Ipex owner Informa is to consult with exhibitors and visitors on the future of the show, which it is considering turning into a biennial event.
Ipex has traditionally been held every four years, with a schedule timed to allow a two-year gap between Ipex and Drupa.
However, this was thrown into disarray when Drupa announced it would switch to a three-year cycle, but then backtracked on that move following unfavourable exhibitor feedback and reverted to a four-year rotation.
Exit graphics saying “see you again in 2019”, without a specific date, are on display at Ipex.
Event director Rob Fisher told PrintWeek: “We are going to be consulting with exhibitors and the industry about the frequency for our next event, and the appropriate timing going forward.
“The industry has changed and we want to reflect that change, and there seems to be an appetite to run it on a biennial basis.”
He said that Informa would also consult on preferences regarding the time of year the show would take place. In 2006 Ipex took place in April, in 2010 it was in May, and in 2014 it took place in March.
Fisher added that Ipex “wanted to avoid running in a Drupa year”.
Ipex 2017 concludes tomorrow, having returned to the NEC following its ill-fated move to the London ExCel exhibition space in 2014. Last time the show was held at the NEC in 2010, it occupied eleven halls around the atrium. This year the much-diminished event occupies part of hall 5.
Informa will not issue visitor figures until after the show, but Fisher was upbeat about the first two days of Ipex 2017.
“We have very happy exhibitors, it was a very busy day yesterday and things are very positive indeed,” Fisher said.
Ipex continues to attract a significant number of international attendees, with overseas visitors making up around 30% of attendees in the past. Exhibitor Morgana reported a delegation of 29 Russian visitors on the opening day.
Informa acquired Ipex from Picon in 2006 in a £12.6m deal that included £5.3m of cash on the Ipex balance sheet.