Canon’s 10th Future Book Forum considers how the concept of ‘Liquid Design’ can reinterpret the book experience

This year’s Future Book Forum was held on 8th and 9th November by Canon Europe at its Customer Experience Centre in Poing, Germany. Under the theme ‘Grow Your Audience with Liquid Design’, the event explored how the publishing industry can bridge the gap between the physical and digital, through new and existing tools, to become more agile, connected, and responsive to rapidly changing markets and evolving audience needs. Leading publishers, book printers, solution providers and other stakeholders in the publishing industry from across Europe discussed how to drive systematic change and reduce the environmental impact of the publishing sector.

  • The Canon Future Book Forum was held on 8th and 9th November at Canon's Customer Experience Centre in Poing, Germany

  • This year’s theme was ‘Grow Your Audience with Liquid Design’

  • This year’s event celebrated 10 years of the Future Book Forum

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the interactive two-day event saw delegates participate in live presentations, technology tours and roundtables – to further explore how to adapt innovative technology to design seamless customer experiences that generate growth and profitability, while also promoting the sustainable attributes of targeted, multi-channel engagement and on-demand book production.

Keynote sessions

Future Book Forum 2023 was moderated by Peter Fisk, Global thought leader, author, futurist and speaker, who introduced the audience to this year’s concept ‘Grow Your Audience with Liquid Design’. Day one welcomed keynote sessions on this topic, sustainability and cutting-edge technology for book publishing and printing, including:

Sophie Wybrew-Bond, Senior Vice President, Lifestyle, Knowledge and News at Future PLC on how to connect audiences with content creation, innovative technology and engaging experiences.

Holly Mcloughlin, Content Creator and Community Manager at Tandem Collective on unlocking the power of liquid marketing to identify communities and grow audiences, with co-creation and co-promotion across platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, delving deeper into #Bookstagram and #BookTok.

Julio Covacho López & Manuel Lucania Fesser, Founders of Quantic Brains Transform, giving the audience a glimpse of how AI-powered tools and services can be used for automated content generation.

Further talks on day two expanded and explored the liquid design concept of bridging physical and digital technologies for business growth with talks from:

Stefano De Marco, CEO at Tecnau / SITMA and Sara Panceri, Communication Manager at TXT Spa on creating liquid retail experiences and enabling easier access to education. With the support of SITMA‘s innovative packaging solutions and their own distribution expertise, TXT is delivering a customised online service for school books in retail while diversifying into new market sectors.

Eirik Wahlstrøm, CEO and Co-Founder at Ludenso on bridging the physical and digital with AR by facilitating a seamless experience from the textbook to digital content, where publishers can empower educators and students to choose their own learning path.

The event’s closing remarks were delivered by special guest Gvantsa Jobava, VP at International Publishers Association (IPA), who spoke about her views on the future of book publishing, local and global opportunities identified by IPA and the prospects for publishers to tackle world challenges.

Commenting on the development of Future Book Forum, Jörg Engelstädter, founder of Future Book Forum explained, “When we launched Future Book Forum in 2014, our key objective was to enable industry collaboration to drive a successful future for the publishing industry. I’m delighted to see that, 10 years on, we’re continuing to achieve this goal with our successful community platform. And this year, with the addition of our Liquid Printing tours, we further inspired attendees by telling the stories of effective on-demand book production with our customers, Liber Digital, mediaprint solutions and TJ Books.”

Publishing 2030 Accelerator findings

On day two participants also heard from Rachel Martin, Global Director of Sustainability at Elsevier; Dr. Michiel Kolman, VP, Research Networks and Academic Ambassador at Elsevier; Richard Charkin, Publisher and former president of the IPA; and Jörg Engelstädter, Founder of the Future Book Forum at Canon with an update on the latest findings from the Publishing 2030 Accelerator.

The one-year project, formed at Future Book Forum 2022, aims to optimise the existing book supply chain, drive systematic change within the publishing sector, and support and test ideas that will positively contribute towards reducing the book publishing sectors’ environmental impact via three workstreams:

Workstream one: Calculating the carbon footprint of an individual book
Workstream two: Distributed Book Printing Network
Workstream three: Re-evaluating costs and emissions

Further information on all three workstreams is available via a dedicated page on the IPA website.

Speaking about this year’s event and the initiative, Jörg Engelstädter, key collaborator of Publishing 2030 Accelerator commented, “I’m delighted to have been able to present our latest ‘Distributed Book Printing Network’ workstream findings at this year’s Future Book Forum. The high level of engagement and fantastic feedback from delegates is proof that businesses across the publishing supply chain are ready and committed to change - and change we must, to continue to grow and design publishing businesses that are more sustainable and inclusive for the future.”