Fespa updates on 2023 Expo and reveals new Dubai event

The 2022 event was held in Berlin - this year it heads south to Munich
The 2022 event was held in Berlin - this year it heads south to Munich

Fespa has revealed more information on what visitors will be able to see at its 2023 Global Print Expo, which will take place in Munich in May, while also outlining details of a new show in Dubai.

During the Fespa Fest press webinar this morning (28 March), the Fespa team said it has “over 500 direct exhibitors” confirmed, including platinum sponsors Durst Group and Surfex Interior Film and gold sponsors Brother, Mimaki, Hanglory, and HP, with Hybrid Software Group and Netlink Imaging confirmed as silver sponsors.

More than 95 suppliers are returning for the first time since 2019, while 60 companies are new to Fespa and the co-located European Sign Expo, which will enable visitors to see the application opportunities in areas including channel lettering, dimensional signage, engraving and etching, and LED.

Running with the theme New Perspectives, the Global Print Expo will occupy four and a half halls at Messe Munich from 23 May to 26 May 2023.

Michael Ryan, head of Fespa Global Print Expo, said: “This year we are encouraging visitors to look at things from a different angle and discover fresh approaches and avenues to growth, and for everybody to exchange their perspectives with their peers and consider different viewpoints on how to excel.”

Following the 2021 post-Covid return in Amsterdam, and the 2022 event in Berlin, 2023 will be bigger than both due to a lessening of travel restrictions in Asia.

Local Covid restrictions that played a big part in the Amsterdam show, and a lesser but still present factor in Berlin, will – at the time of writing – not be an issue at the Munich event. Last month, Germany dropped the requirement to wear face masks on long-distance trains and buses after nearly three years.

Features at the show will include the Sustainability Spotlight showcase of innovative sustainable textile and graphic substrates, which debuted last year at the Berlin show.

The Fespa Awards, meanwhile, are returning for the first time since 2019 and have attracted over 210 entries from 34 countries. Shortlisted entries will be showcased in the atrium at the West entrance of Messe Munich, and on the afternoon of 24 May the winners will be announced.

The World Wrap Masters event will also return in Munich but for the Printeriors feature, instead of a physical showcase Fespa will now host a virtual microsite on its website.

Ryan said the online hub would “build out the application stories for the products that have been created over the lifetime of Printeriors” and would include production details and host articles, videos, podcasts and more centred around interior décor and its opportunities for printers.

New this year at the Munich show will be the co-located Personalisation Experience, which will include a three-day conference programme that aims to bring together retailers, consumer brand owners, creative and production agencies, printers, and OEMs, to explore the topic of personalisation.

Specialist suppliers exhibiting at the event include Antigro, Brother, Dreamscape, Infigo, Optimus, Printbox, Print & Logistics, Taopix, and XMPie.

Registration for the Fespa Global Print Expo and its co-located events is now open at: fespaglobalprintexpo.com.

During Fespa Fest, Fespa CEO Neil Felton also outlined the organisation’s numerous domestic and international events, including the upcoming WrapFest event taking place at Silverstone racing circuit from 26-27 April, as well as giving a corporate update on Fespa’s activities.

“We want to be the leading globally connected imaging community, and our mission is to educate, inform, connect, and share best practice.”

Felton highlighted the materials available on the Fespa website, including the Club Fespa area that holds exclusive content for members, and also mentioned its latest Print Census, on which it has collaborated with Keypoint Intelligence. The previous Print Census findings were released in 2018.

“This is a really powerful piece of research. We have over 1,778 entries from 120 countries and that’s 300 more than we’ve ever had beforehand, so it’s the most powerful census we’ve ever had and will give really good insight into the trends that are happening in the market. We’ll give some topline information at the event in Munich and a full report will be published later on in the year.”

Felton also mentioned new events including the Fespa Leadership Exchange (FLEX), which took place in Dubai earlier this month and enabled the organisation to connect with the Middle East region.

Felton said that it will now launch Fespa Middle East, a new show serving the speciality print, signage, and visual communications community in the Middle East and Africa regions. The first edition of this annual exhibition will take place at the new Dubai Exhibition Centre in the United Arab Emirates city from 29 to 31 January 2024.

The exhibition is expected to feature over 100 global brands and, at the event, Fespa will host the first World Wrap Masters competition in the Middle East, a Sustainability Spotlight educational feature, a conference and technical training programme, and a Club Fespa Lounge for Fespa Direct (MEA group) members to network.