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!


  1. What did you think of the TVU iPhone app?

  2. Hi Mike, I thought it was pretty good as a starting point and TVU generated some great publicity from it. It'll be interesting to see how to keep that momentum up. As mentioned a few times at the conference, Augmented Reality could be an interesting one!