Major companies like Heidelberg and HP have announced that they would not be participating in IPEX 2014, which is to be held in London. Announcing their decisions through press statements, the companies have decided to rather concentrate on sales than to participate in the exhibition.
Explaining their decision, Gerard Heanue, Managing Director of Heidelberg UK said, “We need to take a different approach here in Europe than in developing markets like China and Brazil, where there remains a need to use exhibitions to meet new buyers and make them aware of the scale and scope of our wide portfolio of products and services.”
Heidelberg points out that its decision to not participate in IPEX was part of a comprehensive re-think on its sales and marketing strategy, which will help them to serve its customers better in different parts of the world.
“In the UK we have already restructured our business to better reflect the changes in our marketplace but we are unusual among press suppliers in having retained our demo facilities on a global scale, which are individually large enough to house as much equipment as printers would see at IPEX. We will continue to use these as our showcase with open houses, targeted forums, bespoke demonstrations and training programmes. This, combined with new media channels give us new ways of communicating directly with the customer, and dilutes the relevance of exhibitions in industrialized markets for us,” says Heanue.
“We still think that Informa’s decision to move IPEX to London was the right one. We supported it but even since the last IPEX in 2010 the market has changed and so regrettably we have had to let them know that we will not be there. Of course, we wish them success,” added Heanue.
HP Backs Out
Commenting on their decision, Ronen Zioni, Market Development Director of HP EMEA’s graphic solutions business said that the decision was entirely strategic and was not a budgetary one.
“Of course it is linked to return on investment (ROI), as always. It’s obviously a big decision for us and not one we took lightly, but it’s very much linked to shift more resources towards more regionally focussed, application centric, customer engaging and business development projects for our customers,” added Zioni.
Zioni said that they would be participating in drupa 2016, as well as in Fespa 2013 that will be held in London. The company will also be financially supporting the inaugural Dscoop EMEA event to be held in Barcelona in November.
Putting his remarks on HP’s decision, Trevor Crawford, Informa Print Group and Event Director said, “We’ve always been very honest with our exhibitors, we have had HP on the floor plan, but we’ve been moving their footprint down in size for months and if anyone ever asked if they had confirmed the answer was always no.” “Of course I would love to have HP at the show too, but I like to think that the 70% that is on the show floor are not exhibiting at IPEX because of HP – they’re exhibiting because we deliver a significant ROI to them and the visitors,” concluded Crawford.