FESPA reports ‘upbeat’ global print expo

The organisers of the FESPA Global Print Expo have reported the successful return of the speciality print and signage exhibition after a two-year gap.

FESPA and the European Sign Expo took place in Amsterdam from October 12 to 15. It was the first live FESPA event in Europe since spring 2019.

The expo attracted a strong audience dominated by business leaders, who came with an appetite to update their industry knowledge with a view to short- and medium-term investment.

Neil Felton, FESPA CEO, said: “Feedback from exhibitors was effusive, with many commenting on the upbeat mood among visitors, the unmatched value of face-to-face conversations with senior decision-makers, the enthusiasm for the new technologies and consumables on display, and the overriding sense of optimism for the future. The buzz in the halls was energising and the impression was that delegates felt very confident and happy to be in a live event environment again after such a long time.”

Visitors came from more than 100 countries, with a strong emphasis on the Benelux region and Germany which accounted for 49% of the audience, in line with expectations given the location in Amsterdam. Other strongly represented countries were Italy, France, the United Kingdom, Spain and Poland. As anticipated, the challenges for long-haul travellers due to COVID-related restrictions resulted in fewer visitors from outside Europe than usual for a Global Print Expo event. In total, the events attracted 7,850 unique visitors, 42% of whom attended for more than one day, bringing total visits to 11,130.

Close to half of all visitors (44%) were owners or managing directors, reinforcing the significance of the event as a springboard for business recovery and forward planning. Two in three visitors influence or make final purchasing decisions in their business.

54% of visitors stated that they were visiting FESPA for the first time, indicating a thirst for market knowledge, insight and inspiration following the commercial challenges of the pandemic.

Printeriors was once again a popular attraction for visitors. Inspired by nature and curated by FESPA’s textile ambassador, Debbie McKeegan, the feature highlighted digitally printed applications targeted at printers operating in or looking to expand into interior décor. In collaboration with industry suppliers including Imageco, Kornit Digital, PONGS, swissQprint and TTS, the products displayed were produced using a series of high-end technologies, print processes and materials.

For members of the community unable to attend the event in person, FESPA and its exhibitors provided an array of live-streamed and virtual content. The FESPA Live sessions involved conversations with key exhibitors, printers and print experts on the latest trends and innovations and these attracted 5,125 views throughout the four-day event. The recordings of the sessions are also still available to watch on demand.

Mr Felton concluded: “The past two years have undoubtedly been challenging for everyone in our community. To move forward, printers and sign makers need to unearth new opportunities, explore the latest technologies and meet with peers to share ideas. This year’s events were an important milestone in our collective recovery and we hope that our next Global Print Expo and European Sign Expo will finally put our whole global community back in motion.”

The next FESPA Global Print Expo will take place at Messe Berlin, Germany from May 31 to June 3, 2022.

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