Fespa updates on 2021 Global Print Expo

Richard Stuart-Turner
Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Fespa is gearing up for the first running of its flagship Global Print Expo since May 2019, with audiences and exhibitors keen to return to the in-person event this autumn.

Fespa's last Global Print Expo was held in Munich in 2019
Fespa's last Global Print Expo was held in Munich in 2019

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 Amsterdam venue, the RAI exhibition centre, cleared its calendar of international events in Q1.

Fespa said recent research among its audiences has revealed a strong appetite for the live event, with 73% of respondents seeing trade shows as an essential platform for reviewing and making future product purchases.

Chief executive Neil Felton told Printweek he expects to see many new products and innovations at the expo, which will enable manufacturers to show all of the products they have launched in the last couple of years and to engage with customers and distributors.

“The last time that we ran a show was in 2019 in Munich, and certainly when you're researching for new products and launching new products, that hasn't stopped, it's just that how you actually tell the market has changed with the current challenges that we've had,” he said.

“But certainly they need to get those messages across and they need to show what these [products] can do and I think a very good way of doing that and comparing it is of course a live event.”

Running with the theme ‘Bringing Colour Back’, the show will focus on supporting speciality print communities with sustained business recovery following the challenges of the past year.

Felton said taking into account “all information currently available to us”, Fespa will be relaunching the show with the confidence that it “can offer participants a live event that takes all possible health and safety precautions, while still fulfilling their key expectations of a Fespa show as an interactive, multisensory experience.”

He added: “In the current climate you can never fully guess what's going to happen. But I have every confidence that the ramp up with the vaccines, the improved working with the venue to ensure that we have a safe and secure environment, and the demand from all of the exhibitors and the printers together means that we are looking at a very, very strong show in Amsterdam, and that's what we're working towards.”

The event will occupy six exhibition halls at the RAI, and over 300 suppliers are expected to exhibit from areas including screen, digital, wide-format and textiles printing. Features including Printeriors and World Wrap Masters will also return, as will the co-located European Sign Expo for non-printed signage and visual communications.

Entry to the 2021 event is free for members of a Fespa national association or Fespa Direct, while the cost of entry is €50 (£43) for non Fespa members who pre-register before 12 October 2021 using a promotional code found on Fespa's adverts and marketing promotions.

Felton said the entry charge mirrors many other European shows: “Of course, if you are a member of one of our 37 national associations, that would be the benefit that you would get that for free.

“I don't think it's a massive shift; it's recognising the value of our members but, at the same time, the majority of shows in Europe are of course charged.”

In previous years Fespa had charged visitors if they arrived to register at the door, with “many thousands” having registered this way in the past according to Felton.

Registration for Fespa Global Print Expo 2021 and European Sign Expo 2021 is now open at www.fespaglobalprintexpo.com.

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