“The buzz around the hall has been great, you can tell when it’s been busy as no-one has tried to lynch me yet, which is a positive,” quipped event director Chris Davies on Wednesday, halfway through the second day of the three-day show in hall 17 at the NEC Birmingham.
“We’re really pleased so far, and I predict Thursday will be a better last day than normal because of the hurricane like weather today.”
Typically, 20% of visitors attend on day one, 50% on day two and 30% on day three.
While visitor pre-reg was strong, Davies cited circa 10,000, he said visitor quality was king and he felt the show had already delivered on that.
“People are obsessed with figures, but I would much rather that exhibitors and visitors have a great show, the number of visitors is only beneficial to me as an organiser because it looks good, but if they don’t buy anything its completely artificial.”
Fujifilm used the event as a UK springboard for its range of Revoria toner presses, showing its six-colour flagship Revoria Press PC1200 and handing UK debuts to the 100ppm Revoria Press EC1100 and 80ppm SC170/180.
Spencer Green, head of POD sales, Fujifilm UK admitted he may have a bias, but said the Revorias were the undoubted stars of the show.
“At the end of the day, lots of people are excited to see what we had to offer, and they see us as a manufacturer that’s committed to supporting the industry for the long haul, this is just the beginning, and they want to know our roadmap.”
He said that Fujifilm’s stand had been “swamped” at various times through the first two days.
“If anyone tells you The Print Show has been really quiet, that’s because they’re not innovative or showing anything different, we’ve been really busy and that’s because we are innovative and different.”
Green said the firm’s presence at the show was about showing its intent as well as technology.
“While some competitors are more interested in being an IT partner or in something other than print, we’re totally committed to print. We made a big investment to be here, we’re here to stay, we’re not going anywhere.”
He said the firm had secured a number of deals at the show, including the first Revoria Press SC180, which arrived at the show direct from Tokyo, in a ‘walk in’ deal on day two.
“I don’t want to take anything back to the showroom,” he said.
Vivid product and sales manager Lewis Evans also hailed the show’s sales pedigree, citing deals with unnamed printers for two VeloBlade Nexus flatbed cutters in ‘walk on’ deals.
Evans said that if the final day proved as successful as the first two days he would hope to return in 2024.
“Today’s been very good, and usually on the last day you get buyers,” he said.
eProductivity Software (ePS) used its presence to show an end-to-end eco system in partnership with Konica Minolta running jobs in real time with real world costs models.
The two firms essentially demonstrated a real-time print factory, with a job acquisition through MarketDirect StoreFront, with the job then personalised and sent through an automated workflow before being printed on a Konica Minolta engine and embellished on the AccurioShine.
ePS global channel director John Morley said he felt it was important for the UK to have a print expo.
“We [exhibitors] need to show printers how they can be successful. There are new technologies out there and things we’re bringing to make their lives easier, and help them generate profits and take costs out to help with their day-to-day challenges.
“And if we can reduce their touchpoints within their operations and drive efficiencies then that has to be a good thing.”
This was echoed by Steve Wenlock, managing director of trade printer Flexpress, who used his stand to launch a new book, ‘Finishing First – How a small commercial printing company can outperform the market’.
“It’s been good so far and we’ve met lots of existing customers and new potential customers and it’s great to put faces to names.”
He said there had been a lot of interest in the book too: “I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I figured it was worth a shot as there are printers out there finding things quite difficult, so anything we can share that has been good for us can hopefully be good for them. Ultimately, they’re our customers, so I want them to succeed.”
PrintIQ CEO John Alden, who was attending his first UK trade show, said the show felt like any other show in the world.
"What we hope to get out of any show is visitors to learn something new about PrintIQ, catch-up with some prospects and talk to our clients, and so far we've done all three. We're glad we're here."
While Premier Paper used the show to promote its full portfolio and environmental focus, a particular highlight was its exclusive partnership with Drytac. Speaking as day two drew to a close, group marketing director David Jones said the show had delivered on expectations at the halfway point.
“We had a busy morning on the first day and it’s been very, very busy today. Even during the quieter periods, we had some very good enquiries and that’s what the show is all about.”
Next year’s show is scheduled to take place 17-19 September, when it will return to the same hall at the NEC.