Spring Fair 2014
Interest in CardCreator keeps building steadily and we had another successful show in the Greetings Card sector. This year saw the Pro and Lite joined by their little sister, the SuperLite, an entry level version with the same software functionality that our customers have come to expect for ordering personalised greetings cards but... retailing at just £495 and then £49 per month rental (no fixed term). This proved of particular interest to retailers with limited space, as the interactive HD touchscreen can even be fitted to a wall, with the computer and printer kept safely in a back office or behind the counter.
We also met many of our friends in the greetings card industry and made a number of new contacts with some up-and-coming licensors. So we soon hope to be announcing the arrival of some fresh designers to the fold. Visitors to our stand included, Ian MacFarlaine and Tracey Bearton from Greetings Today, who were cruising the hall to create the best possible Valentine's Day cards for their loved ones. What could be better than a personalised card with photos downloaded from their phone and a message of their own making?
To catch up with the latest developments, come and see us next at The Photography Show 1st - 4th March (NEC stand N1 of Hall 12 - next to the Retailers' Lounge) and then at PG Live 13th - 14th May (Business Design Centre, London stand 117 right by the entrance).
Latest LiveLink Bulletin
January 31st, 2014
Personal Assistant - Claire Anstey
July 30th, 2013
Claire joined LiveLink as Personal Assistant to the Business Development Director (David Youngs) in mid July. Here are few things she had to say about the role:
"Having seen LiveLink's advertisement for a PA, I thought it was worth a shot as it sounded like a fun and interesting place to work. No two days are the same and everyone pitches in as and when needed. I can safely say the LiveLink employees are great bunch and being with a friendly, hard working team has made my first few weeks here a pleasure.
With over 15 years experience in an office environment, I have worked in industries such as pharmaceutical, law, the public sector and post production. My roles have included being a Personal Assistant, Administrator and a Producer. There's even been a bit of telemarketing in Australia thrown in for good measure. I have dealt with a range of people and personalities and gained invaluable office experience at the same time.
LiveLink is an innovative and successful business and it is a privilege to be part of the team. I am excited to see how things develop here and hope to have a long career at this ever-growing company."
Important Customer Announcements
October 31st, 2012
Shuttle Kiosks, Support Contracts, and Payments by cheque
The 'shuttle' chassis (computer box) was used for the CT-405, CT-202 or earlier LiveLinkXX Instore Photo Kiosks. Developments in both computer hardware and software advance continually, increasing both opportunity and functionality. At the same time, these developments also force older technologies to become redundant and ultimately unavailable. Despite our best efforts, this technological evolution is beginning to affect LiveLink's ability to service the older machines as manufacturers have decided to cease production in favour of newer motherboards, power supplies and CPU's.
Therefore, it is with regret that we will be unable to guarantee support for the CT-405, CT-202 and all earlier LiveLinkXX kiosks after 5th April 2013 (the end of the financial year). This does not mean that the equipment will cease to operate, but we cannot guarantee an ability to supply parts, should a failure occur. Wherever possible we will endeavour to ensure your equipment continues to operate reliably and servicing remains as cost effective as possible. Priority of service ability will be offered to customers with Platinum, Gold and Silver support contracts.
Of course, one way to be sure of avoiding this issue would be to replace your older LiveLink equipment and, to reward you for your loyalty to LiveLink, we will be pleased to part-exchange your old equipment for the latest CT-505HD. Full details of this product are available at www.livelinktechnology.net or contact Sales on 020-7183-1411 and ask for Damon Evison.
Meanwhile, we would advise all users to continue to take appropriate care of their machines. Top tips to promote longer equipment life are:
- Turn off the machine and use a vacuum cleaner (or compressed air) to remove any build up of dust from outside the case and especially in and around each of the ventilation grilles
- Ensure the ventilation grilles are not blocked by any other equipment and have a free flow of cool air
LiveLink takes a great pride in its products and we believe it is essential that they are fully supported to keep them operating as intended. Therefore, after 5th April 2013 all LiveLink kiosks must be maintained with a valid Support Contract. A Bronze Contract is available for as little as £195 per year (just 53p a day) and will provide you with all software updates. Further Support Contracts are listed at: www.livelinktechnology.net/about/instore.05.support. After 5th April 2013, the Support Team will no longer be able to assist with equipment that does not have a valid Support Contract.
Payments by cheque
In these tougher economic times it seems that one sector that rarely loses out is the banking industry. In this regard, it has been drawn to our attention that there is a considerable cost to both you and us when processing cheques and sending them through the post. Therefore, if you haven't already, please arrange to pay for Support Contracts and License Renewals by Direct Debit. For one-off payments, BACS can also be used quickly and effectively. However, from 5th April 2013 any cheques received will incur an automatic additional charge of £4 which is the amount it costs us to process each cheque. Please contact the Sales or Accounts Depts if you would like any help setting up a Direct Debit on 020-7183-1411 or by email: email@example.com.
Thank you for choosing LiveLink for your photo service needs. If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact the Support Team on 020-7183-1411 during normal working hours or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Head Office
April 16th, 2012
With the rapid expansion of the business, LiveLink has been looking to move to new premises for some months and are very pleased to have found prestigious new office space in a Grade II listed building... resplendent with Tudor oak beams. There is around triple the space of our former Head Office in Rowlands Castle and we have spent some time having it done up so it is just as we need it. What is more, we have been able to create a purpose built Conference Room with training and demonstration facilities coming soon.
LiveLink House is just 4 minutes walk from Havant railway station (an hour and a quarter fast train from London) and there is the Bear Hotel opposite, with the Meridian Centre car park close by too. Road access is via the A27 along the south coast or the A3(M) from London and the M25.
“Pressing the Right Buttons”
Progressive Greetings about CardCreator
March 12th, 2012
“Independent card retailers make no bones about their feelings for Moonpig, Funky Pigeon and other print-on-demand operators - 72% see them as a real threat to their business (according to the recent PG/Cardgains Retail Barometer findings).
Print-on-demand greeting cards might only represent 4% of the UK greeting card market, but it has been a slug of the market that has been out of reach of indies - until CardCreator launched onto the market last month, that is. PG found out more about this 'instore answer to Moonpig', from CardCreator's co-founder, David Youngs.”
“The best show yet!”
Focus on Imaging
March 4th-7th, 2012
Building upon the success of our new exhibition stand at Spring Fair, early signs are that this year's Focus on Imaging exhibition in the NEC was by all accounts “the best show yet!”
Since the last Focus, LiveLink has worked hard to made a considerable number of exciting developments in all areas.
The ever popular Online Photo Kiosk has been boosted with the addition of a brand new Desktop interface which customers can download onto their computers if they would like to. Whilst not essential for use of the Online Kiosk, this has proved a big favourite with professional photographers who make a number of orders and want a top quality result.
A great new look to the Instore Kiosk has been a huge hit and retailers really enthused about the way the acrylic screen surround links the computer with the 22” HD touchscreen... whilst also giving them 'acres' of space to promote their brand and the products they are offering to customers.
However, we were most struck by the way the innovative CardCreator kiosk brought in the crowds. What better way to accompany some photos and/or photo gifts than with a personalised greetings card? As you can see in the picture, potential customers were queuing up to have a look at the stand and to see what all the fuss was about. Designing cards on the easy to use interface could hardly have been simpler. People could choose from the hundreds of possibilities and loved the ability to insert their own text and even photos to make it truly personal... and then have a top quality print out to take away in less than a couple of minutes!
And all that in the space of a just a year. So, with plenty more ideas to put into action... you had better keep your ears to the ground to hear how LiveLink is changing your world.
CardCreator launch at Spring Fair 2012
February 14th, 2012
Wow, what an amazing few days Spring Fair 2012 proved to be for CardCreator and the LiveLink team!
This was the launch of our new venture into the greetings card industry and LiveLink's first visit to Europe's biggest gift and home accessories show. Spread over 16 gigantic halls in the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham from Sunday 5th - Thursday 9th Feb this is a truly massive undertaking and one in which many buyers spent the whole 5 days scouring for new ideas. Greetings and Stationery were in hall 4 and we were to be found on stand E98, edge on to the main boulevard.
It proved a perfect venue for showing the new CardCreator kiosk to huge numbers of avid buyers from the full spectrum of retail outlets, whether they had a small village shop tight for space or a chain of dedicated card shops numbering in the hundreds. Both could immediately see the industry-changing potential for developing an instore capability for printing personalised greetings cards... so that the customers could take them out of their shops in just a couple of minutes. Indeed, despite having up to 5 members of the team manning the stand, we regularly found ourselves rushed off our feet with even a queue forming on occasions.
Of course, there were a few people who visited the Greetings and Stationery section for whom the whole concept of using a touchscreen was just too new a step to take in and they walked blithely by without really noticing it at all. However, it was made abundantly clear by the large number of those who did stop and ask what it was all about, that this is an innovation for which the industry has been waiting for some time, and many went away raving about it. Similarly, we were approached by a number of card designers/content providers who could see the potential market and wanted their cards to be displayed for sale on LiveLink's kiosks too.
Never ones to let the grass grow under our feet, we also took the opportunity provided by such a large number of visitors to gain a considerable amount of feedback... so that we can tweak the user interface to make it even easier to use in our continual programme of updates. Therefore, things can only get better as we start shipping the kiosks out into the stores.
Look out for us next at Focus on Imaging from Monday 4th - Wednesday 7th March, and the Progressive Greetings Show on 29th - 30th of May... but don't wait too long, as you never know who else might get our kit into their shops before you!
New Desktop Kiosk
July 29th, 2011
We're rolling out the new version of the Desktop Kiosk, our free downloadable software to help regular users with large uploads. It's designed to work with all the major operating systems, so customers can enjoy its advantages whether they use Windows, Mac or Linux.
The Desktop Kiosk has a simple workflow that is based on the experiences of our regular desktop kiosk customers, and is noticably faster than the standard Online Kiosk upload for large orders. For more information click here.
Click on any of the screenshots to the left to see a higher resolution version of the image.
Focus on Imaging 2011
March 16th, 2011
What a success! If you visited the LiveLink stand at the Focus on Imaging exhibition in March, you will probably have seen how rushed off our feet we were, particularly in the mornings. Having our own stand right by the entrance was a definite plus but LiveLink's kiosks were actually to be found on 4 stands... more than any equivalent product that we could see.
Our new iPhone + iPod connectivity module proved very popular, particularly as it demonstrated LiveLink's determination to be leading the way with software development. The ability to 'plug in and download' promises to unlock a previously lost generation of photos on people's iPhones.
Most significant of all, was our instigation of the IQ Alliance - a unique, cross industry alliance to improve photo gift sales and simplify their production. Retailers of all sizes told us they could see great potential to improve their photo gift sales by 'Smart' marketing and up-selling... let alone the benefits of higher quality templates for customers, a wider range of products, and more profitable production and outsourcing opportunities.
So, it is taking a long time to work through the orders and enquiries. We will be telephoning everyone we spoke to over the next few days but if you're in a hurry to place an order, please just give us a call - we look forward to helping you develop your business with the best kiosks on the market!
Click on any of the thumbnails from the show to see a higher resolution version of the image.
March 14th, 2011
You may have noticed that we've had a bit of a make-over! In February this year, we launched a fresh new logo and website. We hope you like it. You should be seeing signs of the new LiveLink brand all over, from our contracts, to our invoices and support documents. Let us now what you think by getting in touch with us.