In July, I will have been at the helm of EPPM Magazine for three years and it doesn't feel right to go such a length of time without being proactive and reaching out to our valued subscribers to check we're steering this ship on the right course.
It may only have been ten questions long but your answers told us a lot about what our readers like to see, and what interests them less. This information helps me to establish our next features calendar for the printed magazine, and helps to focus my attention on the sections of industry you really want to hear more about.
EPPM is special in that it covers every aspect of plastics processing in Europe - and that's a broad church of news - but while the results of the Reader Survey identify which areas of plastics processing you want to see more of, it does not mean we will be covering any other technologies or processes less than we do already.
So, what were the overwhelming trends? The subject that generated the greatest amount of interest was "Applications and end markets", proving to us that how processes and materials science are put to use in the real world is something that piques your interest, with an overwhelming 85.2 per cent of respondents declaring their interest in upstream news. Indeed, less than four per cent of respondents declared this was a subject that failed to excite them. Readers will be pleased to know - if they do not know already - that EPPM covers interesting end markets including packaging, medical and automotive in print already, but on the back of this overwhelming response we will be working to include building and construction, electronics and even footwear and textiles into the mix in the future as special features online - and even in print.
Our second-most popular topic was "Performance materials", which covers the materials themselves, just as much as the machinery that ensures their optimum mechanical properties after they are moulded, extruded, thermoformed or printed. Performance materials also covers the end markets in many cases, because they are developed with certain environments in mind.
Only 1.6 per cent of respondents said this was a subject they were not interested in, while 80.6 per cent of readers were happy to see news about performance materials in their copy of EPPM and on EPPM.com.
Finally, the third-most popular topic according to our poll was "What plastics processors are exhibiting at shows". EPPM gives the big European plastics shows rather a lot of column inches - particularly in the second half of the year when Fakuma or K loom large. It is good to know that dedicating this sort of space to what exhibitors are bringing to the big events is a good reflection of how important this information is to you.
Over 70 per cent of readers said they were interested in what plastics processors are showcasing on their stands at the big plastics industry events, while only 3.2 per cent said this was something that did not interest them. So our show previews won't be going anywhere any time soon.
Best of the rest
Over half of respondents were interested in or neural to the remaining seven topics listed: injection and blow moulding, extrusion machinery, thermoforming machinery, additive manufacturing, materials handling and automation, and recycling technologies, so these topics will continue to be covered in the same amount of depth in print and online.
As ever, if any of our readers feel strongly about any of the topics we cover in EPPM, or if you think we need to be talking about other things more then I would be delighted to hear from you.
My mission is to make sure EPPM is the plastics news resource you go to first.