As more and more industrial markets transition from analogue to digital printing to realise the benefits of lower cost and increased speed to market, both Diamond and Lubrizol seek new ways to ‘think external’.

For the evolution to be successful, OEMs, ink manufacturers and suppliers at all levels within the value chain need to work together.  As a leader within the emerging digital print field, Lubrizol Performance Coatings is always seeking ways to think external, be end-user focused and to facilitate the industry wide dialogue. One answer—look at tradeshows differently.

Tradeshows follow a set pattern: Rent space. Set up a stand. Make a presentation. Following Diamond’s precedent set at previous exhibitions, Performance Coatings took a different approach at the recent FESPA Global Print Expo held in Berlin by sponsoring an event that brought the entire industry value chain together: customers and customers’ customers; suppliers; magazine editors; and industry consultants. There were about 70 attendees in all, including CEOs from some of our largest customers. It was all about giving people from different organisations, with different viewpoints, a place to discuss the challenges they face as an industry in transition.

Organising this type of industry event means treading carefully. As Kelly Lawrence, global marketing manager, says: “Everybody has non-disclosure agreements in place, so those conversations stay separate. Competitive issues are not discussed at these events. It’s about the big issues.”

Kelly continues: “You’ll hear conversations about helping digital accelerate faster, about the impact on sustainability, even on the best ways to mitigate risk in production. By holding these events and initiating conversations, we establish ourselves as the industry ‘go-to’ whenever there is a problem or issue.”

Inviting editors and consultants is a critical part of the overall strategy. Seeing the number of significant industry players who attend these events builds a greater level of credibility with these industry experts and keeps us at front-of-mind when editorial opportunities arise.

Aside from the networking opportunity, this was a chance for Performance Coatings to talk to customers one-on-one. Discussions led to cross-selling of Lubrizol products along with the potential for future innovation projects.  Follow-up meeting have been scheduled with every customer in attendance.

By pursuing business development and engaging the digital print industry, Diamond and Performance Coatings are building the perception, which is rapidly become reality, we are the partner of choice when it comes to ink dispersion and ink receptive coating solutions for digital print across diverse substrates and markets.