When Ipex 2014 closed its doors, the show’s future and new direction had been established. The event – staged at ExCeL, London – attracted 22 768 visitors (including 3 532 exhibitors), 54% from the UK and 46% international.
‘With the fast evolving print industry and the challenges these changes represent, we collaborated closely with stakeholders to ensure the delivery of an informative and engaging event that offered a wide range of benefits, most importantly a good return on exhibitor and visitor investment,’ comments Peter Hall, MD of Informa Exhibitions. ‘I particularly want to thank exhibitors for their continued support, and I’m delighted we could repay their confidence by providing a high-quality international and UK audience to ensure it was the key event for the international print community in 2014.’
Well, that’s the official word from the organisers. It has to be pointed out, however, that the visitor number at the last show in Birmingham in 2010 was just above the 50 000 mark, so this is clearly an entirely different beast.
Despite this, however, numerous positive remarks have issued from exhibitors and visitors alike.
For instance, Olaf Lorenz, GM, International Marketing, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe – with the largest stand at the show – has this to say: ‘Ipex was everything we wanted it to be and fulfilled all our objectives. We received some 600 qualified leads per day and collected more than 40 letters of intent, as well as closing some sales. Based on our historical experience of such shows, we’re confident that Ipex will net us over €3.5million worth of new business.’
Helping to reap these rich rewards, the 1 200m2 stand featured 12 live-running print systems and market-leading software demonstrations throughout the six days of the show.
A prime attraction was the KM-1, a B2+ UV inkjet colour sheetfed press, demonstrated three times daily. At the show it was confirmed that beta testing will start later this year at customer sites in Japan, North America and Europe, with full production starting in 2015. The press will help commercial printers produce high-quality print jobs, capturing new market opportunities as brand owners look to develop personalised short-run packaging.
The KM-1 is especially designed for short runs, tight deadlines and variable data processing.
In another technology showcase, Konica Minolta demonstrated roll-to-roll label printing at up to 18m/min with its bizhub PRESS C70RLC.
Konica Minolta’s growing portfolio covers commercial production, packaging, wide format, document printing, corporate, on-demand publishing, direct mail, labels and photo-printing markets.
Adds Olaf Lorenz, ‘From discussions we had with hundreds of visitors every day, it’s clear that there’s a world of opportunity for print providers to optimise their revenues by creating value through the many new applications in an increasingly digital world. And we’re proud to be at the forefront of the new media revolution where print is still recognised as a central driver and crucial part of the communications mix.’