Are Niches The New Mainstream?
The success story of Labelexpo
Having attended Labelexpo show in Brussels last month, one could have thought not to be at a speciality show but to attend another drupa. The amount of visitors – up by 11% to 31,795 in comparison with 2011 – was breathtaking. And not only this. Apart from having all one topic in common, - labels - digital and analogue machine manufacturers and software companies turned up in droves. Admittedly, the label market is supposed to be one of the growing markets – as Mike Fairley said in his keynote by 5% this year. But to attend a show that, despite the worldwide trend of declining attendance of exhibitors and visitors at trade shows, actually not only expands and grows but adds value is something different. And that’s what Labelexpo was. Digital and analogue technologies next to each other and all getting about the same interest from visitors that were looking to invest, to educate themselves on what will be trending tomorrow and also to just inform themselves is something that I haven’t seen for some time now at a show.
While PRINT’13 in Chicago was just another show on the calendar, Fespa, the large format show held in London earlier this year, was already an indicator, that speciality shows are on the uptrend. And Labelexpo proved no less. Many printers seem to have understood that while they would like to engage in all and every aspect of print, the money and time they spend at tradeshows needs to be well invested and each and every niche has its own rules. In order to understand all of those, it is wise to not only get an overall picture of a certain niche market, but deeply engross oneself into the specialities and requirements those have. And how better to do it than at a niche trade show that enables oneself to occupy its mind with one speciality at a time?
Let’s see what next weeks World Publishing Expo (WPE, the former IfraExpo) – a decidated newspaper show - in Berlin will be like…