Thursday 27 May 2010

The Future of the Prospectus

I had a day out in London on Tuesday to attend the Future of the Prospectus conference at the Magic Circle HQ. Really interesting event covering digital, print and mobile ideas about where the prospectus is headed.

The programme was:
  • Luke Mckend from Google
  • The Heist prospectus winner discussion
  • The Printer's Forum
  • TVU - the first iPhone prospectus
  • Sean Montgomery - Fonemedia
  • University of Surrey - in-house personalised prospectus
  • Tracy Playle - Picklejar communications
Bit of a mixed bag, all the speakers were interesting but it was the digital side that was of more interesting to me. (I have a long history of printers in the family so I can relate but am really glad I didn't go down that route!)

So first up was Google, nothing new here as i've seen them at most conferences, only thing that peaked my interest was a mention of YouTube EDU, something to keep any eye on, similar to iTunes U.

Heist Prospectus winners all chatted about their award winning publications.

The printers wanted to stress that they are there to help look at how to save us all money and that we should look at them as an extension of our teams.

TVU showed off their iPhone App, bit of a trend to the day that the iPhone is the way forward. Interesting that Android didn't get too much of a mention despite being on a seriously fast growth curve.

Sean from Fonemedia demonstrated Bluetooth and SMS functionality (both of which we have already). Also, he showed off the idea of using QRCodes on printed materials.

University of Surrey were very interesting, a fully personalised prospectus, printed, finished and sent in-house! Genius idea if you can do it and they looked to be managing a massive process very well!

And finally, Tracy from Picklejar Communications who had some interesting observations on social and digital media. Augmented Reality was mentioned, if you haven't seen it check out the Lego video on YouTube. This could be a strong development area but again comes down to needing a smartphone or a desktop machine.

All in all, some interesting ideas around the development of digital publications, social media integration and printing options. And the conclusion draw at the end of the day?

Even with the best digital offerings we all still like a bit of printed material!

Wednesday 19 May 2010

Lucky me, I've been chosen!

You were recently chosen as a potential candidate to represent your professional community in the 2010/2011 Edition of The Global Directory of Who's Who Online.

We are please to inform you that your candidacy was formally approved March 30th, 2010. Congratulations. 

So, how many of us have had one of these email? I receive at least one a day now, I must be the most popular/recognised person in the UK! The part that was a little upsetting was the fact that I was selected on the 30th March and this was only sent to me on the 4th May 2010! Over a month of missed opportunity!

It's such a shame to think that this kind of mass mailing junk can and probably does generate money for the people sending them.

Sadly the future of junk mail continues!

Monday 10 May 2010

Digital delivery vans...

Another quick post about the Digital Signage Expo and a chance to put up the only photo I took on the day! An interesting idea for expanding on revenue generation with a van that has a large digital screen embedded into the side of it (see photo).

Potentially a money spinner as you could sell off advertising space to clients who would be advertised as your van carried out it's deliveries. A simple idea but in hard economic times it could bring in a few extra pounds.

The only downside, apart from installation costs, is that we didn't get to see how much of the inside of the van the screen took up, if you're only left with enough room for a single small cardboard box it might not be such a good idea!

Friday 7 May 2010

Digital Signage Strategies Forum 2010

So I was lucky enough to be invited as a key note speaker at the Digital Signage Strategies Forum 2010 at Earls Court on Wednesday. I'm not entirely sure how they tracked me down but it was a brilliant day with some really good insights into how other people are running their systems. I'm biased obviously but it looks like we're doing most things well and we even had our supplier OneLan there running one of our layouts!

The talk went well, not too nervous (!) and we had a good round of questions at the end. We even had a couple of people taking photos of our slides! I asked a collegue, John Wells, from our Information Services Department to join me to talk about the Infrastructure Intergration.

The bonus of being there was also that we could visit the Screen Media Expo also being held at Earls Court. There were some really interesting developments in digital signage including dwell and recognition monitoring, flexible screens, laser displays and lots of other things that looked rather expensive! We'll be looking to implement a few of the things we've seen over the rest of the year so keep your eyes peeled for some interesting developments!

You can view the presentation below and why not head over to John's blog to read his posting here.