Monday, April 11, 2011

Rendezvous with a digital press major in Brussels






It was quite a pleasant surprise when I received a call about three weeks ago from the editor and publisher of Indian Printer & Publisher and Packaging South Asia, asking me to attend a special press event being organised by Xeikon International, the Netherlands-based major in the labeling business. Later on, as it turned out, I was also asked to attend the digi:media trade show in Dusseldorf, a first by the organisers of the famous drupa festival. So followed a rush for the visa and other arrangements and, even before I knew it, I was off to Brussels where the event was arranged.

‘Go beyond your limits’ is the Xeikon credo and, well, they did really pull out all stops to ensure that the press event was a success. Xeikon is one of the founders of the digital label press technology and the event was to provide select editors from around the world an insight into developments and market growth expectations as well as update on the company’s product portfolio.

After a 10-hour flight I landed in Brussels where the pick-up was arranged. Off I was driven to the Crowne Plaza in Antwerp. Freshening over, I was whisked away with a couple of other senior editors to the Xeikon headquarters in Lier. After formal introductions, there was lunch, complete with the choicest of wines. It was all perfect PR and it worked well. None of us even sighed once until the presentations got over late in the evening. Senior editors from Chicago, London, Paris and New York were present. I was the only Indian.

The organisers seemed to believe in the saying, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. There was cocktails and dinner at a boutique restaurant in downtown Antwerp, but even that was preceded by a brief presentation.

A packed first day indeed. Indian companies can take a leaf out of the Xeikon book to understand how press conferences and get-togethers should be arranged without PR being overbearing. In Brussles, they did it very effectively and in great style.

Pictures show the sumptuous meal in store for lunch; the eye-catching Xeikon hoarding at one end of the hall; yours truly with the Xeikon director and the PR chief; the Xeikon business development manager talking hardcore business; and a view of the spectacular amphitheatre in the company’s HQ.

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