A belated happy new year to you all - although I suspect the popping of Champagne corks at Ipex HQ was muted by the news of further major no-shows at next year's event.
Xerox and Landa’s decisions are no doubt a blow for the event, but with it still 15 months away, it’s a bit too soon to dust off Ipex’s obituary.
Clearly, vendors pay the bills. The prospect of fewer big names and – by default – big stands will be a bitter pill for Informa. But it doesn’t automatically follow that it will be a poorer experience for you, the visitor.
For a start, I’d be extremely surprised if there is no HP, Xerox and possibly even Landa kit on display next March on partners’ stands. Equally – how many visitors genuinely make multimillion-pound investments at trade shows? Yes, seeds are planted or decisions finalised, but I can’t imagine many big-ticket deals are done on the day with little or no preamble.
The real value of attending a show like Ipex is when it comes to complementing those planned or established investments. You can look at clever kit that you might not have even heard of before. Or perhaps the kit in question just doesn’t have a price tag to justify an all-expenses trip to Germany, Israel, the US – or wherever – to see it in action and a show is the only alternative.
Then, of course, there are the efforts that Informa will no doubt extend to boost the visitor experience. They’ll want to ensure strong attendance and help convince those vendors that passed on 2014 to sign up for 2018.
In short, I don’t think visitors should write off Ipex just yet. Yes, 2014 will be a different experience, but that doesn’t automatically make it a worse one.