'Homecoming' optimism for Ipex 2017 with speaker announcements

By Rhys Handley, Monday 25 September 2017

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Next month's Ipex is "tracking positively" compared with the 2014 exhibition, as organiser Informa sets out its roster of speakers and attractions.

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IPEX will return to Birmingham this year after a spell in London for 2014

Following a one-off appearance at Excel in London, Ipex will return to the Birmingham NEC this year, from 31 October to 3 November.

According to event director Rob Fisher, the focus of the event is on technology and innovation in action. "As our main focus is on print in action, we are encouraging exhibitors to bring along as much tech as they can in order to carry out demonstrations on the floor," he said.

"The thing about print is that you can only really understand it when you see it with your own eyes. It's often the things you aren't expecting that capture people's imagination, which is what we hope our visitors will take from this event."

Among the exhibitors showcasing technology for the event will be Apex Digital Graphics, which will debut the RMGT Ryobi 928P press, which is equipped with LED-UV curing. It will also premiere three new CTP systems from Cron, including B1 UV device that will producing plates for the 928P.

Friedheim International will use the event for the UK launches of the MBO K80 high-speed combination folder and the Bograma Servo 550 Basic short-run die-cutter.

The Duplo stand will host the international launch of its DuSense DDC-810 sensory coater that uses inkjet technology to print clear UV spot varnish and create a variety if effects.

HP user group Dscoop will be hosting an "event within an event" which will include networking, education and tutorial sessions hosted by industry experts and solution providers.

Watkiss Automation and Xerox reseller Zerographic are set to collaborate on a technology demonstration which will showcase a full production journey from job input to finished booklet output. The display will include a new Watkiss PowerSquare PSQ160X bookletmaker and a Xerox Versant 3100 Press.

The line-up of conference speakers will include independent senior graphic industry consultant and former HP worldwide marketing leader for digital graphics solutions Francois Martin. In his keynote address, Martin will talk about how digital advances have affected print, providing "a roadmap for print into the future".

As well as the conference, other features include Future Skills Zone and Print in Performance, a collaboration with the London College of Fashion.

Fisher described Ipex's return to Birmingham as a "homecoming" that should entice visitors back and said Informa was aiming to have 20,000 visitors across the four days. Registrations have already been received from organisations in Africa, Asia and Europe, though Fisher said "around 70%" of visitors were likely to be from the UK. He said 140 exhibitors had signed up so far.

Previously taking place every four years, Ipex switched to a triennial schedule after the 2014 show to avoid potential clashes with rival exhibition Drupa, which briefly planned to switch to a three-year cycle before reverting back to a four-year cycle. Fisher said there would be an "ongoing conversation with everyone to decide when pattern is best for Ipex going forward".

At the London show in 2014, around 23,000 visitors tarvelled to the Excel, which hosted circa 400 exhibitors. The last time the show was at the NEC, in 2010, more than 50,000 visitors attended, with around 1,000 firm's exhibiting.

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