Industry Leaders Welcome Co-location of Exhibitions
There are few industries as diverse, or as dynamic, as the print and graphic communications industry yet the synergy between different sectors has perhaps never been greater. This is undoubtedly why the decision to co-locate PrintEx11 and Visual Impact Image Expo (VIIE) in Sydney this May has been universally welcomed by business leaders, many of whom have now spoken for the first time about the move as they finalise their own plans for the exhibitions.
Andy Vels Jensen from Heidelberg, known as a straight shooter, believes the organisers are right on target. “Do we think it’s a good idea? Yes. Do we think it’s good news for the industry? Definitely,” he says. “It’s simple common sense because it reflects what’s happening in the industry.
“Co-location gives visitors the chance to meet, talk about the demands of their particular market sectors and explore the equipment and services they will need to meet the demands of their customers and become successful in their businesses,” he says.
Mark Brindley, MD of Agfa, says shows like PrintEx provide the opportunity to showcase a complete product offering – and the co-location with VIIE will expand that opportunity.
“PacPrint 2009 was a very successful show for us here in Oceania and we look forward to building on that base even further at PrintEx11,” he says. “The co-location of the show with VIIE gives us the chance to display everything from our conventional prepress products, through to solutions for key growth segments such as wide-format, for example our comprehensive range of digital inkjet printing products,” he says.
Craig Manson, Director of Canon Business Imaging, and Adrian Fleming from Kodak, mention that the principle of consolidation, rather than fragmentation, is a real positive.
“It’s a great idea to co-locate events as it widens the audience and reduces dilution – so we are very supportive of the agreement between PrintEx11 and VIIE,” says Manson, while Fleming says that the ability to get more people through the door – translating into more foot traffic – is always good.
“In a broader sense, too, it gives us exposure to markets outside our traditional areas, opening up opportunities for dialogue with people who might not be aware of what we do.”
Traditional VIIE exhibitor Barry Grant from Anitech is also positive, saying he is ‘absolutely in favour’ of the co-location and looking forward to the opportunities it presents.
“The ANZ market simply doesn’t have the population base for a FESPA or drupa, but co-locating events like VIIE and PrintEx allows suppliers to offer that kind of comprehensive display which warrants people investing a day or two out of their schedule rather than a flying visit,” he says.
“We expect to see people we’d not normally attract at a single exhibition, while visitors will be able to look beyond the normal scope of their business and explore new possibilities and a wider range of technologies and solutions, all under one roof.”
Ian Clare, MD of DES, agrees, adding that with the wide format UV printer market experiencing strong growth, due to product improvements and new products opening up a wider range of opportunities, there will be plenty of interest for visitors across the print spectrum.
“Combining the two exhibitions gives traditional commercial printers the opportunity to see what is available in the wide format UV printer market and makes them aware of how they can expand their product offerings to fit a broader range of their customers’ requirements,” he says.
Experience shows us that there are substantial benefits for suppliers from shows going up-and down-stream Vels Jensen adds.
“The increased interest generated from all areas of the industry, the ability to cover off most areas of interest in a single show visit, and increased interest from print buyers and advertising spend decision makers are just a few,” he says.
Fleming says the move is pragmatic for time-poor business owners. “Introducing more shows increases that pressure while overlapping shows like PrintEx and VIIE allows visitors to see more in less time – and means exhibitors can consolidate their resources to put on a more comprehensive display.”
This idea of being able to see more, and show more, is a common thread. “There’s so much cross-over these days that co-location makes enormous sense,” says John Wall, Sales Director of Roland DG.
“Practically speaking, having fewer exhibitions means that we can put more resources into each, demonstrating a broader range of technologies and solutions, where they fit in context and how they can add to a business’s value proposition. Plus, it offers the chance to network with different markets and perhaps explore new directions or partnerships.”
Education, too, is a key to business success says Wall, and the ability for VIIE delegates to attend the PrintEx11 Forum Series and other educational opportunities, as well as those offered at VIIE, will add extra value for them.
Grant agrees, adding that the potential for new ideas and ‘cross-pollination’ is a huge benefit.
“The chance to learn more about other areas of print is bound to inform what our customers do in their own businesses, and in a general sense it fosters greater understanding between different industry sectors, helps spark new ideas and co-operation, and generally makes everyone lift their game a little bit to compete on this wider stage, which can only be a good thing,” he says.
“Even on the simplest level, change always stirs up some renewed excitement and fresh thinking,” Vels Jensen adds, “so by making the PrintEx experience more diverse – that is, to reflect the broader range of services which is available within the industry – this collaboration creates an ideal environment for fresh ideas.”
The overall significance and importance of the event, and the potential for new ideas and industry development, are also heightened by co-location, say business leaders.
“It adds credibility to PrintEx and VIIE, demonstrates a real leadership approach and helps to contribute to a more united industry which, as we all know, has to be positive in the long run,” says Fleming, while Grant notes that the size and growing importance of these events also attracts international suppliers and industry experts, something smaller exhibitions simply can’t match.
“Plus, it gives us a greater opportunity to promote the industry and generate a higher profile,” adds Vels Jensen, “and it never hurts to get more exposure for print!”
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