How IPEX 2017 will be different
This year’s edition will have a new format to showcase ‘Print in Action’, and an engaging content programme
The organisers of IPEX have announced how it will deliver on its promise to exhibitors of an industry-focused, value for money exhibition, drawing international visitors to the NEC. IPEX 2017 will cover all applications of printing – from signage and advertising through to packaging of finished products – and will help production staff from print management companies, design and marketing agencies, learn the latest capabilities of printers and print technology.
Event director, Rob Fisher, explained how IPEX is changing in line with market trends to help printers understand what the creative industries will expect of them over the next three years and beyond.
“We have developed a new vision and format for IPEX 2017 to ensure that it truly showcases ‘Print In Action’. We know visitors want to see working equipment, and exhibitors have told us they need to manage costs. So we’ve created exhibiting packages that incorporate power delivery for their machines. This is a central part of our offering for exhibitors. We will have a series of features designed to strengthen the link between the creative and print industries by showing both the capabilities of the latest technologies, and the skills both groups need to learn to make the most of those capabilities, whether those are technical, marketing or management skills,” he said.
A trend towards lower print volume but higher value printing has recently been highlighted by Smithers Pira, one of IPEX’s event partners. IPEX therefore expects exhibitors to concentrate on printers, presses and finishing equipment that will help print service providers become more agile and efficient in order to take advantage of this opportunity for increased revenues.
“The print services market is moving away from being about throughput of finished items towards throughput of finished jobs. As new business models evolve, many printers are recognising the speed at which they can run one large job is less important than being able to quickly and efficiently switch between smaller jobs,” commented Fisher. “It’s a subtle difference, but it is a challenge that many print service providers are beginning to address.”
Responding to visitor requests for a new, engaging content programme, Informa Exhibitions appointed James Matthews-Paul as content curator. James will be hosting panels, Q&A sessions, keynote speakers and technology and trends content at IPEX’s Centre Stage. To shape a diverse feature programme, James has collaborated with London College of Fashion as part of the show’s ‘Print In Action’ motif. He believes it to be the first such project linking the print community with a major university and will result in three catwalk shows on each of IPEX’s four days. Students from the university are being encouraged to work with printers, creating designs that incorporate digitally printed textile, paper and cardboard stocks, or other print-capable substrates, such as vinyl and acrylic.
“I’m convinced that the IPEX team realises that it has an opportunity to set a new tone for print events moving forward, and is committed to making IPEX 2017 the ‘hard reset’ that the industry needs. In 2017 we need now, more than ever, to provide a new identity to our industry. We need to showcase our capabilities to a new audience, reinvigorate our component sectors and reinforce the community which makes print so attractive, unique and forward-thinking. I am looking forward to bringing an entirely new set of speakers and contributors, plus some much-loved experts, to the content programme to make this happen,” he said.
Major manufacturers have endorsed IPEX 2017’s response to market changes by committing to the organiser’s new vision for the industry’s major sales event. Reflecting the major print trends of automation, finishing and digitisation, Apex Digital Graphics, Duplo, Intelligent Finishing Systems, Renz and Watkiss Automation have joined IPEX’s growing exhibitor list.