Print innovation and sustainability highlighted at successful VMC

Richard Stuart-Turner
Friday, September 24, 2021

The eighth Visual Media Conference (VMC) has concluded its first three-day event, which attracted more than 300 attendees.

McClements: "I’m more than pleased with the numbers and engagement we had"
McClements: "I’m more than pleased with the numbers and engagement we had"

The three-day linear virtual conference, which ran this year with the theme Sustainability through Innovation, was hosted on the Hopin virtual event platform from Tuesday to Thursday this week (21 to 23 September).

A joint initiative from CDI, BPIF, and BOSS in conjunction with founding partners Precision Proco and Creative Race, the free event brought together the business supplies, digital, and print industries to delve into the trends, technology, and innovations affecting the sectors and drew audiences from the UK, Europe, the US, and as far afield as Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.

The conference delivered best practice ideas to define sustainability for the environment and­ for businesses, and presented new technologies and innovation in management techniques. While its live sessions were grounded in print, they also explored complementary and competing media, including virtual reality.

Speakers included Nestlé, Asda, designers working on Bugatti, and a raft of print manufacturers including Canon, HP, and Xeikon.

CDI president and VMC curator Robert McClements told Printweek: “I’m more than pleased with the numbers and engagement we had, and the feedback and comments we’ve been getting are off the scale. Some people watched everything while others were dipping in and out. We took a chance on this format, but people were using it exactly as we thought it was going to work.”

He confirmed that the conference would return for a ninth outing next year, and said he hoped the format would include “a physical real element” with perhaps “a small nucleus of a real event” but said it would be crucial to continue to make the event available through streaming for those not available to make it in person.

McClements also hailed the efforts of the BPIF marketing team for their organisation of the event.

“It just goes to show what a small but dedicated team can achieve for the industry, and it’s being recognised in the feedback that the conference is getting today.”

The event programme was presented as a ‘TV schedule’ to make it possible to pick out individual priorities. The live sessions were recorded and made available for replay shortly after transmission and can now be streamed here.

BPIF CEO Charles Jarrold added: “The Visual Media Conference has always been about the intersection where creativity, technology and print meet. Creativity is stimulated at these boundaries, where disciplines intersect, where there’s creative tension.

“Solving challenges, particularly around the area of this year’s conference focus on environment and sustainability requires imagination, creativity, entrepreneurialism, and a will to take action – all aspects that shone through a roster of presentations of greater depth, range and quality than ever.

“I’ve learned much, been inspired, and encouraged to follow up and explore many topics, issues and opportunities raised over the last three days, and of course, made many new really interesting contacts!”

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