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Event Spotlight

The Print Show 2019

With the fifth anniversary edition of The Print Show taking place at the NEC this month, Rob Fletcher looks ahead to the exhibition and picks out some of the key highlights we can look forward to

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Get ahead in the game

Now firmly established as the print industry event, The Print Show returns this month for what will be its fifth edition. There is no doubt that the event has gone from strength to strength over its lifetime, attracting some of the biggest names in print and welcoming thousands of visitors from all sorts of backgrounds.

The Print Show 2019 will take place from September 17th to 19th in Hall 9 of the NEC in Birmingham, and for its fifth anniversary year, the organising team have put together what looks set to be another showcase of innovation, with one or two special surprises thrown in for good measure.

As we edge ever closer to the opening day at the NEC, we’ve picked out some of the key highlights that you will not want to miss at the show – ranging from new kit launches, through to the chance to mix with famous faces from the world of show business.

Up close and personal

Chris Davies has overseen The Print Show as event director since its launch back in 2015, helping establish the exhibition as an important event in the UK’s print calendar and a show not to be missed by anyone involved with print.

“We’ve always said that the idea of the show is to help members of the UK print industry and related markets identify the key tools they need to grow their business, and this hasn’t changed from when we first came up with the concept for the show,” Davies says.

“It’s one thing looking at a piece of kit online or speaking with a salesperson over the phone, but to actually see the machine working in front of you is completely different. Manufacturers and suppliers will tell you that nothing will beat seeing kit up close, and The Print Show allows you to do exactly this – with the added benefit of being able to view several machine on the same day, all under one roof.”

A number of leading brands have confirmed that they will be displaying new kit at The Print Show, with several machines set to be shown in the UK for the first time. And while examining new technologies will be the main objective for many visitors, there are plenty of other reasons to attend.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE, Chris Eubank and Gregg Wallace will all appear at The Print Show 2019 to speak with visitors and sign copies of their books

This year, The Print Show will be playing host to three of the most recognisable faces in the UK: explorer and adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE, boxing legend Chris Eubank and MasterChef star Gregg Wallace. Each celebrity will take part in a Q&A session, discussing their various accomplishments, before signing copies of their books and taking photos with visitors.

As an added bonus, visitors who have their photograph taken with the celebrity can take away an autographed print of the picture in a unique, printed cardboard mount. Fujifilm will be supporting organisers with this feature by printing the photos on a Frontier DE100, as well as wallpaper backdrops for the book signing area on a Acuity LED 1600II, and visitors can see both machines in action at the show.

Other features this year include the retuning Business Seminar Theatre, which will play host to a series of informative thought-provoking sessions designed to help visitors improve their business. In addition, the Diversification Zone will showcase some of the key growth markets for print-service-providers to access new work.

“The Print Show gives you the chance to get out of the office for the day, catch up with peers and friends from across the industry, and view some of the latest kit in person – all free of charge,” Davies adds.

Hybrid lines up Mimaki debut

So who will be at the show this year? A look at the floorplan shows us that the organising team has again focused on addressing all of the key areas in print in order to cater for the needs of visitors. From wide-format and finishing, through to software and 3D printing, there is plenty to see at the NEC.

Hybrid Services is one of many returning exhibitors this year and has revealed that it will use the event to showcase the new Mimaki JFX200-2513EX flatbed LED UV printer for the first time in public in the UK.

Due to feature on the Hybrid Services stand, the new JFX200-2513EX boasts a top printing speed of 35sq m/h

The JFX200-2513EX features a new printhead configuration that Mimaki says will double output speeds when printing with white ink in all print modes. In addition, a new draft mode will help users to achieve a 280% increase in speed, resulting in a maximum speed of 35sq m/h.

Brett Newman, chief operations manager at Hybrid Services, says: “Higher print speeds take the pressure off time-sensitive jobs and help our customers reduce lead times. With the majority of existing JFX200 printers being commissioned with white ink, the new ‘EX’ model will deliver a powerful solution that will make a difference right at the heart of the graphics printing industry.

“Mimaki’s JFX200 range has always offered print providers the perfect flatbed printing solution, hence its enduring popularity in the UK and Ireland. Now, with the launch of the new JFX200-2513EX, Mimaki has made substantial speed improvements, as well as adding some highly useful functionality.”

Hybrid Services welcomed plenty of visitors to its stand at The Print Show last year

Other highlights on the Hybrid Services stand include the Mimaki UJF-MkII direct-to-object printers, as well as the UCJV Series LED UV printer/cutters, which have proved a major hit since first being shown in the UK at The Print Show 2017. The Mimaki CJV150 – featuring orange, white and light black inks – will be running throughout the event.

“Whether it’s through increased productivity, enhanced creativity or effortless operation, we’re looking forward to helping print businesses deliver revenue generating, high quality print,” Newman says.

Making an impact

Another digital print heavyweight in the form of HP will also be back at the show to demonstrate its new Stitch S series digital textile printing technology for the first time in the UK. Stitch represents HP’s entry into the dye-sublimation textile market.

HP will be encouraging visitors to say ‘Yes’ to any request on its stand with the theme ‘Yes Unlimited’

Phil Oakley, regional business manager, large-format printing at HP, comments: “The HP Stitch S series is a portfolio of digital textile printers that deliver precise colour-matching, designed to boost growth via décor and apparel applications, as well as enabling on-demand production and personalisation.

Visitors can also view the new HP DesignJet for the first time at a UK trade event, as well as established HP Latex technology. In addition, HP will be offering tours around its stand so that visitors can learn the key benefits of each machine from a HP specialist. HP is taking tour bookings before the show.

Factoid: The Print Show 2018 attracted a total of 5,976 attendees across three days at the NEC in Birmingham .  O

Elsewhere, Epson will have a presence at the event for the fifth consecutive year and will be demonstrating the new bulk ink system for its SureSolor S series eco-solvent printer.

Epson has had a presence at The Print Show since the event debuted back in October 2015

Also due to feature on the Epson stand this year is the EcoTex synthetic leather print solution, utilising the SureColor S60600 printer, as well as its full portfolio of SureColor large-format printer models.

We are aiming to show visitors how, with relatively low investment, they can win more of the branding opportunities within their existing customer base

Phil McMullin, sales manager for ProGraphics at Epson UK, says: “In this challenging business climate of uncertainty and squeezed margins, we are aiming to show visitors how, with relatively low investment, they can win more of the branding opportunities within their existing customer base.”

Ongoing commitment

Also returning after a successful 2018 show is Xeretec, the largest Xerox partner in Europe. Prospective visitors will be pleased to learn that Xeretec will again be demonstrating its Iridesse press to showcase its abilities to more members of the UK print market.

Due to feature alongside the Iridesse are the V180 and V3100 models from the Xerox Versant range, as well as the Xerox C60. Visitors will be able to see demonstrations of all devices on the Xeretec stand at the NEC this September.

Susan Bayne, group marketing executive at Xeretec, comments: “We want to show attendees the latest Xerox technology and how, when coupled with Xeretec’s expertise and consultative approach, it drives the best results for print performance and their business.

“The Print Show is a fantastic opportunity to see and sample all the latest print technology, software and solutions under one roof. We always work to bring something new to the show to ensure visitors to our booth get real value from coming to see us.”

If you’re more interested in finishing solutions, then you would be well advised to drop in on Morgana Systems, which is back at the show for its fifth appearance. Much of the focus on the Morgana stand will be on its booklet-making systems, including major developments with the PowerSquare range that it inherited via its acquisition of Watkiss.

Wendy Baker, marketing manager at Morgana, says that new product showcases like this are one of the main attractions at The Print Show, with visitors able to learn more about new developments from a wide range of companies, all in the same place – something that is not possible anywhere else in the UK.

Baker says: “Although it’s tough for business owners to get time away from their office to see new things, with a show like this, you can get a lot packed into a one- or two-day visit and see many things at one site. I think a day at an event like this can be very efficient if you organise it well.”

Boosting efficiency

Visitors on the lookout for new software will also be well catered for at the show this year, with several suppliers due to appear. One such company is Tharstern, which will be showcasing some of the latest developments with its management information systems (MIS).

These include project estimating, a new functionality for managing multiple print hobs as a single campaign, including the automatic creation of multiple estimates via a CSV import.

Also new on Tharstern’s MIS is a sheet optimisation feature, which allows users to harness the power of Insoft Imp from within estimating, in addition to a new direct mail estimating service, which is being targeted at companies that offer services such as installations, vehicle wrapping and even direct mail itself.

Lee Ward, sales director at Tharstern, says: “Tharstern as a business aims to help customers become more efficient and this often means integrating with other providers. Exhibitions like The Print Show mean that we can engage with other software providers and see if there are ways we can work together to further streamline print company’s workflows.

We always enjoy attending exhibitions to meet up with familiar faces – meeting new and existing customers gives us the chance to find out how our systems can help them

“We always enjoy attending exhibitions to meet up with familiar faces – meeting new and existing customers gives us the chance to find out how our systems can help them.”

Ward’s closing remarks bring this preview to an apt conclusion; The Print Show is here to help the UK print industry grow and flourish, and all members of the market should consider attending to make sure that they are up-to-date with the latest developments.

Visitors can pre-register to attend The Print Show or sign up on the day at the NEC

Registration for the show is still open – and completely free of charges – while you are also able to sign up on the day at the NEC. So, if you’re looking at how to expand your business or seeking out how you can move into new markets, then The Print Show is the place to be this month.

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