Cross-Media at the Crossroads

When On Demand first came on the trade show scene, digital printing was just getting up a head of steam. The debate over digital’s place in the printing industry was lively and the offset faction was aggressively defensive. Today, it is obvious that digital and offset need to co-exist and both need to face the reality of communication alternatives that don’t involve marks on paper. That’s what makes this year’s On Demand particularly interesting. The latest On Demand add-on is the Publishing Xchange Conference which, according to the promoters, will bring together “for the first time the full expanse of Digital Publishing, Digital Print, and Enterprise Information Management.†(I have no idea why these descriptions require capitalization, but random capitalization seems to be going around these days.) In any case, what they are talking about is cross-media publishing. “Cross-Media Publishing is no longer an option afforded the ultra-creative. It's quickly becoming the standard requirement in every vertical market of publishing. The advent of eMedia channels (such as searchable Web, tablet, mobile, social media, email, etc.) supplements the demands once dominated by commercial printing. Regardless of whether it is publishing for profit (as in magazines and newspapers) or as a function of marketing and sales support, the need for pinpointed and timely messaging has become mission critical…This year's show is dedicated to showing commercial and in-plant printers, publishers, marketing communication content providers, graphic designers, and ad agencies how build a stronger and more sophisticated roadmap to success.†This seems a timely program with a worthy goal. Hope to see you there.