IPIA rounds off busy year with successful Expo

Richard Stuart-Turner
Friday, December 2, 2022

The IPIA’s Recognising Excellence Expo proved a successful conclusion to a bumper year for the association, which has seen its profile rise even higher.

The expo brought together print buyers, printers and suppliers
The expo brought together print buyers, printers and suppliers

Featuring the Expo and Business Networking Hub and a networking lunch, the event took place at the Crowne Plaza, Stratford-Upon-Avon yesterday (1 December) and was followed by the organisation’s AGM, which saw a new president, chairman, and vice chairman take over at the top.

Speaking to Printweek at the event, Brendan Perring, general manager of the IPIA, said: “I would say it has been a really good year for us. You always need to take silver linings, and that really difficult Covid period for everyone allowed us that space to work on the IPIA.

“We were really able to spend a lot of time that we wouldn’t ordinarily have with our members, rebuilding much closer relationships, and also time with some others that maybe hadn’t been engaged for quite a while.

“I feel like off the back of all that and giving us time to do more planning and really get our events and communications right, that’s now paying dividends because all of those members that are now much more engaged are at this event.

“We are getting our membership now through word of mouth, through personal referral. It’s a not-for-profit and we don’t want to just keep building the membership for the sake of it.”

He said another strength had been the development of the IPIA Council, as the council members come from the industry “so it’s the actual industry itself that shape our events and what we’re doing, which is why we’re able to remain relevant”.

He added the IPIA is in regular contact with the government through BEIS, meaning it can help to vocalise its position to the ministers that create the policies that affect the industry’s businesses, including this year pressing for more information on the utilities cap and urging the government to stop regulation changes that had threatened to effectively ban certain ingredients crucial to the manufacture of inks and press chemistry.

“The print industry is a grand old dame and I would say that we fell foul of the fact that we were like the utilities sector – like turning the lights or water on, print just came through the door. And we were so ubiquitous and dominant that nobody ever thought we needed to defend it,” Perring added.

“That has changed massively over 10 years, and I think that us and other associations, working together with the BPIF, Picon, the GPMA and all the members that sit on that, we now have a much better line into government. And we don’t tread on each other’s toes anymore, we talk to each other continuously to try and make sure we’re not doing the same things.”

For 2023, Perring said the association would build on what it has done in 2022, including the return of the entire event portfolio it has run this year. It also plans to bring to the fore several projects that have been developed this year, including sustainability initiatives, and national research projects for print.

On the Expo, Perring added: “Trade associations, industry bodies and trade publications bear responsibility for stimulating economic activity for our sector, and we need to do these kinds of events to stimulate that kind of activity.

“We bring together print buyers, printers and suppliers, and work, new print volumes and new sales have been generated off the back of the event, and our others that have happened.”

Exhibitors and visitors were positive about the event’s format and praised the work of the IPIA.

Peter Horwood, commercial manager at Imprint MIS, told Printweek: “Imprint has attended this event for a number of years, we’re an IPIA sponsor and proud to do so, we find they are a very informative and proactive group.

“For us it’s the last exhibition of the year, so yes we’re talking to printers today, but it’s also a good time to look at and reflect on the year we’ve had.”

David McGuiness, UK marketing manager at PrintIQ, also commented: “These events are a chance to meet customers fairly and formally, they are mini, affordable exhibitions where people feel comfortable talking to us.

“Customers can dip in for as long as they need to without having to give up a whole day out of work, so it works for everyone. We always come away with a handful of good leads or conversations to follow up on. I think overall these things really do reward you with the investment you put into them.

“I think the IPIA have established themselves as a provider for suppliers and customers, they’re the conduit in between.”

Scott Jones, head of operations at Visual Print and Design, and the company’s head of marketing and business development Rachael Hunt said the event was a useful opportunity to hear about the evolution of the industry.

“Print technology is changing, especially from a digital point of view. We’ve been talking to a couple of suppliers whose machines do B3 printing, and you can see all of the special finishes that we didn’t think we could actually do in-house,” said Hunt.

“This is the first year we’ve been an IPIA member and their support has been extremely helpful. We’ve been able to meet new suppliers and they’ve helped us to connect with a lot of new web and B1 printers.”

Many of the Expo’s attendees reconvened in the evening for the IPIA’s Gala Dinner, where winners of the Recognising Excellence Awards were announced. This was followed by a night of live entertainment.

The list of winners and those highly commended on the night was as follows:

Award Name Level Receiver Sponsor
IPIA Champion Award Highly Commended Charles Rogers Transeo Media
IPIA Champion Award Highly Commended Lucy Swanston Fujifilm
IPIA Champion Award Winner Matthew Ruff Fujifilm
Manufacturer of the Year Highly Commended Eight Days a Week Print Solutions Xerox and Xmpie
Manufacturer of the Year Highly Commended DecTek EFI
Manufacturer of the Year Highly Commended Tradeprint Vivid
Manufacturer of the Year Winner Route 1 Print Duplo
Print Management of the Year Highly Commended Cyan Group Route 1 Print
Print Management of the Year Winner PMG Antalis
Associate of the Year Highly Commended Vivid Canon
Associate of the Year Highly Commended PrintIQ Nettl
Associate of the Year Winner Nutshell Trade Services Imprint MIS
Sustainability Advocate Award Highly Commended Antalis BCR Associates
Sustainability Advocate Award Winner Two Sides HP
Young Leader Award Highly Commended Alex Doran Tharstern
Young Leader Award Winner Zunaid Rahman Premier
Innovation Masterclass Award Highly Commended DecTek PrintIQ
Innovation Masterclass Award Highly Commended HP Morgana
Innovation Masterclass Award Highly Commended Tharstern Zaikio
Innovation Masterclass Award Winner Vivid Ricoh
Community Champion Award Highly Commended CDP Antalis
Community Champion Award Winner The Printing Charity Konica Minolta

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