June '21

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Page 34 of 118

In a large-format print market now worth billions, the PSPs who oer something extra can reap huge rewards Large-format printing continues to be a profitable segment. By 2025, the world- wide market for large-format printing will be worth $11.2 billion [1]. Despite this prodigious growth, parts of the core large- format business are becoming increasingly commoditized. This is particularly true for deliverables such as banners and posters, which are some of the easiest applications to produce. This has prompted some print service providers (PSPs) to use the period of upheaval we are going through to re-position and diversify their businesses. They are doing this by expanding into higher-profit applications as a natural next step. Some applications are simply worth more. Differentiation is key to growth. This real- ization has sparked a dash to innovate, with printers looking for new business models, new opportunities, and even new types of product to help them prosper in the locked- down business landscape. The best way to do that is to diversify and be able to offer something your competitors do not. If necessity is the mother of invention, lockdown is its father No one can accuse the large-format sector of failing to be inventive and entrepre- neurial. When the pandemic hit, many PSPs switched almost instantly to printing public-health and social distancing signage. Many print providers have moved into the creation of signage and other public- health information assets to help clients cope with the current emergency. "We saw a big interest in the social-distancing templates from print providers who were moving fast to help their communities and keep busi- ness flowing during lockdown," says Tom Wittenberg, HP Large Format Events and Industry Relations Manager, NA. As well as producing signage for social distancing, many print providers are also accelerating the development of online businesses while looking for new ways to differentiate their company by providing new and innovative high-value and high- margin applications. These high-value applications include window graphics, vinyl clings, and two-sided stickers. Another aspect of how PSPs have responded is by developing the ability to work remotely with clients who are no longer able to physically attend the print provider's premises or input into the print process. The challenge has been to find ways to work with remote clients while keeping the actual business of printing run- ning efficiently. At the same time, PSPs are optimizing their cost structure and actively searching for efficiencies. New technologies and new opportunities With this need for high-quality public- health signage comes opportunity. Across the industry, we're seeing an upward trend for printer decor applications that are not just purely informative, but also "high- value", creating particular experiences for the end-user. A recent HP study of large-format print providers in Germany, India, and the How Can Large-Format Providers Use Technology to Beat the Market? P A I D A D V E R T I S I N G

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