The first MENA edition of the Distripress Congress opened yesterday and will run until Thursday, October 6, 2016 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The congress acts as an international meeting point for everyone involved in the distribution and marketing of all press products including; newspapers, and periodicals. In opening the congress, Managing Director of Distripress, Tracy Jones welcomed the 450 member delegates from 47 countries with welcoming remarks also presented by Giselle Pettyfyer, CEO of Facon and Associates. A panel session of speakers including; Carine Nevejans, Distripress President; Peter Newbould, International Trading Director, W H Smith; Anne-Marie Couderc, President, Presstalis and John Lafranier, CEO, Disticor; were also present to discuss and focus on the need to innovate, embrace change and move forward in the distribution industry – strategically.
TMN catch up with Tracy Jones, Managing Director of Distripress, to find out about the upcoming 61st Distripress Congress event, being hosted from Monday, October 3, 2016 until Thursday, October 6, 2016…
What is Distripress?
Distripress is an association for the promotion of the global circulation of the press. We are a non-political and non-profit association of companies and individuals of repute, engaged in the national and international circulation of publications such as; newspapers, magazines, periodicals and paperback books. Our members include publishers, printers, distributors, retailers and other ancillary service providers. Distripress is registered as an association in Zurich and subject to Swiss law. We celebrated our 60th anniversary at our congress in Brussels in 2015.
Tell us a bit about the Distripress Congress?
Each year in September or October, Distripress hosts a congress that brings the global press distribution industry together. The event starts with a half-day forum, during which guest speakers and panellists deliver insightful updates from across the globe. Following the forum, the EXPO and business meeting areas open and provide the main focus for the rest of the event. Member companies can meet existing and new clients, as well as service providers, across the three days. These meetings are an invaluable and efficient way to share business updates and most member companies will have schedules with more than 30 meetings. The EXPO area is open to member and non-member companies and provides an excellent environment from which to promote products and services to potential new contacts.
The social scene at Distripress Congress is also very important. We host a welcome reception on the first evening which is an occasion for friends and colleagues, old as well as new, to mingle in a relaxed environment. In Dubai, this event will be held at the Armani Pavilion from 7.30pm on Monday, October 3.
Where did the concept for the congress originate?
At the time of its foundation in 1955, Distripress counted 16 member companies in 13 countries – today there are more than 275 member companies in over 70 countries. The association set out to be global and hosting an event every year in a different location allowing members to meet and connect was a fundamental element of this initial concept.
Why should members of the media get involved with Distripress?
This event presents a great opportunity for local, non-member companies in the region, who are engaged in the press – or in media in general – to join Distripress members. We will be holding a forum on the morning of October 3, at which senior industry speakers will focus their presentations on the topic of innovation in the supply chain. There is the chance to network with members over lunch and explore the EXPO area, which we hope will inspire new ideas and initiatives. In the evening, the welcome reception held at the Armani Pavilion delivers a fantastic social environment for further networking.
What do you think makes an event such as the Distripress Congress particularly relevant to the Middle Eastern community?
This is the first time Distripress has held its annual congress in the Gulf. There is a buoyant publishing industry in the region and we have many members from the area. However, we hope that by bringing the event to Dubai, more local companies will be encouraged to come along and find out more about what we have to offer, as well as to learn from our international speakers and members, who are travelling to the region to offer their unique insights into the media industry.
How have you marketed the event since its launch?
As a member based association we do not actively market our annual congress event beyond our website and direct communication via our member database. However, Dubai is a new congress location for us and therefore we want to take this opportunity to encourage local non-members to join us and get involved. We have a number of high profile senior managers from the industry scheduled to speak at the Forum.
How can non-Distripress members get involved in the congress?
We have created an ‘L’ Card specifically to allow non-members to join us on the first day of the event, Monday, October 3, at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The ‘L’ Card is priced incredibly reasonably, at USD 360, and gives attendees access to the forum, the EXPO area and the welcome reception in the Armani Pavilion. If you’re interested in purchasing an ‘L’ card, please don’t hesitate to contact our Congress Coordinator, Anna Roca at email@example.com.
What can local attendees of the congress expect to take away from the event?
This is a great opportunity to meet new international contacts publishers, distributors, retailers and ancillary service providers – all of whom are actively engaged in the promotion of press distribution. Each element of the congress offers attendees different focuses within their industry, as well as fantastic opportunities to network.
Additional to the congress, we have developed the Distripress Circulation Monitor – which is a survey of member companies that provides quality insight into the performance of the global market for press distribution. Highlights from the report will be presented at the forum by Jim Bilton from Wessenden Marketing, UK, which will allow attendees even greater insight into their industry performance.
What does the future hold for Distripress and the Distripress Congress?
Distripress is a long established and highly regarded association. Many of our member delegates have attended 25 or more congress events and in 2017 we will hold our 62nd congress in Lisbon.
Distripress will continue to evolve to meet the needs of its members – existing and new. The congress will remain a ‘must attend’ event offering an international press fair and a forum platform for fresh perspectives on media developments from other industries. The quality and content of the EXPO will reflect Distripress’ ambitions with more products and innovation being showcased. We also look forward to welcoming new members to the Distripress family.