Prokom visitors express industry hopes and fears

Jez Abbott
Friday, July 6, 2018

Konica Minolta used its second annual Prokom user group conference last month to focus on the possibilities of print.

Bosses from GB Mail, UK Mail, Multicoat Print Finishers, Nettl and a host of other UK companies attended Prokom’s second annual conference in Budapest, Hungary, earlier this month.

Delegates also came from many other countries across Europe, as well as Australia, Singapore, China, India and North America, to network and learn from each other.

Konica Minolta business development manager Hans Huijsing said the company was developing new products in the areas of inkjet, finishing and toner.

“More people can see the market is in difficulty; consolidating and shrinking. Companies are [either] going bankrupt or growing.”

He added concerns from visitors this year were twofold: the need to develop strategies for growth using new applications to boost profitability; and more technically specific issues regarding kit.

“More companies are asking us not just technological questions, but are wanting stronger support in helping their business grow,” he said. “This is why we set up the Prokom programme.

“The conference is the most tangible part of that, where we bring together people to look at growth and evolution. The theme this year was 'don't let your past hold you back'.

“In a difficult market it's easy to get wary and scared and ask yourself 'where will I be in five years' time?' But you have good reason to plan ahead, even dream, and leave the past behind.”

GB Mail managing director Joseph Ghadami said the event was “a conference to remember”, with speakers, breakout sessions and relaxing get togethers in the evenings.

Inspiration and motivation was bountiful, and I certainly took that positive energy back with me to the UK and instilled it into my business.”

Earlier this month GB Mail took on a Konica Minolta bizhub Press 1052 mono production line in order to boost its production capacity.

UK Mail managing director and Prokom chairman Andy Barber said: “Our belief is that it’s not just about what people make but about what they make possible.”

The conference was rounded off with awards for contributions to print, with UK winners including Rob Finnie at Nettl (UK). The next Prokom conference is due in Valencia, Spain, on 5-6 June 2019.

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