Ipex 2014 was held from March 24-29, 2014 and Informa Exhibitions conveys their firmly established show’s future and new direction at state-of-the-art ExCeL London Exhibition and Conference Centre. The seminar programmes were well attended and appreciated. A report. Ipex 2014 saw a total attendance of 22,768, which included 3,532 exhibitors, with a geographical visitor split of 54 percent UK and 46 percent international. “With the fast evolving print industry and the challenges these changes represent, Informa Exhibitions has collaborated closely with its stakeholders to ensure the delivery of informative and engaging events that offered a wide range of benefits, most importantly a good return on exhibitor and visitor investment,” commented Peter Hall, managing director of Informa Exhibitions.
In addition to the exhibitors on the show floor, Ipex also delivered the most comprehensive content programme ever seen at an international print centric event. Across the six days, over 170 industry experts participated in the World Print Summit, Masterclasses and Cross Media Production theatres, and offered practical takeaways, new ideas, skills and solutions that printers can implement in their businesses.
Conference producers reported a very good attendance in the 115 seminar sessions, with packed-out theatres and limited standing room only available in some of the keynote addresses.
Kathy Sletten, director, print-manager, Aveda Corp, Estee Lauder, spoke on the ‘An Audience with the Print Buyers’ session. Afterwards, she commented, “I was pleasantly surprised to find our audience so interested and engaged, and wish we’d had more time to share with them. They asked many relevant and engaging questions, some of which have given me food for thought. We never stop learning from each other as long as we keep the dialogue going, and the World Print Summit at Ipex 2014 provided the perfect stage for some great discussions.”
Carole Arrantash, from UK based Quadrant, which is part of the Linney Group, attended the World Print Summit and commented, “This was a fabulous opportunity to gain an insight, both into what print buyers expect from their suppliers and how they prefer to be approached. To have the opportunity to ask pertinent questions to assist printers in their quest to work with such prestigious companies was also unexpected and invaluable.”
SME printers attended practical sessions that addressed their business issues and solutions to streamline production and support business growth in the Masterclasses. Bill Campbell, CEO of Australian print business, Fergies Print & Mail said, “The Ipex Masterclasses were the main motivator for our decision to visit Ipex 2014 – they have assisted our management team in validating the direction we are guiding our company in. From a commercial perspective they have provided clarity to several key areas of interest.”
In the content driven Cross Media Production feature, which ran from March 25-27, delegates learnt how to effectively implement multi-channel communication strategies in the 1-2-1 digital and direct marketing, publishing and brand management theatres. Ipex’s stakeholders were unanimous in their opinion that the feature, which had a number of supporting exhibitors, should be a key element in the future blueprint for Ipex.
The innovative Ipex Make-Ready Challenge, sponsored by Burnetts, proved a hit with visitors during the show. This entertaining competition drew 24 entrants from around the world to compete against the clock on a Heidelberg 5-colour press. UK-based contestant Tony Dowd completed the challenge in the record time of 4 minutes 53 seconds, and was crowned the make-ready champion.
While, Inspiration Avenue provided visitors with an eclectic mix of visual and factual elements that demonstrated all that is great about print with three stations spread throughout the Boulevard.
The Eco Zone, sponsored by Komori, also proved a popular feature for visitors. “Komori has a long-standing track record of utilising major printing industry exhibitions to highlight the benefits of product innovations and latest technology, and this was precisely the philosophy behind Komori’s decision to sponsor the Ipex Eco Zone,” commented Steve Turner, director of sheetfed sales, Komori UK. “Our demonstrations of the Komori H-UV curing system, with its many ecological strengths, generated serious interest from a wide range of visitors from within and outside the UK.”
In the Future Innovations Zone, which included three different sections covering 3D printing, printed electronics and photo products, presented technologies that are set for rapid expansion over the next few years. Ceradrop co-founder Nicolas Bernardin shared, “The Future Innovations Zone at Ipex provided us with the opportunity to raise awareness of the potential of printed electronics to the print industry. A large mix of visitors from the UK, Europe, USA, Middle East and Asia were enthralled by the possibilities of our X-series machine and what it could mean for communications in the commercial print and packaging sectors. We were overwhelmed by the interest our technology received, a curiosity that I feel we satisfied and look forward to business opportunities that may materialise in the future.”
Olotunde Oyelone, CEO of Printmaster Limited in Nigeria, said: “I have been coming to Ipex for nearly 20 years and was interested to see what this event was offering. I found the seminar programme in the Masterclasses very useful, especially the session ‘Adding value in the label sector’. Knowledge is important for print businesses to progress, and I’m looking forward to see how Ipex develops in the coming years.”
Olaf Lorenz, general manager, International Marketing Division, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe, said, “Ipex has been everything we wanted it to be and fulfilled all our objectives. We have been getting 600 qualified leads per day and have already collected more than 40 letters of intent, as well as closing some sales. Based on our historical experience of these types of shows, we are confident that Ipex will net us over Euro 3.5 million worth of new business.”
First time Ipex exhibitor Lumejet was delighted with the show. “Quite frankly we are thrilled with Ipex 2014, it has far exceeded our expectations,” commented Miles Bentley, commercial director. “As a company, we were fortunate that Ipex 2014 came just at the right time for us in our development cycle; it has delivered a significant number of good quality contacts.”
While, Keith Dalton, director, Fujifilm Graphic Systems UK added, “We’ve had immensely positive feedback from everyone on our approach to Ipex 2014, and feel that the support we have given the show and the successful ‘print shop’ we were running on our stand paid off. This was reinforced by the comments we were constantly receiving throughout the show. The visitor numbers were good despite the absence of a number of industry suppliers, and our stand was constantly busy with customers and some of those suppliers themselves!”
The organisers sum up...
Peter Hall said, “The initial feedback from Ipex’s stakeholders confirms that the changes we implemented and the features we introduced provided visitors with more reasons than ever to attend. It also helped us deliver a multi-faceted show that completely supports the industry. I believe that Ipex 2014 firmly set the tone for future events.”
While, Tim Webb, executive director of PICON commented, “The decision to move Ipex to ExCeL London has been a real step forward as far as our membership is concerned. The location, the facilities and the staff have all contributed to a really smooth transition from Birmingham, and ultimately a successful show. Overall, the exhibition has been better than expected with a good level of high quality visitors from around the world looking to do business.”
Patrick Martell, CEO of St Ives and Ipex 2014 president, concluded, “Every time I visited ExCeL this week there’s been a real buzz. It has been brilliant to see the spread of international and UK visitors who attended the show to learn, network and do business. Ipex 2014 has proved that the combination of exhibitors representing the whole print supply chain, supported by a robust content programme, is the future for events including Ipex.”
Ipex 2018 will take place at ExCeL London from March 19-24, 2018.
Trevor Crawford bids adieu to Informa Exhibitions
Informa Exhibitions has announced that Trevor Crawford, event director of Ipex 2014 and director of the Print Group, has bid farewell to the company.
Commenting on Trevor’s departure, Peter Hall, managing director of Informa Exhibitions says, “Trevor has been with the Informa Team for over 14 years and has played a major role in the development of Ipex during the past four cycles. We would like to thank him for his dedication and commitment.”
While Trevor Crawford commented, “I have been at the heart of the print and packaging industries for 20 years and have enjoyed a rich and varied career in these fascinating and fast changing communities. It has been a privilege to develop Ipex over four consecutive events, but at this point in my career I am looking forward to the fresh challenge that will come from delivering events in different sectors.” Industry leaders say renaissance of print has already begun
Frank Romano, professor emeritus at RIT asked the speakers at an Ipex World Print Summit session if print is doomed or on the verge of a new digital renaissance. They agreed that they see evidence already of print’s expansion into new and innovative directions such as variable data or high-margin industrial applications. Keynote speakers EFI CEO Guy Gecht and Landa Corp CEO Benny Landa addressed a packed audience on the second day of the London based exhibition. The session looked at trends and the drivers for success needed by today’s print companies. “Print using digital technology such as for direct mail, is on the rise. No other media gets attention in the same way, and digital lets our industry add value,” Gecht told the audience. “We have to realise that in five to ten years from now, there may be less print, but what is left will be higher in value.”
“Unlike publishing, most commercial print and packaging apps can simply not be replaced by digital media,” Landa said. EFI spotlights advanced productivity at Ipex 2014
At Ipex, EFI concentrated on the company’s productivity software with its advanced automatic digital workflow enabling print environments to become more efficient, generate greater cost and time savings, and implement integration to drive their businesses forward. Primary products demonstrated included EFI MIS/ERP portfolio including next-generation estimating software, print planning and imposition technology, Fiery and Fiery ProServer digital front-ends, web-to-print solutions Digital StoreFront and OPS, and the SmartSign Analytics tool to measure the effectiveness of signage.
Also featured was a full application wall showing the many types of output that can be produced using EFI’s inkjet portfolio of wide-format and VUTEk flat-bed and roll-fed presses, Jetrion narrow-web systems and Cretaprint tile printers, all driven by the Fiery workflow and colour management.
EFI also hosted its EFI Productivity Software User Days at Ipex, as well as a series of eight Fiery workshops with sessions that included live demonstrations on how users can save time and money with the company’s innovative expertise. Designed to accommodate all sizes and types of print environment, scalable workflow solutions included job submission via Digital StoreFront and Fiery JobFlow, through the use of core Fiery technology to provide low touch and no touch solutions for optimum productivity. These demonstrations were also complemented by the latest cloud and mobile apps that simplify workflow management and monitoring.
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