The programme, organised by Print Future’s Neil Falconer, aims to help printers to “future-proof their business and to look at new and existing opportunities to make money”.
Falconer told PrintWeek: “Printers need to adapt to survive – most SME printers are not going to survive on offset print or even on a mix of offset and digital; they still need to diversify and look at opportunities in cross-media, wide format and packaging.
“The whole thing is really targeted at the SME print community and the essence of the Master Classes is based around better business and better margins.”
The Master Classes will run daily across two theatres – each with a daily theme – and will include a mix of practical sessions and case studies.
“We will have a series of short, sharp, very practical sessions with key takeaways around things like: planning for change; improving your marketing; identifying key customers in vertical markets and being more strategic about the customers you win,” said Falconer.
The programme will include a blend of sales, production efficiency and technical development themes with a target of three key takeaways per session, which Falconer said would be a case of, “go away and do this and you’ll make more money in your business”.
A daily “Ask the Expert” lunchtime panel debate will aim to help printers audit their current sales and marketing approach and identify additional digital and cross media service opportunities.
Topics include: colour management; environment; business planning; workflow; web-to-print; selling print; market intelligence; marketing print; sales techniques; wide format; packaging; finance.
“I think we as an industry have a tendency to get hung-up on print quality when no-one else is,” said Falconer. “Printers will ask: why are we going to put in a fully colour-managed workflow when our customers are happy with the quality as it is?
“But putting in a colour-managed workflow isn’t just about colour and quality, it’s about being more productive, stopping tinkering for 5-10 minutes on every job and taking costs out of your bottom line.”
He added: “There are a fantastic range of new print-related applications and market opportunities to take advantage of, but first and foremost you have to get the basics right.
“In all the consultancy work that we do for SME printers, even the bigger, more digital and cross media savvy ones are often let down by a lack of planning, inefficient production and an ineffective sales process.
“The Ipex Master Classes will help them improve in these areas.”
Trevor Crawford, Ipex 2014 event director, said: “Ipex 2014 has been developed as a source of information and education for everyone in the print and communications industry, and the Master Classes are an important part of this.
“Designed and overseen by print experts, these sessions will go back to basics and ensure that the right foundations are there to be a successful print enterprise.”
Falconer added that the Master Classes would offer practical support for print business owners, but also for their sales and production teams. “The sessions are designed to be the best day you never spent in the office,” he concluded. “It is a fantastic opportunity to learn from a great line-up of industry experts.”
To attend the free Master Classes, visitors should pre-register at www.ipex.org.