Ipex's woes reflect the state of the global print industry
By Simon Nias Friday, 29 June 2012
Inkjet Ipex, Nano Ipex or Excel Ipex? The show may still be two years away but so many column inches have been devoted to it already that we may as well start trying to come up with a suitable epithet.
Unfortunately for both UK print and exhibition organiser Informa, the publicity generated around Ipex 2014 in the past week could hardly be described as welcome. First HP pulled out. Then Agfa followed suit. And finally, Landa, the inventor of Nanographic printing – the single biggest talking point at this year’s Drupa – has thrown its attendance in doubt.
The thing is, it really shouldn’t be this much of a surprise. For the past four years we have reported on the declining fortunes of printers and manufacturers alike. Manroland went bust for heaven’s sake; Kodak is still in Chapter 11. The one consensus on all trade shows is that they’re not cheap. So is it any wonder, with five international trade shows taking place every four years, that something had to give?
On this basis, Ipex appears to be suffering from being Drupa’s smaller European cousin. However, the show must go on and for all of UK Print’s sake, it must be a success. UK print needs a show of the standing of Ipex and while 2014 is clearly looking like it will be a tough year, the challenge for all those concerned is to make the show a success regardless of who is missing.
The good news is that, with the show still two years away, Informa has plenty of time to turn things around and make sure that by the time the doors open on London’s first Ipex, it isn’t being referred to in hushed tones as the ‘HP-less Ipex’.
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