Ipex 2014: what better place than London?

The return of Ipex to London in March 2014 is adding up to be a welcome capital gain for exhibitors and visitors alike, shares Des King, journalist and marketing consultant, The Write Stuff. Ipex, the UK’s flagship print and communications event will be reunited with the nation’s capital city when it opens its doors at the custom-built ExCeL International Exhibition & Convention Centre in London’s Docklands in March 2014. The ExCeL exhibition centre itself is located at the heart of an integrated infrastructure tailored to meet the requirements of the international business community.

London has always enjoyed an iconic international status, where its rich and varied history sits alongside global business. Progressive redevelopment and investment of infrastructure continues to keep London at the centre of the global community. The addition of ExCeL in London’s Docklands, new rail, road and air transport links, the incursion of both the financial services and media sectors, as well as the enduring legacy of the £9 bn investment in London’s 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, has transformed the area into the City’s commercial heartland.

Open for business

Whilst London is still every bit as much the home of heritage landmarks such as Westminster Abbey, The Houses of Parliament and ‘Big Ben’, the London of the 21st century is now ranked as one of the world’s most preferred cities in which to stage meetings and events. And, as one of the world’s top three financial centres, London continues to attract business visitors from outside the UK, who now contribute 27 percent of London’s overseas tourism economy; just short of £3 bn per annum.

Sharing a specific affinity with the broadening media and cross-channel interests represented within the evolving Ipex community itself is London’s fast-developing ‘Tech City’ digital hub: populated by a dynamic mix of blue-chip IT and social networking players such as Microsoft, Cisco, Facebook, Google and entrepreneurial start-ups, and the recipient of a UK Government £50m development grant. Today, there are over 23,000 IT companies based throughout London; more than in any other European city.

Equally in tune with the Ipex community is London’s highly developed creative media communications sector spearheaded by some of the worlds’ most innovative and respected advertising agencies including Saatchi & Saatchi, Euro RSCG, Ogilvy and Leo Burnett. Directly employing over 4,00,000 designers, programmers and copywriters, the city’s creative industries collectively generate annual revenues of almost £20bn, and are already playing a key role in shaping Ipex’s onward evolution.

Says Ipex event director Trevor Crawford, “In our predominantly digital world, print is continuously adapting to compete against an ever-expanding menu of communications technologies. This has been a key strategic factor for including a cross media production focus on multi-channel messaging media as an integral part of Ipex 2014.”

With over 40 percent of the city’s working population not British-born and over 300 different languages habitually spoken on a daily basis, London provides a unique office from office environment, which according to London’s Mayor Boris Johnson, ‘the best European if not global city in which to do business.’ Arguably the city’s greatest ambassador, this current Mayor is also a regularly published print and broadcast media journalist who is naturally taking great interest in welcoming Ipex visitors and exhibitors back to the nation’s capital city in March, branding it ‘the Olympics of the global Printing Industry'.

A centre of ExCeLlence

If London is the best UK city for business, then ExCeL has likewise developed as the country’s best venue in which to do it, boasting events as diverse as the London Boat Show and the world travel market to staging many Olympic and Paralympic events. In the six years since it opened, the venue has almost doubled its size to 1,00,000 sq m following its acquisition by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC).

ExCeL’s two halls are centrally connected by a boulevard running the entire length of the complex, providing free and reliable Wi-Fi and containing 40 bars, restaurants and eateries. For a major event like Ipex, the boulevard, which will host ‘Inspiration Avenue’, will become very much part of the event and part of the Ipex community experience.

Besides, London is a city that doesn’t need to promote itself, so there’s never been a better time to capitalise on what Ipex 2014 and London has to offer.

World Print Summit gathers momentum

A senior level, strategic thought leadership event that takes place at the heart of Ipex 2014 at the ExCeL London (24-29 March 2014), the World Print Summit will deliver a pertinent content programme that will define the fast-evolving print industry.

Featuring 15 inspirational keynote speakers and 25 insightful and relevant presentations on the future of print, this forum provides printers with exclusive access to previously unheard content that will deliver the leading insights into the evolving role and power of print.

With profitability and progress a key theme, the summit’s distinguished line-up of keynotes – featuring industry thought leaders including Frank Romano (Rochester Institute of Technology), Patrick Martell (St. Ives Group), Benny Landa (Landa) and Barry Hibbert (Polestar) – will discuss and debate the trends, innovations and pitfalls of the regenerating print industry.

Other key highlights include leading futurologist and author Richard Watson exploring the immediate future of print to help printers make the right strategic decisions before forecasting the print industry’s development over the next 25 years, while Clive Humby – chief architect behind the Tesco Clubcard – will be sharing his expertise of dealing with big data and using it to promote loyalty through understanding your customers through print.

“This event brings together visionary and ambitious speakers from across the international print-supply chain and has been developed to inspire,” says Ruth Clougherty, content producer, Ipex 2014’s World Print Summit. “Taking place in a state of the art auditorium, our keynotes speakers will no doubt spark some heated debates on how to thrive in the highly competitive and streamlined print industry. These are speakers who have entered markets where others have dared not tread, invested in new technologies that others have shied away from, and been brave enough to create a culture of exploration, failure and innovation. The World Print Summit will be an event not to be missed.”

Group Publications