IPEX 2014 to remain a thought leader in the industry

Informa Exhibitions commissioned AMR Research in Q4 2012 to carry out independent global research on the key trends impacting the industry and the events that serve it. The research highlighted that the market wants Ipex to be a thought leader in the industry, with more content and educational input, so they have been working very hard in the background over the past few months to ensure the delivery of an event that is right for the market it represents. A brief Q & A session with Trevor Crawford, event director of Ipex 2014.

Q: Why did you decide to focus on digital technologies for Ipex, rather than the print industry as a whole?

Trevor CrawfordTrevor: Ipex has and always will be technology neutral, and will be showcasing applications covering all aspects of the print production process – from concept right through to the finished product, and how print adds value and complements marketing campaigns.

There might have been a misconception earlier this year that Ipex has turned its back on litho. However, this has never been the case. Although the research has confirmed that the majority investments currently being made is in digital and post press, litho is here to stay and the developments taking place in litho technology are fantastic. The issue is not about the future of litho, but rather how it complements and integrates with the growing inkjet/digital processes.

Litho will therefore be well catered in our various show features and content programme. For instance, we have introduced the Make Ready Challenge at Ipex 2014 for press minders to show off their skills on a proven and trusted press and take part in the competition to become the Ipex 2014 make ready world champion.

Q: So, where are you with Ipex now?

What will the size of the show be? Trevor: Over the past few months, we have reviewed what needed to change to deliver the right shape and size event. At 42,000 sq m area and encompassing 10 halls, Ipex 2014 will still be the largest print focussed event worldwide in 2014. Visitors will be able to see over 500 exhibitors from all areas of the print supply chain showcasing their latest technologies and applications.

Q: What will be the role of Patrick Martell as the new Ipex president?

Trevor: Patrick Martell’s role shall help shape Ipex 2014 and ensure it provides its visitors with the right mixture of ideas, insights and solutions to promote the power of print and its effective integration in the marketing mix. He is a well-respected thought leader in the industry, and has played an integral part in steering St Ives Group to become one of the leading fully-fledged marketing service providers today. We are confident that his and the rest of the Ipex 360 Committee’s expertise will be of great value to ensure Ipex 2014 reflects the fast changing industry it represents.

He will also be chairing the Ipex 360 Committee, which will be a visitor focussed steering group that will see representatives from the whole value chain, including agencies, small to large print service providers and end users of print, meet in the coming months to discuss and advise on the successful delivery of the 2014 show.

Q: What visitor groups do you expect at Ipex 2014 then?

Trevor: Ipex will remain an international event for commercial, digital and specialist printers, print specifiers, distributors and agents – it is an educational and information source for everyone in the print and communications industry. In 2010, we saw a 52/48 percent split between UK and international visitors respectively. And, while it’s still early days, pre-registration figures for Ipex 2014 suggest a similar trend, although we also expect to see a significant growth in numbers from the brand and creative communities.

Q: What will Ipex deliver to ensure it attracts an international visitor audience?

Trevor: Ipex 2014 will be more than just an exhibition – it will deliver a robust content programme, the opportunity to view and discuss future technologies and how best to market them, as well as ideas for brilliant conventional print applications. We know from the market study we commissioned in Q4 2012 that the industry wants Ipex to be a thought leader on the future of print and its role in the multi-channel marketing mix. Ipex 2014 will provide its visitors with a rich mixture of ideas, insights and solutions to help print service providers make informed decisions on how to develop their businesses, strategies and to increase profitability.

The World Print Summit will see a host of international and local thought leaders from the print business and creative industries to share their insights on new markets, technologies and provide business advice. Confirmed speakers to date include St Ives chief executive Patrick Martell; Barry Hibbert, chief executive of Polestar; Frank Romano, professor Emeritus, School of Print Media Rochester; Benny Landa, founder and CEO of Landa; Rory Sutherland, vice president, Ogilvy & Mather; futurologist and trend spotter Richard Watson; and Clive Humby, chief architect of Tesco’s Clubcard programme. More speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.

Visitors should also plan to attend the seminar-style Master Classes, organised by Printfuture’s Neil Falconer, which will take place on the show floor. Divided into two sectors, the sessions will provide practical ways to make money and increase the value of printer’s enterprises. There will be a mix of sales, business growth, production efficiency and technical development themes. The Print Business Publisher, Gareth Ward, will ensure that the Future Innovations showcase provide an insight into the complete workflow to deliver some of the latest cutting-edge applications on islands across the Ipex show floor. This includes 3D printing techniques, photobooks, printed electronics and digital print on packaging. The fantastic content and calibre of speakers will more than justify the journey for long haul visitors to attend Ipex 2014. All indications are that all the major technologies will be showcased at Ipex in a unique and more engaging way.

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