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Print Show smashes in winning try as KM re-sign

If The Print Show was a rugby team then it would have been seen, up until now, as one of the plucky nations that are known for fighting very hard, but do not have much expectation on their heads. On day two of the show however, it is clear they are more like the New Zealand All Blacks than Samoa as Konica Minolta (stand A10) has already signed its contract for 2016.

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(L to R) David Cotterill of Konica Minolta shakes on a deal to exhibit at The Print Show 2016 with its sales manager Luke Stoneham

“We have had a great buzz on the stand and a lot of visitors come through,” explained David Cotterill, director of marketing at Konica Minolta shortly after signing on the dotted line.  He added: “We are very happy with the attendance and the great news is that a lot of the visitors are here to buy.

“So it is not just people passing through, but people really looking to improve their business and buy. We are really, really pleased with how it is going. All our team is here from the Customer Service Division, with about 25 staff on the stand,” said David Cotterill, director of marketing at Konica Minolta. 

So it is not just people passing through, but people really looking to improve their business and buy. We are really, really pleased with how it is going

Commenting directly on the re-signing for 2016, he said: “There was a number of compelling reasons for us coming to the show. We have launched eight new products, and we have more coming out next year. This is a great environment for us to launch those products, as it really means we can bring them to the client base and get them to experience and judge them for themselves.”

This news comes amid a flurry of equipment sales across hall 3A of Birmingham’s NEC, with suppliers and manufacturers large and small quoting ‘incredible’ levels of investment.

EFI sold a software suit to White Star Printing Company

Indeed, one of the biggest brands at the show on stand A30, EFI, revealed that White Star Printing Company had invested in a large suite of its software platforms in order improve its efficiency and maximise profit margins.

“We have used a good number of platforms before, but when we bought a Konica Minolta press with an EFI Fiery RIP it just seemed the next logical move to invest in a full software suite,” said Alan Osborn, IT manager at the firm.

He continued: “We needed a system that could help us control every aspect of our business, and the EFI software is very easy to use and an engaging visual platform. The use of such technology is even more important as we recently invest in a large litho press from Komori.”

Ian Howley of Nova Chrome has sold an array of kit at The Print Show

Novachrome’s managing director Ian Howley has also been praising the quality of such visitors to The Print Show, revealing that he has sold four large A1 dye-sublimation printing presses from his stand on C40 over the first day and the morning of day two.

“It is incredible to sell four presses in such as short space of time,” said Ian Howley, who added: “You might expect to sell a few of the smaller machines, but not our very biggest Nova Chrome 7890.

“When we signed for The Print Show we were not sure how it would go, but we have used it to launch the 7890, and the interest we have had is remarkable.”

The quality of visitors versus the numbers coming through the doors of an event is always an interesting debate. But it seems from the canvassing done across the show floor that The Print Show has managed to chart the golden mean and achieved both good footfall and quality. Day one and two have seen thousands of people pass through the door, and approximately 2,800 visitors came through the doors today; with another big day expected on Thursday.

“We have come for the first two days of The Print Show to get ourselves up to date with the technology on offer, especially litho,” said Christian Gray, production coordinator of Belgrave Printing and Packaging in Leicester.

Christian Gray came looking for litho press technology at The Print Show

Gray and his colleague were visiting the Manroland Sheetfed stand, which has been whisking visitors to its German Technology Centre and back in three minutes through the power of the Oculus Rift Virtual Reality platform.

“My impression of The Print Show so far has that it has been a highly positive event, and visitors to our stand have really engaged with the Oculus technology,” said Martin Hawley, managing director of Manroland Sheetfed UK. He added: “For a three day show it is just not possible to bring big litho presses, but Oculus means you can experience our Evolution 700 press in all its glory without leaving the comfort of your seat.

He added: “The conversations we have been having after customers have ‘travelled’ to our Offenbach centre have been fascinating, as they are so well educated about the press and have even witnessed parts of it that they couldn’t have just seeing it in the real world.”

L to R Hans Hassold and Martin Hawley of Manroland Sheetfed UK

My next stop on my day two tour was at the Traditional Print Masterclasses, which has been mobbed throughout the show. Each zone on the stand sees a separate artisan printer at work creating beautiful work through the use of historic print technology that goes right back to the early 1800s. I even got to create my own limited edition print on the Dekkle Printing Studio area on its gigantic two tonne rolling press.

I spoke to more than 20 exhibitors today in total, and many of them have issued words to the effect of: “We really like the atmosphere of this show; it is friendly, welcoming and very warm.”

Steve Hutton of Packaids said he was buoyant about meeting new customers

Indeed, here is a list of direct quotes from some of those I spoke to on day two:

“This was definitely the right show for us to come too as we have seen clients that hail from across the UK. In addition we have met many printers who did not know we existed, and that will have the required affect in terms of new revenue generation,” said Steve Hutton of Packaids.

Steve Giddings of Perfect Bindery revealed he has been swamped over the first two days

Route 1 Print’s Kate Mackenzie echoed these sentiments: “We are a wholesale printing firm and offer everything from business cards to banners. We came here to build partnerships and form new relationships with customers. The Print Show has been really interesting for us, both to exhibit at and to visit the other stands and attractions, as of 12:00 today we had already spoken to more than 150 people about our services.”

Richard Bridle of DTP (right) speaks digital print tech to two potential customers

DTP’s top man Richard Bridle also took time out of a customer sale to speak to me: “We have our entire range of digital print engines on display here and I am croaky because I have been speaking so much. It has been absolutely manic here and I absolutely chuffed with the business I have been doing, I will be surprised if I have not sold 12 machines by the end of today.”

Steve Giddings from Perfect Bindery revealed: “We sold a case maker and are just in the process of selling two sewing machines and a Palamides layflat binder. The Print Show has got it right, for one it has got carpet, and it is delivering real ROI for its exhibitors.”

Gidding’s carpet comment was a tongue in cheek reference to IPEX 2014, which famously cancelled putting down carpet for the event in order to minimise its overheads.

Peter Barton of Reprocad felt The Print Show was the 'right size' for the UK print industry

My last interview of the day came as I bumped into an old friend in the form of Peter Barton from Reprocad. His response to my question: ‘Can you give me your honest estimation of the show?’ was a good summation of day two: “The hall is very lively and the exhibitors seem like a really good representation of the UK commercial print industry. The sector really needs something like this every year, and I for instance have come to network and build my potential client base.” 

Watch our special Print7 News report from day two of The Print Show. Brendan Perring, Print Monthly editor gives a virtual tour around the event


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