WAN-IFRA Schedule Spans Print, Digital, Sales, and Content
Posted: 11/8/2012  |  By: Kristina Ackermann
Nowhere is the transformative nature of the publishing industry more evident than in the halls of the Frankfurt convention center for the 2012 World Publishing Expo.

While the print vs. digital, paid vs. free, and even mobile vs. tablet debates divide media pundits in the U.S. down party lines, WAN-IFRA (World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers) has invited them all to mingle and co-exist under one roof. This multimedia theme carries throughout the scheduled events and conferences, as well as the roster of exhibitors.

To be held October 29 to 31 in Frankfurt, Germany, the World Publishing Expo is the world’s largest global trade exhibition for the news publishing and media industry, and a showcase for the technology to publish news in print, on tablets, on mobile, and online. More than 250 exhibitors from 30 countries will fill more than 9,000 square meters of exhibition space, including newspaper pre-press, press and mailroom equipment manufacturers, creative editorial and publishing system providers, and more. Around 8,000 visitors are expected to attend during the three-day event.

Among the exhibitors are Agfa Graphics, Baldwin Technologies, Bottcher, ECRM, Ferag, Fujifilm, Goss Intl., KBA, Kodak, IST Metz, manroland, Muller Martini, Prime UV Systems, QuadTech, Sitma, TechnoTrans, and Wifag. More than 50 speakers from around the world will be presenting or speaking on panel discussions, including Eric Elyn, print plant manager at Coldset Printing Partners in Belgium, addressing how newspaper printers can increase quality and lower waste by incorporating a color-density control system.


Print takes the spotlight
Germany is a bright spot in the world of print, so it’s fitting that the expo is dedicating not one but four separate sessions to the power of print. According to WAN-IFRA, 2.5 billion people read newspapers on a regular basis, so publishers attending the expo are seeking strategies to maximize the value of their printing operations.

The Power of Print Focus Sessions will host print colleagues and industry experts, sharing their experiences, experiments, and best practices to harness the opportunities and innovations presented by advancements in newspaper printing technologies. The session is focused on selling printing capacity and featured newspaper printers who are successful in selling their press and mailroom capacities to external customers.

Among the speakers schedule are Matthias Tietz, manager of printing house Rheinisch-Bergische Druckerei in Düsseldorf, and Torsten Kruse, product and technology manager at Axel Springer, also in Germany. A presentation entitled “Economy of Scale: Print to Survive and Beat Your Rivals!” features Assaf Avrahami, chief executive officer of Yedioth IT, and Alon Buberman, operations vice president of Yedioth Group in Israel. Another print-related session, Retrofit: Upgrading Your Press features Hansjürg Stihl, from the Swiss newspaper St. Galler Tagblatt, who will discuss how printing operations can be continued during a retrofit project.

Each session is designed to encourage creativity and ingenuity, while introducing new technology alongside various exhibitors. Each session will feature a different case study on the topics listed below.

Topics and Schedule:


Rethinking media apps
Digital publishing also has a seat at the World Publishing Expo. The 5th Tablet & Apps Summit will feature 14 international experts in the field of mobile and tablet applications.

The all-day summit will touch on numerous topics pertaining to app development, including creating a better user experience, using metrics to benefit advertisers and direct editorial, maximizing distribution channels, effective pricing models, product development, business strategies, and more. Case studies will be presented from app pioneers such as Condé Nast, The New York Times, and the Financial Times. A breakout session on Windows 8 will explore Microsoft as an alternative to the walled garden models of Apple, Amazon, and Samsung. Microsoft business development manager Alexander Voss will be on hand, as well as Johan Mortelmans, digital innovation manager at Belgium-based Corelio Publishing.

The summit will be chaired by Stig Nordqvist, WAN-IFRA executive director of emerging digital platforms, and Christian Röpke, Zeit Online managing director.


Driving profits
Perhaps foremost on the minds of publishers is the question of advertising and how to keep a steady revenue stream coming in to support all these new technologies and innovations. WAN-IFRA addresses this need with Advertising Summit 2012, focusing in on examples of profi table mobile strategies. Scheduled speakers include mobile marketers, media developers, and sales specialists from a variety of sectors.

The advertising summit will include studies on going mobile, using technology to boost advertising, and developing an integrated multimedia sales portfolio. 


Who pays for content?
While there’s no shortage of naysayers who claim a paid news model will never work, new research is starting to show otherwise. News consumers are willing to pay for content on the Internet if the offer is attractive, but many questions remain to be answered before news publishers can generate substantial revenue streams. In what promises to be a lively panel discussion, moderator Frank Schirrmacher, co-publisher of German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, will be joined by Madhav Chinnappa, Google’s head of strategic partnerships, and Derk Haank, chief executive officer of Springer Science+Business Media in Germany.

In 2011, Internet advertising expenditure exceeded the ad spend on TV and newspapers combined. So why is it that many publishers experience so much difficulty in making a profit on the Internet, despite the fact that consumers are willing to pay for content and advertisers want to be in this space? Do media operations need the support of social media platforms to reach new customer audiences? Or are Facebook and YouTube actually competitors for daily newspapers and magazines? These questions are just the starting off point for discussion. 


WAN-IFRA, based in Paris and Darmstadt, Germany, with subsidiaries in Singapore, India, Spain, France, and Sweden, is the global organization of the world’s newspapers and news publishers. It represents more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites, and 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries. Its core mission is to defend and promote press freedom, quality journalism and editorial integrity, and the development of prosperous businesses.

E&P is a proud media sponsor of the World Publishing Expo. For more information and full expo schedule, visit wan-ifra.org/expo2012.


E&P production editor Mark Vruno contributed to this article.