In the past few weeks two significant eras have come to an end, and while the writing had been on the wall in both instances – the reasons were very different.
In its heyday Ipex was the second biggest commercial print show in the world, boasting well over a thousand exhibitors and more than 100,000 visitors. It was a truly global event, albeit always in the shadow of Drupa.
But while the times and the industry changed, the show didn’t and it still had ambitions to be a global event at a time when the manufacturers, its revenue generating lifeblood, were starting to wonder if two global shows were needed.
Many will blame its demise on Informa’s decision to return the show to London, but the end was nigh well before that and London was simply the last throw of the dice to maintain its standing as an international event. It didn’t work.
Simply put, the industry no longer needed a second international event in Europe, and £1.7bn-turnover Informa didn’t need a small UK-focused event in sector that offered it no global opportunities. Fair enough really.
St Ives on the other hand, its presence in print being the other era that has come to an end, made no bones about the fact that it has fully intended to get out of print for some time, despite still making okay money out of it.
And while I have many fond memories of Ipexes past, St Ives exiting print is probably the sadder story of the two.
Because the market no longer wanted what Infoma needed, so Ipex had no future, but the market still needs print, it was only St Ives that didn’t see a future in it.