Informa rues Xerox decision but hails importance of exhibitions
By Simon Nias Friday, 04 January 2013
Informa Exhibitions has highlighted the "real appetite from European PSPs" for print trade shows in a response to Xerox's "regrettable" decision to pull out of Ipex 2014.
Informa, which had already been rocked by the withdrawals of Agfa, Heidelberg and HP, described Xerox's decision - announced recently in a blog - as "a blow for Ipex".
"It's a blow, it's definitely a setback and it's a surprise," said Ipex 2014 event director Trevor Crawford, who also confirmed that Komori had pulled out of the show in November.
"No exhibition likes losing exhibitors, whether they're taking 1,600sqm or 16sqm, but we have to put this into perspective: the show is still 15 months away and despite the companies that have pulled out, we're still ahead of where we were in the last cycle."
Crawford pointed out that Informa had suffered similar problems in the build up to Ipex 2010 only to see the situation reverse at the last minute as the recession ended and business confidence returned.
"If you look back to what happened in the build up to the last Ipex, we lost the best part of 7,000sqm in 2008/09 because of what was happening in the industry," he stated.
"But bookings accelerated massively in the back end of 2009 and we had our best final quarter of any booking cycle for any show in Q1 2010 and I think probably we will see something similar happen in this cycle."
Crawford added that he did not think the high profile withdrawals would have an impact on visitor numbers and said Informa was confident in meeting its original estimate of 55,000 unique visitors, up 10% on Ipex 2010's 50,000 visitors.
"London is a big drawcard for Ipex 2014 and I do believe that many more visitors will be attracted because the show is in London," said Crawford, adding that the integration of Cross Media with Ipex in 2014 would attract a new crowd to the show.
"We need to drive the show forward, widen the remit and help our exhibitors reach out to their customers' customers."
Crawford added that the purpose of Informa's research, which was conducted by AMR International and is due to be published as a white paper later this month, had been to try to understand what the current challenges faced by PSPs and MSPs were and how things were likely to pan out in those sectors over the next three years.
In addition to throwing up some supportive figures demonstrating the "real appetite from European PSPs to engage with multiple digital suppliers in the exhibition environment", Crawford said that the research would help Informa to tailor the show to make it as relevant as possible for visitors.
In a brief statement previewing the white paper, Informa said that the research showed unequivocally that international visitors consider shows such as Ipex to be "the most effective means of researching and evaluating new products and suppliers" and that 42% of printer visitors attend Ipex to evaluate the newest ready-to-buy technology.
However, while Informa said that it would be sharing its full research findings with its stakeholders in the "hope that these compelling insights may prompt some reconsideration", the impact of the growing number of withdrawals remains a cause of significant concern amongst exhibitors.Tweet
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