Wide format, sign and screen printing association FESPA has appointed an Asia-Pacific Ambassador, Adhiwatra Chanapokakul Australian Printer asks him what his role will entail and what he hopes to achieve.
AP: You were appointed Fespa’s Asia-Pacific Ambassador in February 2008. What are your observations and impressions of the industry so far?
AC: It is clearly a dynamic, innovative, creative as well as diverse industry. It not only provides graphic and
communication solutions, but it also provides the textile, ceramics, industrial and automotive industries with the ability to enhance and add value to their products. This variety and thirst for new applications is certainly driving innovation.
AP: What types of activities have you undertaken to date, as Ambassador?
AC: I took part in the first Fespa’s Asia-Pacific Summit which ran this past March in Bangkok. Since my appoint-ment, I have also attended many events and meetings and have also conducted research amongst our membership to help fully understand their needs and demands and strengthen Fespa’s relationship with them.
AP: You have responsibility for communicating regularly with Fespa’s Associate Members in Asia-Pacific. What does this entail? How are you finding this so far?
AC: This entails being both active and being a good listener. I am about to embark on a tour of our associate members to properly engage and understand how Fespa can appropriately add value to their activities. We are fortunate in Asia-Pacific to have a number of very successful associate members and my role is to complement and enhance their success by supporting and providing access to the information they need.
AP: What do you think Fespa brings to its members and print in the region?
AC: Fespa itself is a community. Our members and non-members benefit from their relationship with us. Some come to exhibitions, attend events, visit our websites, or enrol on our e-learning course. It is really important to understand that Fespa is not an exclusive organisation. However, in order to gain access to our complete value-offering, you must become a member of a national association that is, a member of Fespa.
AP: What are your thoughts on trade organisations in the print industry?
AC: I think trade organisations that promote and support their markets as well as provide value for members are absolutely essential.Our industry is undergoing rapid change. At Fespa we see our role as one of a guide as well as a place to come for reliable and relevant information. Fespa exhibitions are the best source for this information. I have discovered that our members are presented with a wide range of challenges and Fespa’s role, through our associations is to help them grow and deliver value to their members.
AP: How are you helping drive Fespa’s core aims of supporting local printers in the region?
AC: My role is really to act as Fespa’s representative and to provide our members with what they need. Consequently, members get a lot of value from the fact that I am here principally to help them succeed.
AP: What plans and initiatives would you like to see implemented in the region?
AC: The Fespa Asia-Pacific show will see the culmination of some key projects that I will be managing. This includes the Fespa Asia-Pacific “Lotus Flower” Imaging award programme focused on rewarding and showcasing creative image-making and the Fespa Inspire Conference, again, a show-case of inspirational printing and best practice.
AP: Why are you looking forward to Fespa World Expo Asia-Pacific 2008? What event projects and initiatives do you think will be particularly welcomed by printers in the region?
AC: Of course, I am very excited about the show. It will be the culmination of a lot of hard work and will undoubtedly energise and stimulate the market. I think projects and initiatives that help to enhance bus-iness success will be particularly welcomed in this region.We all know how well the economies in our region are growing. The challenge for printers is meeting increased demand and ex-pectation. So, there is a need for access to excellence and education and Fespa can de-liver access to that inspirational education.
AP: What aspect of your position as Ambassador are you finding most-rewarding? What have you found most challenging so far?
AC: Fespa is truly global. This alone is impressive. The current membership covers 34 national associations and visitors to our shows now come from 128 countries. This provides us with a vast array of networking value and an ability to share knowledge across borders. For example, this summer I shall be joining a group of TSGA re-presentatives, who will be visiting our association colleagues in Eastern Europe. I am looking forward to this and am sure this will be a very rewarding experience. I would most like to see our members in the region succeed and become world-class industry leaders. This will not be an easy task, but I intend to meet this challenge head-on.
AP: What would you like to achieve in the next 12 months?
AC: I would like to firmly establish Fespa our brand and values in the Asia-Pacific region.
I am lucky because I have a great exhibition located in my hometown, which will help showcase what Fespa is all about. In addition to this, satellite events that we are running, such as the Fespa Inspire Conference and the Fespa Asia-Pacific “Lotus Flower” Imaging awards, will further illustrate Fespa core strengths and real market expertise. I know the positive energy and outcome generated by this event will provide me and FESPA with an amazing platform in which to continue to build our presence in Asia-Pacific and further strengthen the market in this region.