Where print takes off

This year’s global print exhibition FESPA returns to Berlin, where it was last held in 2007. This year the theme ‘where print takes off’ encapsulates the role the exhibition takes in the industry. FESPA’s exhibitions director, Roz Guarnori, explains where you should make the trip to Germany this May.

Q. The theme this year is ‘where print takes off’, can you explain what this means for our readers?

A. ‘Where print takes off’ signifies FESPA’s role as the international platform for new technology, ideas and applications across digital wide format, screen printing and textile printing markets. Through the theme we want to celebrate print’s potential to continue to evolve and develop new creative and functional capabilities. From our visitor data we know that a lot of visitors to our events are in search of new areas of diversification. This is supported by our 2015 Print Census findings, which highlighted that 45% of respondents investing in digital printing equipment are motivated to do so by the move into new markets with new products or services.

‘Where print takes off’ is reflected through all aspects of FESPA 2018. For this year’s show we’ve channeled trends identified through our Print Census findings, and from independent research from our knowledge partner, Smithers Pira, to ensure that the content and features reflect the needs of PSPs and sign-makers today.

We’re determined to make FESPA 2018 the place for PSPs and sign-makers to discover new ideas, inspiration and products to help their businesses take off and to see how print can come to life to help them add value to their customers’ businesses.

Q. Why should our readers visit FESPA 2018? What benefits would they gain from attending?

A. At FESPA Global Print Expo 2018, we’ve got over 600 exhibitors across 10 halls covering textile printing, digital wide format, screen printing and non-printed signage.

There will be over 150 exhibitors across four dedicated halls showcasing textile printing solutions – both screen and digital – covering garment decoration and apparel printing, promotional items, direct to garment, printed interior décor and much more.

Reflecting the significance of garment applications within the wider opportunity in printed textile, this year we’ve also introduced a brand new interactive visitor feature: Print Make Wear, which is designed to replicate a fast fashion factory. The feature will focus exclusively on fashion textiles, garments and printed accessories and will take the form of a live production environment highlighting every step in the screen and digital printing production process, from initial design to finished product.

Print Make Wear will bring together collaborators from all areas of the printed fashion sector, including brand owners, designers, garment printers and producers, to explore the latest production possibilities, exchange experiences and to share knowledge. The Print Make Wear fast fashion factory will feature a screen printing carousel, washing and drying equipment, digital direct-to-garment printing, cutting and sewing, as well as solutions for welding and embellishment. Design and technology experts from the contributing exhibitors will also be on hand throughout to explain each step of the fashion production process.

The ‘wear’ element of the feature will take the form of a live fashion catwalk, enabling visitors to see garments and accessories produced in the factory. The items produced in Print Make Wear are being designed by fashion designer Sandra Zomer from the Netherlands. Sandra was the 2017 FESPA Young Star Award winner and now works for renowned designer Julien MacDonald.

Q. What makes this year’s exhibition different from previous years?

A. Since the last European FESPA event in Hamburg in May 2017, FESPA has invested in wide-ranging research to gather the latest insights into the areas offering greatest potential for its global PSP and sign-maker community. We have channelled this insight, along with the findings from the FESPA Print Census, into our event programme to tailor the content to the needs of our visitors.

This insight has also informed the development of two new visitor features – Print Make Wear – which I have already mentioned, and the Digital Corrugated Experience, which is an educational and experiential area that will showcase the advantages of digital print for corrugated packaging and retail display applications. The feature aims to highlight the benefits of integrating digital technology into the production mix.

We’ve also collated all of our educational content into one Trend Theatre. The content within the trend theatre will focus on the five key trends and growth areas identified in our research with Smithers Pira. Here, visitors will also be able to find out the latest findings from the second Print Census, and hear from industry experts in daily panel discussions.

Q. What differentiates FESPA Textile, FESPA Digital and FESPA Screen?

A. Where previously we’ve had separate branded events for Textile, Digital and Screen, in the new cycle of our now annual FESPA Global Print Expo, these are no longer individually branded. The show will feature all processes and applications across the 10 halls, albeit with focus areas based on the exhibiting companies. For instance looking at textile in particular, there are four dedicated halls for textile printing. Within these, visitors will find both screen and digital manufacturers. There will also be other exhibitors outside these halls showcasing textile solutions as part of a wider portfolio.

Q. Would our readers benefit from a visit to each sector?

A. Printwear & Promotion readers will benefit from exploring all 10 halls of FESPA 2018, where there will be over 150 dedicated textile exhibitors showcasing both screen and digital textile equipment, consumables and inks. Hall 4.1 is a must as it is home to Print Make Wear.

For visitors interested in textile printing, a textile-specific pocket planner is available at the show to guide them round the exhibitors and features relevant to them.

Q. What knowledge can our readers expect to take away with them from their visit to FESPA 2018?

A. Visitors will be sure to see and learn about the latest textile technology, equipment and applications, including brand new product launches.

Visitors will also take value from Print Make Wear, where they will be able to explore the latest production possibilities and exchange experiences and share knowledge with industry peers. Within Print Make Wear, textile printers can also attend dedicated textile seminar sessions, from industry experts including Smithers Pira, who will present some of the findings from our joint research.

With so much going on at the event and an array of exhibitors to explore, visitors should prepare to spend more than a day at FESPA 2018 to make the most of their time.

Q. Are there any standout exhibitors that our readers should pay a visit to?

A. We know that a number of our exhibitors will be launching their latest equipment at FESPA 2018. Transfer printing will be in abundance at FESPA this year with Siser, Lotus, Chemica, OKI, Forever and SEF all exhibiting.

Dover Digital Printing will present its entire workflow for textile production and will be joined by its entire global portfolio with solutions for this growing sector. Kornit Digital, Aeoon, Brother, Ricoh, Epson and Polyprint will have a major presence at this year’s event and will highlight the latest solutions for direct to garment printing.

Q. Do you know if there is any new equipment launching at this year’s exhibition that would be of interest to garment decorators?

A. It’s a bit early to comment on any preview news from exhibitors. However, visitors to past FESPA exhibitions have been witness to significant global launches from major industry players and, at FESPA 2017 in Hamburg, there were over 100 product launches and new products displayed.

This year, FESPA fills 10 exhibition halls with over 600 exhibitors, so we’re sure the event will be true to its reputation as a platform for major product launches for the global speciality printing community. A number of major vendors are signalling that FESPA 2018 will be their foremost product launch platform in 2018, so visitors should keep their eyes peeled for when they start announcing their preview news.

 Q. Are there any seminars or talks that our readers can attend to enhance their businesses?

A. There will be textile related seminar content at FESPA 2018, we are currently confirming the details of these. However, they will provide visitors with insight into the textile market as well as top tips and case studies. The seminar schedule will be uploaded to the FESPA 2018 website when complete.

 Q. What do you think will be the highlights of this year’s exhibition?

A. Launching new features is always stimulating and it’s great to see how these evolve and to see the visitor reactions to these initiatives. Print Make Wear is a particularly exciting development as it cements our growing reputation as a forum for knowledge-sharing across the whole spectrum of textile print applications.

Most exciting is that FESPA is a platform for technology innovation, so I can’t wait for the time when we begin hearing about new products that will be debuted at FESPA 2018 and experience the buzz of being onsite and the impact these technology and media innovations will have on the market.

Q. How would you describe the garment decoration industry in the UK at the moment?

A. The garment decoration industry is naturally influenced by fashion and with the growing trend for fast fashion and bespoke, customised garments, these have never been more appealing for garment decorators, especially with the speed and development of digital technologies, which have made low volume work possible.

E-commerce is prominent in today’s fashion market and there are a host of companies producing personalised garments and promotional items embracing this business model. The growth of social media, and Instagram, in particular, is also fuelling demand for customisation for garment decoration and production right now. It is a highly competitive, price sensitive market but the UK garment community can celebrate the expertise we have in creative design, which is one of the main influences when buying products.

Q. And finally, is there anything else that you would like to tell our readers about FESPA 2018?

A. We’re looking forward to returning to Berlin for this year’s show. I wasn’t at FESPA back in 2007 when we hosted the last event here, however, from colleagues, exhibitors and visitors I hear that it was a fantastic show in an amazing city and I hope we can replicate this experience for visitors in May.

For more information on FESPA Global Print Expo 2018 visit www.fespaglobalprintexpo.com. For free entry use code FESM842 when registering.

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