Return to ‘reality and normality’ at Fespa ‘22

Richard Stuart-Turner
Monday, June 6, 2022

Fespa Global Print Expo 2022 marked a welcome return to normal for exhibitors and visitors last week, as confidence continues to return to the sector.

The show occupied eight halls at Messe Berlin
The show occupied eight halls at Messe Berlin

New features including the Sustainability Spotlight and the Associations Pavilion, and returning attractions like Printeriors, proved popular but the main action and buzz was seen around the 22,000sqm space of the eight halls, as the show delivered on its ‘experience print in motion’ theme with visitors packing the stands of Messe Berlin, Germany to see the tech on offer and the application possibilities.

Speaking on Thursday (2 June), Fespa head of global print expo Michael Ryan said: “We are so pleased to be back here in Berlin this week and to welcome international exhibitors and visitors to celebrate our colourful industry.

“The energy within the show halls is evidence that business is back, confidence is returning and printers and signmakers want to come together to connect and stimulate growth.

“Feedback from exhibitors has been positive and they’ve been telling us that printers who are here have adapted, have put a framework in place for their recovery and are, therefore, ready to invest in technologies and solutions with a renewed focus on automation, sustainability and diversification.”

While sustainability and automation were understandably major focuses on many stands, other recurrent themes included personalisation, industrial printing, and quality over speed.

Exhibitors were also happy with the show, and its location.

Mimaki Europe product manager Mark Sollman said: “From a lead-making perspective it’s been very good. And we like Berlin because we see a lot of visitors from Eastern Europe.”

HP Large Format global strategy director Oscar Vidal added: “We’ve loved every minute of being back at Fespa. I think everyone has appreciated the joy of face-to-face interactions – be it catching-up with partners or simply seeing old friends.

“It’s also been great to give our customers hands-on time with all our latest technology, especially our highly sustainable HP Latex range of printers. In fact, we’ve closed a number of deals on the show floor across the past few days, including purchases of our Latex R2000 and 800W machines. We can’t wait for Fespa 2023!”

Agfa global press and PR manager Mike Horsten said that compared to the 2021 event in Amsterdam, this show was “the normal Fespa”.

“This brings customers willing to look for new kit and applications and looking for the next step. We as Agfa are very excited about coming back to reality and normality.”

Fespa Global Print Expo 2023 and European Sign Expo 2023 will be held from 23-26 May at Messe Munich, Germany, with a planned increase in space to around 32,000sqm across six halls.

The show’s strapline will be ‘New Perspectives’, which Fespa said encapsulates a focus on new opportunities and the changing face of the industry, celebrates advances in technology, and highlights growth markets and new applications.

The 2024 show will then be held from 19-22 March at the RAI exhibition centre in Amsterdam, and will incorporate the Sportswear Pro exhibition for the first time. The feature, which will focus on the design, production, and decoration of sportswear, was set to have launched at the 2020 show in Madrid, which was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Finally, Fespa has also announced Wrap Fest, a new event dedicated exclusively to vehicle wrapping, vinyl installation, and detailing. This will run for the first time from 26-27 April 2023 at the Silverstone racing circuit in Northamptonshire, the home of the British Grand Prix.

Wrap Fest will welcome professionals in vehicle wrapping, livery and fleet graphics, car detailing, protection and tinting services, racing teams, and automotive professionals, as well as printers and signmakers who are looking to grow revenue from vehicle wraps, and those active in architectural interiors and signage.

The launch event will feature an exhibition, educational conference, hands-on training sessions, and workshops, plus a new regional UK and Ireland World Wrap Masters competition.

A more comprehensive analysis of this year’s Fespa, including key product launches and developments, trends, and other show highlights, will feature in the June & July issue of Printweek.

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