian manufacturers’ association Acimga, Andrea Briganti, explained is to bring printers, converters and packaging providers together with the major brands and customers to discuss the challenges the sectors face.
Organiser Ernesto Barboglio outlined the value of connectivity, via the internet, towards to future of communications, while Alice Bodreau, global partners manager for the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, explained how the move towards a circular economy will be a key focus of both her organisation and the Print4All conference itself.
At this a key speaker, with an industry or academic background, explains the pressures for change and the possibilities for the new technologies and for the business climate. This is followed by panel discussions with representatives from the industry and its customers to pick up the themes and provide their own experiences of these changes.
For example Bettine Pellant, chief executive of Picon, will take part in discussions about Industry 4.0 and the Factory of the Future along with colleagues from India, the US and Italy.
"The large participation in the preview confirms that Print4All Conference is now an indispensable appointment in the calendar of sector events, said Briganti. "Ours is an initiative that brings together all printing technologies and that does not only target a component of the sector, but the entire Italian and foreign supply chain to ensure that it reflects on what awaits us tomorrow. In this perspective, the event of June 24 will be a further moment of reflection on the challenges of Industry 4.0 and sustainability."
The Print4All has taken place at the Milan fairground in the last two years and was slated to return to Milan again this year. But when Italy shut down, the event was moved online and despite easing of restrictions in Italy, it will still draw an online audience.