Virtual events aim to plug 'real' gap


Two virtual print industry events, both led by seasoned print expo pros, are aiming to partially plug the gap left by the rescheduling of Drupa, Fespa and a number of industry conferences.

IndustryExpo.online has received over 40,000 visitors this year
IndustryExpo.online has received over 40,000 visitors this year

Printing Expo is the brainchild of Wayne Beckett and Chris Watson, joint managing directors of Resolve Business Management (RBM) and joint show directors of the new virtual event.

According to RBM, the virtual exhibition will work in the same way as a live exhibition does, but it’s 10,000 sqm ‘venue’ will be open 24/7 and visitors will not need to worry about travel or accommodation.

Printing Expo will be located in Hall #2 of the V-Ex Virtual Exhibition platform.

The event is set to open its virtual doors in June, at which time registered visitors will be able visit exhibitor stands, view 3D products and HD videos and download literature as well as take part in virtual conference sessions. It will be co-located with IndustryExpo.online which has received over 40,000 visitors since it launched in January.

Beckett, who was sales director of Ipex from 2010 to 2014, said it was the right time to launch a virtual show because industry access to traditional shows is currently restricted due to Covid-19 restrictions but also because of the “sustainability advantages and better accessibility for visitors”.

“We know that a lot of companies are geared up for new product launches later this year and with no current trade shows, this will have a massive impact on their businesses. Printing Expo will give suppliers a regular stream of enquiries throughout the year,” he added.

Separately, FM Future, which is headed by former Fespa and FM Brooks directors Frazer Chesterman and Marcus Timson, has unveiled details of a virtual three-day print conference.

FuturePrint Virtual Summit will take place from 2-4 June and will feature pre-recorded and live sessions on commercial, wide-format, and industrial print and packaging using webinar discussions, interviews and fireside chats, presentations and virtual coffee and networking sessions.

Chesterman said: “We can see that a number of our event colleagues in different sectors have already made use of amazing virtual technology to help hold their communities together.

“Being part of the print industry for nearly 20 years, and having such large networks, we are uniquely placed to use this virtual technology to help the print community remain connected and to ensure we share good ideas and great technology.”

According to the organisers, the free virtual event is already being supported by Global Inkjet Systems, Inca Digital, Integration Technology, Kao Collins, Kavalan, Memjet, Meteor Inkjet, Ricoh Europe, Sihl, and Sun Chemical.

Other supporting organisations include strategic marketing partner PR agency Bespoke and digital marketing partner 3B Digital.

Story updated: subsequent to the publishing of the original story this article was updated to reflect RBM's rebranding of its virtual event to Printing Expo (it was initially branded Global PrintExpo). In a statement, RBM said: "Printing-expo.online would like to make it clear that it has no association, business, professional or otherwise with Fespa or to the Fespa Global Print Expo exhibition."

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