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Fespa returns to Berlin

About this year edition of FESPA Global Print Expo we are talking to Roz Guarnori, Divisional Director, FESPA.

The strapline for this year’s FESPA is “Where Print Takes off”. Could you explain what it means? It is about a success of printing or the trends and directions of development?

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. Today, print is moving away from being a commodity and being recognised for its scope to add value, whether as an effective element in a multichannel brand marketing campaign, or as a means of adding value to a product. What is being created today using print is very different to a decade ago when printers were just beginning to truly embrace digital printing technology. The pursuit of new diversification avenues and business growth opportunities is one of the creative stimuli behind our marketing campaign for FESPA 2018. We want to emphasise that, wherever PSPs find themselves on their entrepreneurial path, there is scope to gain fresh momentum and devise new products and services that lift the value print can deliver for their customers. At FESPA 2018 we will show PSPs the many opportunities available to enhance their output and increase business. We’re determined to make it the essential creative fueling stop for PSPs to see how print can come to life to help them add value to their customers’ businesses.

FESPA 2018 is the second Global Print Expo. How has this extension influenced the number of exhibitors and the interest in visiting the show? Due to location in Berlin do you expect more visitors from Eastern Europe, especially from Poland, Russia and Baltic countries? How many exhibitors come from this region? What kind of companies are they?

FESPA 2018 is the first FESPA Global Print Expo in our new cycle as in our previous show cycle, FESPA 2018 would have been a Digital show. We’ve received good commitment from both the screen and digital exhibitor community. In this new cycle, screen printing exhibitors were offered the opportunity to exhibit in any year they wished. Our re-book rate from 2017 from the screen community has been very positive, with a number of new and returning companies to this year’s event. The demand from screen exhibitors has been higher than we initially expected, following the change in cycle. This has meant that we’ve had to increase space in the screen hall to accommodate the demand. Visitor data from our last event in Berlin in 2007 shows that the location expanded FESPA’s audience from northern Germany and north-eastern Europe, while visitors from Poland in 2007 made up the fourth largest country delegation and Russia was 16th in the most attended geographies. For FESPA 2018 we expect visitor patterns to be similar to 2007. We have a number of exhibitors from Eastern Europe at FESPA and European Sign Expo 2018 showcasing solutions for signage, textile printing, LED, channel lettering and wide format print. Companies include: AMC System, Art Neon, Juki, Maximedia, Modico SC and Vroller.

You plan a special event during the show, focused on fashion textiles, making garments and printing technics. Will it be the main topic of this year FESPA? Why? What printing technics will be presented?

Yes, to reflect the significance of garment applications within the wider opportunity in printed textiles, we have launched Print Make Wear, a brand new interactive visitor feature designed to replicate a fast fashion factory focusing exclusively on fashion textiles, garments and printed accessories. The feature 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. 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. Textile printing is not the complete focus at FESPA 2018 but will play an integral role at the exhibition from both a screen and digital perspective. Last year’s FESPA had the largest textile offering to date and we expect this to grow even more for this year’s exhibition. We will have four dedicated halls for textile printing and over 100 exhibitors showcasing the latest innovations for textile equipment, substrates and inks. There will also be many exhibitors across the rest of the show highlighting textile related applications and technologies.

Can we expect some spectacular launch of new groundbreaking technology during the show? What new machines, devices, solutions will be shown by exhibitors (e.g.)? In your opinion, what could especially attract visitors’ attention?

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 ten exhibition halls with over 600 exhibitors. 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.

What other points could be interesting for visitors, what other subjects will be highlighted during the conferences and shows? And what trends will be worth seeing?

Printeriors will return to FESPA 2018 with a different proposition compared to previous years. Located in the Messe atrium, Printeriors will take the form of an interactive visitor feature, themed as the Airport Lounge of the Future 2030, seeking to reimagine a futuristic airport arrival and transfer experience. Here, visitors will be able to discover printed interior décor applications including furniture, wallcoverings, flooring, window graphics and soft furnishings provided by FESPA 2018 exhibitors. Visitors will also find a bar, seating areas, workspace and catering options all featuring printed décor elements, making it a truly immersive environment where they can take a break, work or meet with industry peers. We’ve also launched the FESPA 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. It aims to highlight the benefits of integrating digital technology into the production mix. The Digital Corrugated Experience will address all elements involved in printing corrugated materials, including: substrates; workflow solutions; digital printing technologies; materials handling; primers, inks, coatings and varnishes; and cutting and folding. The interactive feature will also combine short educational conferences with business-building discussions with industry-leading suppliers as well as independent industry specialists, experts and brands. For visitors looking for insight and expert knowledge then the FESPA 2018 Trend Theatre will have all the inspiration they seek to see how they can diversify and take their business further, with a focused seminar programme shaped by the insights taken from our research with our Knowledge Partner, Smithers Pira. The Trend theatre is also the destination for visitors keen to understand the findings from the FESPA Print Census 2018, with a daily session led by InfoTrends to explore and analyse this latest research from our community of PSPs. There is so much to see and absorb at FESPA and European Sign Expo, and with the event being back in Berlin for the first time in a decade, we hope that visitors from Poland will take advantage of the chance to explore this incredible host city.

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The doors to FESPA Global Print Expo and European Sign Expo 2021, Europe’s leading exhibitions for speciality print and signage, will open in just a few days (12 – 15 October 2021 at the RAI, Amsterdam, The Netherlands). For the first time since Spring 2019, FESPA is welcoming its communities of print service providers and sign makers back to a live event, with a focus on bringing colour back after 18 extraordinary months for these industries.

Elitron will be showcasing the following: Kombo SD+ 31.20: multi-function, digital cutting table with full range of cutting tools for all your digital finishing requirements; Kombo SDC+ 31.20: multi-function, flexible, digital conveyor cutting table with full range of cutting tools for both roll and rigid media and others Elitron Innovations for 2021.

Under the heading ‘New beginnings. New opportunities’, Agfa celebrates the gradual ‘reopening’ of the world and the occasion to present its updated range of inkjet printing solutions live to the European graphic industry at FESPA in Amsterdam (12-15 October).