Colin Easton from HP on the importance of staying connected

Colin Easton from HP discusses the importance of staying connected virtually while face-to-face meetings and events are on pause to approach the future stronger.

It's hard to say when normal business will resume in our industry - if, indeed, it ever will. With the second wave of the pandemic now biting, new restrictions are impacting the market. However, businesses have adapted since COVID-19 hit early this year and there are many more ways to stay connected, ensuring businesses are stronger going forward.

While face-to-face meetings and events are on hold, information and communication have gone online. Training sessions, presentations, demonstrations, roundtable discussions, summits - there's a busy calendar of industry collaboration happening remotely. We have opened the digital doors of the HP Virtual Booth, an online representation of a trade show stand that visitors can look around in a similar way to on a show floor. The Virtual Booth is divided into key markets - Signage & Display, Professional Photo & Art, and Sportswear & Fashion - plus a showcase of HP large format printers. This application-focused virtual space allows graphics businesses to explore the exciting opportunities open to them, safely.

Just like at a physical trade show, the HP Virtual Booth offers information to pick up and digest later. There are guides to download, including how-to guides on producing essential items like personalised reusable face masks, and webinars on a range of subjects. Visitors can attend these sessions in real time or watch them later - a flexible benefit of remote events. You can request demonstrations, samples and support from an HP expert, on your preferred application.

The HP team is also presenting demonstrations of our key large-format printer solutions. Again, this is an advantage of connecting virtually: our Technical Consultants are based at the HP Graphics Experience Center in Barcelona but can deliver live demonstrations tailored for every customer, wherever they are, via a video call. Rather than a one-sided presentation, these virtual demos are truly interactive, customer-led, real-time dialogues that enable decision-makers to discuss subjects relevant to their specific businesses with experts. The demonstrations are recorded to re-watch later too - and there's no distracting noise from a busy show floor.

Print service providers and graphic display companies are also utilising remote working practices and technology to stay connected to their print rooms. Print production operating systems, accessible via an app or website, allow managers to see exactly what's going on - and even operate their print solutions - remotely. HP PrintOS, for example, allows users to add new jobs to the print queue, check job completion, monitor media and ink usage and perform many more actions from any location. This cloud-based platform is currently used by over 26,000 print professionals around the world.

Whether temporary or permanent, it's essential for businesses to adapt. Explore alternative ways of working, engage with people remotely and discover the opportunities presented by going virtual.

Authored by Colin Easton, Large Format Printing Channel Manager at HP UK.

For more information and to explore the HP Virtual Booth, please click here.