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Everyone back to my place: do open days work?

It’s a trend that’s taken off: the open house.

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The open day has become a feature of our time

Or open day depending on your phraseology. The equivalent of ‘everyone back to my place’ has become a way for some firms to bring the customers and media to them rather than setting up shop in a trade show with all the costs that entails.

The latest to host such an event is Mark Andy Inc who held an open house in early June at Pressteck in west London which focused on pressroom profitability, with demonstrations of flexographic and digital offset printing solutions.

“The open house was a tremendous success,” comments Ian Pollack, the Presstek expert at Mark Andy Inc. “There’s a lot of excitement for the Mark Andy Presstek printing solutions, and attendees are eager to learn new ways to diversify their printing operations. The Mark Andy Presstek solutions make the transition easy.”

Nobody is going to tell you their open day or open house event was a flop

Nobody is going to tell you their open day or open house event was a flop and if they are pitched right, properly funded and give potential buyers an incentive such as special discounts or deals then they will work well. After all they have a captive audience and with enough hospitality sales should result making them a worthwhile ROI. The only drawback is they don’t come cheap if done properly which is why some firms collaborate to offer more than just one brand but several all in the same place.

Agfa organised their Red Carpet Event at their factory in Antwerp in Belgium recently. Around 300 guests attended the open days to take a look at the Jeti H3300 LED press meaning no vast costs at transporting heavy plant to exhibition halls and then setting them up, just the cost of looking after 300 guests for 48 hours. And last month Esko held an Open House in Leicester with partners Data Image, Clarity Software and reseller CMYUK. They had 80 people go along to watch the Esko C66 digital cutting table with the new Robotic Material Handler in operation. Plus, DUPLO’s head office in Addlestone was transformed into a Festival Arena, complete with a full-blown stage, bar, football screen and food in June for a day of festival fun. Although festival fun is a euphemism for a sales event it does make the day rather more enjoyable than walking around the halls of Fespa. It’s a sort of Glastonbury with printing kit and without the long drop toilets.

Although festival fun is a euphemism for a sales event it does make the day rather more enjoyable than walking around the halls of Fespa

Is this the way the industry is going? Well yes and no seems to be the answer. For a buyer a trade exhibition like the Print Show this September is an efficient way of seeing what’s on the market and comparing like for like by walking around the NEC for half a day. It’s not the Duplo Festival but it is less pressurised as you can simply walk away from a stand while at an open day they’ve got you for the day. And there’s a more independent feel with workshops, talks, demonstrations and the chance to network with more than one company. Open days have always been around it’s just they are better organised and better presented, while trade shows have been existence since the Industrial Revolution and will never die out as people buy people to use a truism. However, if you get it wrong as IPEX did then maybe it is good idea to buy a few cans and go back to your place to drown your sorrows.

If you have an interesting story or a view on this news, then please e-mail news@printmonthly.co.uk

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