Fespa updates on 2021 Expo and unveils 2022 date

Felton: "Feedback from our community indicates a strong appetite for a Fespa event in 2021"
Felton: "Feedback from our community indicates a strong appetite for a Fespa event in 2021"

Fespa has provided an update on the features and Covid measures that will be in place at its upcoming Global Print Expo in Amsterdam, which will return in October, and also revealed the dates and venue for its 2022 show.

Fespa had been forced to reschedule the show for a third time due to the coronavirus pandemic, revealing in December that it would be moved to 12 to 15 October 2021 after the show’s venue, the RAI exhibition centre, cleared its calendar of international events in Q1.

During the Fespa PressFest this morning (22 July), the Fespa team confirmed that it has signed up over 300 exhibitors for the event, including Agfa, Canon, Durst, Kornit Digital, M&R, and Roland DG, plus Gold sponsors Brother and Mimaki.

Running with the theme ‘Bringing Colour Back’, the show will occupy six halls of around 32,000-34,000sqm space, with currently 15,000-16,000sqm of sold space.

The co-located European Sign Expo for non-printed signage and visual communications will also return.

The Fespa feature programme has been pared back, however, due to coronavirus restrictions on space.

The Printeriors indoor decor showcase and Wrap Masters features, including the European leg of the World Wrap Masters competition, will return but other features such as the Trend Theatre seminar programme, and fast fashion factory feature Print Make Wear will not be part of the show this year.

Specialist sportswear event Sportswear Pro, which was announced in May 2019 and was set to launch at the postponed 2020 show, will also not be part of the event in Amsterdam. Fespa said it is currently determining the best way, place, and time to deliver this exhibition.

The Fespa Awards will not happen at the show, and the next campaign is anticipated to be launched in May 2022, with the ceremony of the winners due to take place at the Fespa event in 2023, though details are to be confirmed.

Fespa chief executive Neil Felton said: “Although the past year has cemented the value of virtual events, it’s clear that despite the fact that they have enabled businesses to stay informed and connect with suppliers, they do not replicate the benefits of live events.

“We understand that some people feel uncertain about travelling to an event in October this year, however feedback from our community indicates a strong appetite for a Fespa event in 2021.

“And with the progressive rollout of the vaccination programme, the easing of the Covid-19 restrictions, and the introduction of a digital EU certificate, we are beginning to see more flexibility around travel, particularly from September onwards.”

He added: “Many exhibitors are already signalling that they plan to use the live event as a launch platform as they have not had the opportunity to introduce products in a face-to-face environment for over 18 months.”

Fespa said the show would be opened to a full visitor capacity, but it would not be drawn on the expected number of visitors, due to the dynamic situation regarding the pandemic.

It said it is working closely in conjunction with the RAI, the Dutch government, the National Institute for Public Health, and Amsterdam’s municipal health services, and that there will be a raft of additional health and safety measures in place.

Fespa head of marketing and events Simona Jevdokimovaite said the safety of Fespa’s staff, visitors, exhibitors, partners, and contractors was paramount.

“Following the Dutch government guidelines, it is still mandatory to keep a distance of 1.5m within halls, so we will be implementing wider aisles to accommodate a safer flow of visitors.”

She added it was recommended that participants wear a face mask, “especially in areas where social distancing is difficult to implement”.

There will also be a traffic light system, such as a colour-coded wristband or lanyard, for individuals to indicate their preference regarding physical contact.

Visitors will need to register for the show in advance and a health check will be performed on entry. It is expected that access to the Expo will be through the EU digital Covid certificate, which will provide proof of double vaccination or a negative Covid test. For UK visitors, the NHS certificates will be accepted.

Entry tickets will be on mobile phones, while event and exhibitor information will be accessed through QR codes placed throughout the halls.

Fespa also revealed today that the 2022 Global Print Expo will take place from 31 May to 3 June 2022 at Messe Berlin in Germany, covering eight halls.

“An October event will not be a viable option for some exhibitors and visitors with travel restrictions, and it may not allow them to attend,” said Felton.

“With that in mind we wanted to deliver an option in the spring of 2022 to accommodate all and to sustain the momentum of recovery for our communities.

During the PressFest, Felton also outlined the numerous initiatives that Fespa has launched during the pandemic, including virtual events like Fespa Innovations and Trends, ‘Coffee Break' webinars, and the Fespa Global Summit.

Registration for Fespa Global Print Expo 2021 and European Sign Expo 2021, as well as the full exhibitor list, is available at www.fespaglobalprintexpo.com.