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Fespa 2019: Explosion of Possibilities

Roz Guarnori, Exhibitions Director, FESPA

About this year edition of FESPA Global Print Expo we talk to Roz Guarnori, Exhibitions Director

Last year, the FESPA Global Print Expo was record-breaking. Will Munich break through Berlin? How many exhibitors and guests do you expect?

FESPA Global Print Expo 2018 was a record-breaking event for FESPA, welcoming the largest ever audience for a four-day FESPA event, with 20,442 individual visitors in attendance from 142 countries.

With each event we organise we strive to make it as successful and relevant for our visitors and exhibitors as possible. This year, we’re expecting 700 exhibitors. Where visitors are concerned, we’re hoping to attract a similar number to Fespa 2018.

The motto of this year's trade fair is “An Explosion of Possibilities”. So what possibilities will open before printing on textiles or large format printing?

There is a multitude of possibilities within the speciality print industry from opportunities in technology, diversification into new markets, increased revenue, improved productivity, new partnerships and new applications. Under one roof at FESPA Global Print Expo 2019, visitors will be able to find the latest developments for digital wide format, screen print and textile print as well as printed and non-printed signage.

In addition to the exhibits, visitors also have access to our line-up of free educational and interactive features, which will provide them with opportunities and information in new markets and new diversification areas.

One of the exciting aspects about the speciality print industry is that there is so much diversity in the range of materials, processes and applications, which means there is an explosion of possibilities to discover. Each year, our line-up of exhibitors and show features provide visitors with the latest cutting-edge technical developments and insightful features to ensure the show is tailored to the needs of the market.

To the calendar of events accompanying the fair Print Make Wear and Printeriors as well as the FESPA World Wrap Masters are included again. What will we see in these zones this year?

Firstly, this year we have a new addition to our visitor features – Colour L*A*B* (hall B4) – which will take the form of a technology showcase and supporting conference programme designed to help visitors improve colour management practices within their business.

Colour L*A*B* will offer visitors a structured, end-to-end overview of all the individual elements contributing to professional colour management, including monitors, measurement and calibration tools, lightboxes, software solutions and print output devices.

The showcase will feature representative technologies from a range of specialist suppliers, supported by explanatory graphics. To illustrate the importance of good colour management, test files will be used in live demonstrations to illustrate different printed outcomes across a range of media. Visitors can also book guided Colour L*A*B* tours with respected colour management consultant Paul Sherfield, who will provide detailed explanations of the processes and answer visitors’ questions on how they can improve their own practices.

A conference area will also offer a focussed programme of free educational presentations from a range of subject matter experts.

Going back to Print Make Wear, this year has doubled in size compared to its launch at FESPA 2018 in response to positive visitor feedback. Taking the form of a live production environment, Print Make Wear addresses every step in the garment production process, beginning with planning, design and prepress, progressing to printing, drying, cutting, sewing, welding and embellishment and finishing with packing and retail display.

The expanded feature will allow for more space to show an even bigger range of garment printing technology solutions and consumables, as well as incorporating a staged area for presentations and debates and a daily catwalk for fashion shows.

The visitor experience will also be enhanced with two separate guided tours, one with a focus on direct-to-garment production and the other tailored to visitors interested in roll-to-roll production.

Printeriors will once again take the form of an interactive visitor feature, located in the East Entrance of Messe Munich. For the first time, Printeriors will showcase exterior décor applications, which will be located in the outside hospitality areas and will include applications such as deck chairs and parasols. The addition of the exterior applications this year will add a new dimension to Printeriors and will provide a location where visitors can experience it while taking a break from the show floor.

FESPA Global Print Expo 2019 will be the host location for the World Wrap Masters Series Final, where vehicle wrappers will compete to win the World Wrap Masters grand title. There will be two competitions during the four days. The first, running on the 14 and 15 May is the European Wrap Masters, where the winner and runner-up will progress to compete in the World Wrap Masters Final, on 16 and 17 May. They will compete with the winners of other Wrap Masters events from FESPA Africa, FESPA Eurasia, FESPA Asia, FESPA Mexico and FESPA Brasil.

Visitors looking for inspirational and thought-provoking insight into the latest industry trends and to hear case studies from leading printers can find these in the Trend Theatre where sessions will run every day of the exhibition.

The novelty is Colour L*A*B*. Where did you get the idea to talk about colour management during FESPA?

The launch of Colour L*A*B* comes in direct response to feedback from the FESPA community, highlighting a strong appetite for expert guidance and education to improve colour accuracy and consistency in the face of rising customer expectations and an ever more diverse applications portfolio involving multiple substrates.

Results from our latest FESPA Print Census also backed this up. One in three respondents stated that they intend to invest in colour management technology and training within the next two years as part of a wider focus on consistency and customer satisfaction.

Over the past decade, the speciality print industry has proactively embraced so many of the production advantages of digital technology, reaping the benefits of improved productivity and applications diversity and investing to manage sustained volume growth. Today, surveying our sector and talking to visitors and exhibitors, quality control remains one of the key areas where print service providers feel they have yet to optimise their operations. Therefore we hope that by launching this feature we can demonstrate that good colour management delivers tangible business benefits for print service providers.

During the FESPA Global Print Expo, the annual FESPA Awards will be given. What distinguishes the projects awarded this year?

Looking at specific trends, we’ve seen more use of tactile print, for example more UV curing and varnishes creating texture and depth, as well as more cold-foiling. Interestingly this year we’ve seen innovation with totally new techniques for colour separation. Within the t-shirt categories, screen printing is as strong as ever, with lots of use of metallics, gels, and three-dimensional finishes.

There have also been some very interesting techniques for glass decoration including molecular alteration of the glass surface. And in the Fine Art category we’ve received entries to the usual super-high standard, with some interesting uses of lenticular printing. All judges were also impressed by the scale and complexity of some of the super wide format entries.

The shortlisted entries can be viewed online now at www.fespaawards.com and will be displayed in the East Entrance at FESPA Global Print Expo 2019. The winners will be announced at the FESPA Gala night on Wednesday 15 May 2019.

The drupa trade fair will take place in a year, so many exhibitors will probably wait with the premieres of their products for several months. Can we expect new products on FESPA, for example when it comes to technologies and machines?

The technology development cycle is faster than ever due to the pace of innovation in digital print, workflow automation and consumables, so few exhibitors will hold commercially available product developments back for another year.

FESPA is the premier event for the speciality print sector and the strongest platform for vendors introducing products for this sector. Visitors to past FESPA exhibitions have witnessed significant global launches by major industry players and I’m sure this year will be no different.

We can’t comment on any specific exhibitor launches until they announce these directly. However, a number of major vendors are already signalling that FESPA 2019 will be their foremost product launch platform this year, so visitors should expect interesting preview news closer to the event.

For more information on FESPA Global Print Expo 2019 visit www.fespaglobalprintexpo.com. For free entry to the exhibition, use code FESH923 when registering.

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