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Business

Print Show signs new 2017 venue after IPEX clash

The organisers of The Print Show have revealed that it has booked the entirety of The International Centre, Telford from October 11th to 13th, 2017. The exhibition's event director has also weighed in on its upcoming clash with IPEX for its 2017 installment and his candid feelings about its business strategy.

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The Print Show’s event director Chris Davies (right) shakes on the agreement to exhibit at The International Centre in 2017 with South Water Event Group chief executive Tom Gray

The Print Show says the decision over the International Centre was made due to experiencing overwhelming commitment from the UK’s commercial print industry for the 2016 instalment and a surge in early reservation requests for its 2017 show from a large number of existing exhibitors keen to secure premier floorplan positions.

“The first edition of The Print Show in 2015 honestly exceeded our wildest expectations, and we are very far ahead of where we were in February last year in terms of bookings, planning, and the implementation of our multi-channel marketing strategy,” explains Chris Davies, event director of The Print Show.

He continues: “Our floorplan for 2016 is already getting very chocked for the bigger stands and we are having to consider taking more space, and on top of that a large number of our key exhibitors have been asking us for space in 2017 to make sure they can retain the most advantageous spots.”

Our floorplan for 2016 is already getting very chocked for the bigger stands and we are having to consider taking more space

A clear indication of confidence is that they have contracted exhibitors from right across the UK commercial print industry and brands like Konica Minolta, RISO, Antalis, Apex Digital Graphics, X-Press OnDemand, Intelligent Finishing Systems, Terry Cooper Services, and MGI that have realised the potential of The Print Show to grow their order books and boost their long-term prospects.  Davies continues: “So the decision to put pen to paper and secure a venue for 2017 was an easy one and as I have said previously puts the seal on what is now a solid, right sized, and sustainable national show model.”

Telford bound

The Print Show 2017 is set to relocate from the NEC, where it will take place from October 11th to 13th this year, to the International Centre in Telford—just off the M54 to the west of Birmingham.


The Print Show was launched in November 2014 as an annual nationally-focussed
exhibition taking place for the first time in October 2015

Davies explains how its early commitment to 2017 and a move to Telford has also been driven by a need to provide clarity to its exhibitors. Speaking candidly on the issue, Davies says: “I spoke out about what I felt was a very cynical move by IPEX to announce the return of their show the day before The Print Show 2015 opened its doors, moving from March to October and a year earlier than originally planned.

“It was also the day after we had announced our commitment to shows in 2016 and 2017. The final piece of the puzzle is that IPEX has changed from being an internationally-focused event to being a nationally-focused one. So to sum up, its dates, model, location, and focus has changed and now is a direct mirror of what we put forward in 2014 and accomplished so well in 2015.

It can only leave you with one assumption, that it is a strategic move to try and block us from fulfilling our long-term promise to create a sustainable, annual, UK -focused, and right-sized trade show

“It can only leave you with one assumption, that it is a strategic move to try and block us from fulfilling our long-term promise to create a sustainable, annual, UK -focused, and right-sized trade show dedicated to celebrating UK commercial print and providing it with an annual economic kick-starter.”

Davies concludes: “Without a slot open at the NEC in 2017 we embarked on a round the UK tour of exhibition venues and ironically ended up a short trip up the road from where we started at what is an excellent, fresh, modern, and purpose-designed 13,000sq m site that will be a great host for us.

“Our feeling was that if IPEX remained an international show, run at its normal time and every three years, then there was more than enough room for two events in an industry as large as ours.



The International Centre forms part of a large infrastructure investment from owners
Southwater Event Group, seeing it form part of a large entertainment and leisure
complex just two minutes walk away, and a chain of hotels owned by the Group

"Its decision to clash with our dates and focus will no doubt cause a lot of talk and speculation, but all we will continue to do is keep our heads down, work hard, and run a show that we feel the UK commercial print industry has needed for a very long time.” Located in the picturesque county of Shropshire, the International Centre has undergone significant renovation work in recent years and is now regarded as one of the top exhibition facilities in the UK. Visitors in 2017 will have access to free on-site parking throughout the course of the three-day show.

Its decision to clash with our dates and focus will no doubt cause a lot of talk and speculation, but all we will continue to do is keep our heads down, work hard, and run a show that we feel the UK commercial print industry has needed for a very long time

The International Centre is also situated in an area of Telford that has undergone an exciting phase of redevelopment. Located just a five-minute walk away is the popular Telford Shopping Centre, boasting over 150 shops, in addition to a new restaurant and entertainment complex that boasts an IMAX Cineworld Cinema, a number of top-class hotels run by the same group as The International Centre. Also, for those visitors feeling extra adventurous, there is an ice rink and even a bowling alley, where print feuds can be settled in a friendly way.

Rob Fisher, event director for IPEX, responded to Davies statement: "The strategy for IPEX has been under close review following both the previous edition in 2014 and extensive research with key industry professionals, exhibitors and visitors. So the plans for the next edition of the event, and the longer term plans for IPEX, have been taking shape.

"IPEX has a fantastic heritage and is the established print event within the UK calendar. We have, after consultation with the exhibitors and visitors, returned the show to its ‘home’ venue, the NEC in Birmingham. We have created a collaborative partnership with PICON and the NEC, and formed our Joint Executive Committee (JEC) which is shaping IPEX going forward ensuring that we deliver a first rate event for the print industry where exhibitors play an active role.

We have created a collaborative partnership with PICON and the NEC, and formed our Joint Executive Committee (JEC) which is shaping IPEX going forward

"IPEX will take place every three years which we feel is the best frequency for the event. The clash of dates with the recently announced Print Show 2017 is unfortunate especially given the date for the next IPEX back was announced in October last year.

The tenancy at the NEC provides exhibitors with the opportunity to demonstrate working cutting-edge technology and equipment and our plans have been well received. So IPEX 2017 will be a ‘print in action’ event showcasing the latest solutions, print technology and equipment for the print industry.

"We will focus on delivering buyers and senior decision-makers from the UK and around the world, using our extensive in-house visitor database, as well as the global network that Informa plc affords us, and we are looking forward to welcoming participants to the NEC in October 2017."

2016 focus

Davies explains that now The Print Show’s plans for 2017 are clear, it will continue to focus squarely on preparations for the second edition of the event this year. Its latest step is the development and launch of a brand new online information portal along with its initial floorplan.

With some seven months still to go to the 2016 event, a number of key names have already confirmed their attendance among more than 80 percent of 2015’s exhibitors that have already re-committed to the show.


The last IPEX took place in March 2014 at London’s Excel exhibition centre as an
internationally-focussed show
 
“The confidence and warm response that has been generated after the success of the 2015 event has definitely driven much earlier confirmed bookings for 2016, as we are much further ahead than we were this time last year,” commented Davies, who continues: “As a result, we are also expanding the show and will be looking at an event that will be about 15 to 20 percent larger in year two.”

He added: “We also thought Drupa would have more of an effect, but because we are so focused on the UK market, and so are all our exhibitors, we have not had a single company mention Drupa as an issue directly effecting their ability to exhibit at The Print Show.”

In response to the overwhelming interest in the event from across the commercial print spectrum, The Print Show’s technology team has been hard at work designing a new information hub that offers both exhibitors and visitors access to a host of information that will help them make the most out of their time at the show.

Lucas Fedyniak, technical manager for The Print Show, explains that last year’s website needed an update not only to reflect this year’s show theme, but also to offer people interested in the show access to various material and additional information to help them analyse and prepare for October’s event.

“The theme of the show has changed this year and our online presence and tools needed to reflect this,” Fedyniak said, adding: “We felt that the layout of last year’s website did not reflect the impact that the show has had and some people had problems accessing it on mobile devices.

“Our new visitor and exhibitor information portal is now incredibly mobile-friendly, allows people to register for e-mail updates about the show, and features a full photo library and video content from our debut show last year. It really does have everything you need to ensure you are up-to-date with the show and prepared for this year’s event.”



The Print Show has launched a mini-documentary looking back it founding year, which can be found along with three other showcase videos on its website

If you have an interesting story or a view on this news, then please e-mail news@printmonthly.co.uk

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