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Shopping around at The Printers’ Bazaar

Building an expansive and impressive exhibitor list is one thing for national events, but establishing an immersive content programme that will appeal to many visitors is another challenge altogether.

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Above and below: ‘The Branding Corral’, ‘Promo Print Alley’, ‘The Textile Trading Post’, ‘Stickers ‘R’ Us’, ‘Vehicle Wrap Shack’, and ‘3D Print Express’—which area will you visit first?

This year, The Print Show organising team has been working hard to ensure that those in attendance in October will have access to a plethora of useful information that could help them expand their business.

Building on the ‘Diversification Zone’ at our inaugural event in 2015, this year, for the first time, we will welcome ‘The Printers’ Bazaar’. Inspired by the famous street markets of Asia, where you can pick up anything from car parts to exotic spices, this innovative feature will offer all the needed information to those companies seeking markets into which they can expand and access new work.

What defines a ‘commercial printer’ today is very different from even five years ago. In fact, when you think about it, it is quite difficult to come up with a single definition that will encompass the majority of our industry. This change has been driven by the evolution of technology that spans software, inkjet hardware, large-format graphics materials, speciality paper, and, most importantly, the evolution of the market itself.

With this in mind, we have lined up a host of specialist niche sectors from across the industry, which will be showcased by Grafityp, Grafenia, Antalis, Printmax, OKI with The Magic Touch, and Soyang.

Visitors will be able to quiz experts from these suppliers on, not only their own knowledge of the market, but also on what steps to take to expand into such industry sectors themselves. The Print Show team has analysed the industry and come up with these six markets as they offer exciting expansion opportunities to UK print companies.

Our team has analysed the industry and come up with six markets that could offer exciting expansion opportunities to UK print companies

First off is ‘The Branding Corral’. Run by Printmax, this store will showcase how 3D object printers can be used to create lucrative products that span from personliased smartphone cases through to corporate branded gifts. With a low investment level for entry to this sector, Printmax has already helped a large number of commercial printers succesfully diversify into this arena.

Moving on through the market stalls—rivalling the colourful stalls of those in Asia—we have ‘Promo Print Alley’, which will run in association with OKI and The Magic Touch. As many in the industry will already know, promotional print is big business at present, with brands keen for their services and messages to be seen by as many people as possible. With print making a comeback in this sector, our experts will explain how to take advantage of this trend.

If you wade a little further through the crowds, you will find yourself at ‘The Textile Trading Post’, where, with support from Grafenia, visitors can find out more about the ever-creative textile print market. From pop-up exhibition stands to tensile light-boxes, the textile print market is arguably one of the most varied of them all. By investing in the right kit and consumables, there is every chance that the more traditional printer can also gain access to this work.

The next stop on The Printers’ Bazaar will be the ‘Stickers ‘R’ Us’ section, where, with help from Soyang and Hybrid Services, you can find out more about the opportunities associated with self-adhesive labels and graphics.  Be it sticker kits for vehiclepersonalisation, or short runs of labels for a local farm store, printed labels and stickers are all around us—as are the many opportunities for work, as visitors to this area will find out.

We then move on to section five of The Printers’ Bazaar—an area that we think will draw plenty of interest over the three days of the exhibition. Running in association with Grafityp, the ‘Vehicle Wrap Shack’ does exactly what it says on the tin; we will even have expert wrappers showing off their skills by wrapping vehicles live. Often seen as a market more suited to our sign-making cousins, there is nothing stopping traditional print companies taking advantage of this creative sector, which, like others highlighted here, has enjoyed plenty of growth in recent years.

And with weary feet and a head full of new ideas, we reach the ‘3D Print Express’ area, where visitors can see a glimpse into the industry’s future, with some help from Antalis. It is hard to find anyone that has not heard about this technology, with stories of 3D print having found their way into national and global news, as well as trade magazines. From 3D-printed houses, through to cars and jet plane parts, this is one of the most exciting areas of print. It is also one that could well be exploited by those that have an immense knowledge of traditional methods.

The Printers’ Bazaar is full of interesting and creative applications, and we are getting it all ready to wow visitors come October. We can only give you a small taster of what to expect so far of course, but all will be revealed at the NEC this autumn as each of the section experts gets ready to impart their industry knowledge.

Being able to see a wide variety of the latest niche print technology in action, while being surrounded by a myriad of real-world product examples, will hopefully inspire printers and give them tangible solutions to grow their revenue and perhaps start a new chapter in their business.

What is vital to understand is that long-term success for many printers hinges upon the continued expansion of their product portfolio so they can continue to say 'yes' to their customers, no matter the request.

This is the trend that has driven the creation of The Printers' Bazaar, a space where the industry can browse and shop for new 'businesses in a box' that will ensure their continued competitiveness.


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