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Northern Lights

At the end of last year, print fiishing systems supplier Duplo announced that it was to hold a new event in the North highlighting how

Northern Lights, a two-day event held at The Lowry in Salford Quays, Manchester
Northern Lights, a two-day event held at The Lowry in Salford Quays, Manchester

businesses can create added value and increase revenue through the latest print applications and innovations.

Northern Lights, a two-day event held at The Lowry in Salford Quays, Manchester, took place on March 10-11. At the time of going to press, Marketing Manager Sarah Crumpler said that there were more than 140 people registered to attend the event, but she was hopeful of attra cting closer to 200 on the day.

Crumpler added that Northern Lights wasn’t simply a copy of Duplo’s established London Calling print exhibition, which is held every October in London’s Canary Wharf.

She said: “London Calling brings together some of the leading names in the print and fiishing business and demonstrates how customers can create added value and increased revenue through new applications and innovations.

“However, Northern Lights isn’t a northern version of London Calling. It came about on the back of a user forum we established in the North, and it’s this that steered the event’s direction. Our business is driven by the feedback that we receive from our customers and our events are no different. Northern Lights is a platform for us to demonstrate inspirational ideas, innovative applications, more intelligent technology and integrated solutions.”

Crumpler added: “The focus isn’t on what the products can do, but more on how they can be used to create greater effiiencies or added value leading to increased revenue streams.”

Owners’ Club
As well as showcasing entire digital workflws, from pre- to post-press systems, the inaugural ‘Northern Lights’ was the offiial launchpad of a new initiative, the Duplo Owners’ Club, which Duplo has set up to improve customer communications and increase focus on bookletmakers, service and R&D.

The new customer-only forum, the fist meeting of which was chaired by Adrian Tolley, Operations Director of Nottigham’s Prime Group, is targeted at the directors of print companies that use Duplo multifiishers.

An important feature of Duplo Owners’ Club meetings is that they aren’t attended by Duplo employees. “This is a non-Duploattended event so users can openly discuss how they use the equipment, share ideas and explore what we could be doing more of to support them better,” explained Crumpler.

She added that the new initiative is designed to create a user community and encourage dialogue between Duplo and its customers, with feedback being used to inflence product development and innovation.

Experts hosted ‘hands-on’ operator demonstrations of Duplo print fiishing systems
Experts hosted ‘hands-on’ operator demonstrations of Duplo print fiishing systems

“The launch of the Duplo Owners’ Club and our fist customer-only forum are all part of a fresh approach to the way we do customer communications, designed to improve the two-way flw of information,”

Crumpler explained.

“Northern Lights brings together a wide cross-section of industry experts demonstrating live applications. All initiatives are designed to help customers develop new and existing revenue streams alongside creating added value and providing ideas for increasing workflow effiiencies and reducing bottlenecks within current processes.”

Another highlight of Northern Lights were the hands-on operator sessions where visitors could learn how to get the most out of a DC-645 multi-fiisher and System 500i bookletmaker system, two of Duplo’s most popular products in the region. Duplo product specialists, specialist trainers and commercial partners were on hand to provide expertise.

Northern Lights, which was free to attend, also featured longer opening hours than London Calling, staying open until 9pm on the opening day and 5pm on the second day. “We did this to provide a platform for networking in a relaxed environment, as well as providing time to get more hands-on with all products,” said Crumpler.

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