Fespa ’23 impresses in Munich

Richard Stuart-Turner
Friday, May 26, 2023

Fespa Global Print Expo 2023 has been hailed a huge success as visitors have flocked to the Munich show with the aim to grow and diversify their businesses.

Organisers say emphasis among attendees was on how to harness growth
Organisers say emphasis among attendees was on how to harness growth

Delivering on its theme, ‘New Perspectives’, the four-day show and the co-located European Sign Expo and new Personalisation Experience, which are closing today (26 May), welcomed more than 500 exhibiting companies.

The show hosted the final of the World Wrap Masters and the returning Fespa Awards – which saw the highest ever number of entries – while the Sustainability Spotlight showcase of innovative sustainable textile and graphic substrates once again proved popular.

Key trends at the event included personalisation, sustainability, the rise of direct-to-film (DTF) and the continued success of textile printing, automation, and the call from users to print onto more difficult substrates, like leather.

Head of Fespa Global Print Expo Michael Ryan told Printweek: “Being back in Munich for Fespa Global Print Expo 2023 has been a real pleasure. It’s such a welcoming venue, and the energy and appetite to innovate in our sector is as inspiring as ever.

“Speciality printers are definitely firmly focused on the future now, and there’s a clear emphasis all around the show on how to harness growth and open up new, creative avenues for profitable business.

“It’s always our goal at Fespa to point the way forward for our community. This year, we encouraged visitors to come with an open mind and to look for new perspectives on their business.

“The buoyant vibe in the halls suggests that they found plenty. We look forward to bringing the world of speciality print and visual communications back together at our next Global Print Expo in Amsterdam in March 2024!”

Inkcups CEO Benjamin Adner, whose new machines saw “very strong interest”, told Printweek: “We like that there’s a lot of hands-on operators at Fespa as well as owners, so that they can help make decisions.”

Sarit Tichon, senior vice president, worldwide sales and marketing at SAi, added: “We love the buzz that Fespa provides the print and signage industry. We find it the most efficient way to connect with our valued partners, new and old.”

At a press conference held yesterday afternoon (25 May), Fespa said visitor numbers for the first two days were up by over 30% on the event in Berlin last year.

Fespa confirmed the 2024 Global Print Expo, which will be held from 19-22 March in Amsterdam, will span six halls at the RAI exhibition centre in a new layout for the show, which was last held at the venue in October 2021 – Fespa’s first post-pandemic outing.

The team are working on the floorplans now and more plans for the show will be shared in the autumn but it was confirmed that European Sign Expo and the Personalisation Experience will both return, while Sportswear Pro, which was first announced back in 2019, will be launched in Amsterdam.

WrapFest, which was held for the first time at Silverstone last month, will also return as a standalone event next year, while new show Fespa Middle East will take place at the end of January 2024.

During the press conference, Eric Zimmerman, principal analyst – wide format print, at Keypoint Intelligence shared some of the topline findings of the new 2023 Print Census, with the full report set to be released shortly.

It found that, since the last outing of the Census in 2018, mean revenues of respondents have increased by 6%, but employee numbers have decreased slightly.

70% of respondents reported they were able to maintain pricing while satisfying sustainability demands, while the top three customer demands were for faster turnarounds, shorter runs, and versioning and personalisation. 71% said they were optimistic about the future of their business.

A full analysis of the show and its key news and trends will feature in our Printweek briefing in the June/July issue of the magazine, out next month.

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