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Issue: December 1, 2009

OUTLOOK 2010

By: Randi Altman
Once again, it’s time for Post’s year-end outlook issue, which has us asking the experts about the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats related to different aspects of our business.
This year has a bit of a different tone from last. More of those interviewed are optimistic that the industry has already picked itself up and dusted itself off. I have asked a few more industry pros, how they see 2010 shaping up.
David Gater, from Soho Editors, with offices in NYC, London, Johannesburg and Dublin, believes the worst is over. “From our perspective things seem to be on an upturn,” he says. “Yes, everyone went through some hard times, but I think it was something that the industry needed. Streamlining processes, trimming the fat, minimizing expenses while maintaining quality of service — all of these were essential for a business’s survival though 2009.”
As we move forward, Gater sees diversification as the key. “The more you can bring to the table, whether you are a company or an individual, makes you an asset to any establishment.” But he feels “the real barometer will be the attendance and the level of buzz at NAB out in Las Vegas in a few months.”
Harry Skopas, director of engineering at The Mill, New York, weighs in: “It’s no secret, most of us probably feel that 2010 will be a relatively flat year for the post world. It’s still rough out there! Downturns eventually turn around and we need to deal with today’s day-to-day business and prepare for tomorrow’s changing world.
“That said, it’s also a very exciting time, as we need to re-evaluate business models, creative and technical workflow efficiencies. In my mind the current state of the global economy has ‘accelerated’ what was inevitably going to take place a few years down the road if everything was humming along. Do it better, do it faster, do more, with less. It’s a great time to prepare for the future.”
Atlanta-based Edward Dye, director/CEO of Artistic Image, says, “With the economy having taken its toll on the industry, I see many agency and corporate clients with smaller budgets now taking more risks, asking us for creative ways to still produce high-level creative. For us that means more compelling and creative work, and that’s exciting. We’re closing out ‘09 strong and are working now to prepare for the new creative challenges we’ll face in the future.”
All in all, most of those interviewed this month agree that we have turned a corner in terms of the economy. And while no one is expecting 2010 to break any records, most agree that the long climb back has begun.