Incredible Insights from the IPG Spring Conference 2022


Our Academic Consultants Shalini and Alice just got back from the fantastic IPG Spring Conference and after two packed days of sharing insights and absorbing knowledge, they wanted to summarise their top 10 takeaways for all of you who missed it!


1. Metadata - it's so important for every sector to make sure their content (marketing as well as products) is easily discoverable in the right places, by the right audiences; the only way to do this, is by having effective metadata!


2. The audiobooks market is BOOMING - this is something that has been happening slowly for a while now, but has been accelerated by the pandemic. We might see it taper off, but it should be seen as something to do alongside more traditional publishing methods to aid accessibility in all senses of the word.


3. The new definition of "media" - gone are the days of everyone consuming news and books via print, TV and radio, so it's time to embrace non-traditional outlets (like TikTok and other digital channels), film and TV shows (as a way of consuming stories) and different forms of curation (audiobook playlists) to really tap into different markets.


4. The international publishing landscape - Brexit is really affecting a huge range of different areas of the industry throughout the supply chain as well as countries having different policies and regulations around rights, not to forget the different markets that are unlocked when you open up your content to other languages!


5. Sustainability - green initiatives are incredibly important in the new age of development; re-examining your print publishing specs will enable you to make different sustainability choices with your materials, and really assessing the supply partners you work with to make sure they're on board with your sustainability values can help you see improved results.


6. Re-examining your supply chain - this will enable you to speed up your process, potentially cut costs, and still have a strong end product. It's important to look at the vendors you use, where they're located, what their values are and whether a multifaceted approach could be useful for having a range of formats rather than having a "one size fits all" approach.


7. The changing libraries market in scholarly publishing - the ways in which academic content is accessed has changed, especially since the pandemic forced accessibility to the forefront. With more people accessing content remotely, students and researchers now access more learning content digitally and a new trend has been kickstarted. This will go hand in hand with improving metadata, and continuing to make non-traditional formats available based on end user engagement.


8. Flexible working policies - having remote working options, and even flexible working hours has become incredibly important especially when looking to attract new staff. Making sure you can offer flexibility when needed will encourage a positive – and a more diverse – working culture.


9. Collaborate - creating communities within the industry as well as within teams will ultimately strengthen the output and the products themselves. Part of the reason why publishing is such a resilient industry is the ability we have to share knowledge and expertise, and use this to collectively drive forward together.


10. Drive towards diversity and inclusion - we all know that a diverse workforce will have an impact on the products being published, which will then in turn connect with more audiences; it really is key to tap into those underserved markets and create content for everyone.


Overall, it was a great couple of days with so much more to be discussed based on the trends and ideas we're just picking up on now, and we look forward to the next one in the Autumn! If you'd like to hear any more about any of these points, look back over our live-tweeting from the sessions via #ipgsc on Twitter. There are some great summaries from all of these themes and more!