The supply industry will present itself as a major innovative force at IFRA Expo 2009

Trend Report for IFRA Expo 2009 in Vienna (12-15 October)

Darmstadt, (PresseBox) - IFRA Expo shows visitors "Your Roads to Success" - with future-oriented technologies, new business models and innovations that secure newspaper publishing houses and media houses the road to a successful future in difficult times. IFRA Expo 2009 will take place from 12 to 15 October in Reed Messe Wien (www.ifraexpo.com). The WAN-IFRA experts have identified the following trends for the exhibition and summarised them below:

"There is a major demand for technical innovations especially in difficult times. New business models are born and new trends launched. The spirit of innovativeness in the supply industry for the publishing sector is unbroken", explains Michael Heipel, Group Director Supplier Services and Director of Exhibitions of WAN-IFRA. As every year, it will be on display in the autumn at IFRA Expo in Vienna, where many new and further developed products will be presented to help publishers meet the challenges at present confronting the industry. The solutions on display will cover all production and added-value areas at the publishing houses.

Cross-media publishing and advertising

The need to use different output channels is no longer disputed. Convergence in the newsroom and media variety are becoming increasingly commonplace at publishing houses, something that will also be clearly reflected in the offerings shown at IFRA Expo.

On display will be modular systems covering all work steps, from product planning, production tracking and control, ad-taking and processing, up to editorial and output on different channels. An interesting aspect here is the question as to whether a manufacturer integrates these modules himself or offers interfaces to third-party systems - almost a philosophical question, but one that is decisive for the customers where safeguarding the future of an editorial or advertising system is concerned. New features include, for example, automatic indexing, associative search, extended audio and video functions.

Jochen Dieckow, Research Manager Emerging Digital Platforms and Business Development of WAN-IFRA, explains: "The major success of the iPhone or the HTC telephone shows the direction in which mobile publishing is going. The growth rates in the use of the mobile Internet and mobile applications are immense, no publishing house today can afford not to use this channel. A large number of suppliers at IFRA Expo will demonstrate how publishing houses can show 'mobile' presence with just a minor investment of resources."

Besides the mobile output channels, Web 2.0 platforms, such as Twitter or Facebook, are becoming increasingly important. Editorial systems must be flexible to efficiently incorporate new channels and integrate their strengths. This makes the feedback of the (online) readers directly visible and allows it to be entered into the editorial work. Manufacturers of content management systems will show various new developments in this area, i.a. polls, televoting and quiz games.

The possibility to place ads on various channels and in a context-related environment is becoming more and more important. At IFRA Expo, systems will be presented that permit such cross-media campaign bookings and therefore help increase profits. In the area of print there are attractive special types of advertising to discover that, in combination with geomarketing and fine-zoning, offer further potentials for generating print revenues.

Improving quality in print, retrofitting and hybrid printing

"The key to increasing the standard of print quality lies to a large degree in the prepress sector. IFRA Expo has some very interesting further developments of workflow systems, colour optimisation and automated image processing tools to show in this area", Manfred Werfel, Group Director Newspaper Production and Deputy CEO of WAN-IFRA, announces. The consumables industry has improved or tinted paper qualities, special and metallic inks to offer.

Especially at the present time, efforts are being made to achieve improvements in quality and efficiency with existing printing installations. Both press manufacturers and systems integrators are seizing upon this trend, generally referred to as "retrofitting". Exchanging drives or press controls, converting to shaftless operation or re-configuring presses can increase the useful life of a press and increase its printing quality. Thermographic inspections permit the early recognition and aimed tackling of weak points. WAN-IFRA dedicates a complete Focus Session to the topic of retrofit during the exhibition, which will include the presentation of successful case studies (on Wednesday, 14 October, 10.00 h).

Vlada Mihailovic, CEO of Südostschweiz Partner AG, one of the lecturers at the Focus Session on the subject of retrofit, about the content of his presentation: "Buy new or retrofit? New investment, part or complete modernisation? Besides technology, efficiency plays a key role in this decision. Retrofit can be a serious alternative to investing in new equipment especially in cases where older installations are still in a very good mechanical state."

The ability to print heatset and coldset on the same press opens up new sales and customer potentials. The technologies required for this, such as UV drying, can be discovered at the exhibition.

There is now extensive experience available of working with the waterless offset process, and IFRA Expo will offer the opportunity for intensive discussions on this topic.

Automation, reducing costs and outsourcing

Automation makes a major contribution to reducing costs in the press hall. Quality-guaranteed plate edge-bending, sorting and conveying to the press, up to automatic plate loading (APL), will be shown at the exhibition. Leading suppliers will also demonstrate that there continues to be further potential for automation in the mailroom.

Human resources have been reduced at many publishing houses, thus making it necessary to consider the prospect of outsourcing. But efficient system solutions are required for managing the accounts and controlling outside service providers, and such solutions will be presented at IFRA Expo. "Especially for ad production and booking there are interesting 'customer self-service' models that both minimise the workload at the publishing house and offer customers an attractive service. The 'virtual branch office' opens up new sources of revenue through cross-media concepts," Harald Löffler, Research Manager Editorial, Advertising and General Management of WAN-IFRA, explains.

Various suppliers are showing outsourcing solutions ranging from server hosting, call centres, content management systems, information processing and broadcasting, up to content syndication and office outsourcing. Interesting solutions will be presented also for the area of maintenance, service and provision of personnel.

Sustainability

"Despite the fact that the focus is at present on economic efficiency, it is important not to lose sight of the time 'after the crisis' - which is when environmental topics will quickly return to centre stage", Beatrix Beckmann, Research Manager Materials Newspaper Production of WAN-IFRA, expects.

"Low-chemistry or chemistry-free plates will be offered. The regulation on bactericides that is expected to come into force in 2010 will call for new solutions for fountain agent circulation systems, such as visitors to IFRA Expo will be able to see already in October in Vienna", Roland Thees, Research Manager Newspaper Production of WAN-IFRA, describes.

Technologies that save resources, such as ink or waste, innovative blanket washing systems as well as systems for the waterless offset process will be shown at the exhibition. All press manufacturers at IFRA Expo offer solutions for environment-friendly production.

N.B.: IFRA Expo 2009, due to the support of WAN-IFRA partner AbitibiBowater, is a CO2-neutral event.

Corporate Publishing

IFRA Expo is not reserved exclusively for newspaper publishers - the range of equipment and services on offer is just as relevant for magazine publishers or corporate publishers. "In short: Anyone wanting to publish contents in print, online or mobile, will find tailored solutions at this exhibition. Nor does this always have to be a 100-seat editorial system. The exhibition presents interesting and low-cost solutions also for small and medium-sized applications based on InDesign or QuarkXPress workflows", M. Heipel adds.

Various companies feature software for text checking and hyphenation in different languages. Digital asset management for photo, video, text or audio files is every bit as important for newspapers as for corporate publishers, and the leading companies from this area are showing their products at the Expo. The cooperation with the Forum Corporate Publishing, that will be applied for the first time at IFRA Expo 2009, will be developed further in the future.

WAN-IFRA in Vienna

The recent merger of the two leading associations for the news publishing industry to WAN-IFRA, the world association of newspapers and news publishers (www.wan-ifra.org), will also be very much in evidence at the exhibition. The WAN-IFRA stand is located in the foyer of Reed Messe Wien, where visitors are invited to inform themselves about the complete range of WAN-IFRA services.

Besides services for WAN-IFRA members, the programme of events and training courses, there is the possibility to obtain information about the association's consulting offering that covers all aspects of publishing, from newsroom organisation to system selection and press acceptance. The focus in 2009 is especially on increasing print and colour quality, as reflected in the current competition for membership in the International Newspaper Color Quality Club (www.colorqualityclub.org).

About WAN-IFRA

WAN-IFRA (www.wan-ifra.org), based in Paris, France, and Darmstadt, Germany, with subsidiaries in Singapore, India, Spain, France and Sweden, is the global organisation of the world's newspapers and news publishers. It represents more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries. The organisation was created by the merger of the World Association of Newspapers and IFRA, the research and service organisation for the news publishing industry.

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