Fespa has outlined its plans and a raft of new show features for the 2018 edition of its flagship global print expo.
Taking place from 15-18 May with the campaign strapline ‘Where Print Takes Off’, the wide-format, screen printing and textile printing event will occupy 10 halls and 61,160sqm of exhibition space at Messe Berlin, which last hosted the event in 2007.
The show will be co-located once again with the European Sign Expo, Fespa’s dedicated event for non-printed signage.
This year’s event will have an entire hall dedicated to substrates and will also feature the largest textile zone of any Fespa event to date, to reflect the market’s growing interest in soft signage, fashion and decorative textiles.
New this year is 'Print Make Wear', an interactive visitor feature designed to replicate a fast fashion factory.
Focused exclusively on fashion textiles, garments and printed accessories, this feature takes the form of a live production environment and will highlight every step in the screen and digital printing production process, from initial design to finished product.
Also new for 2018 is the Digital Corrugated Experience, which Fespa said is an educational and experiential area that will showcase the commercial and production advantages of digital print for corrugated packaging and retail display applications.
This feature aims to highlight to packaging converters and box-makers the benefits of integrating digital technology into their production mix.
Returning features will include the World Wrap Masters, the Fespa Awards, and Printeriors, which this year will take the form of an interactive visitor experience located in the atrium of Messe Berlin and themed as ‘The Airport Lounge of the Future 2030’.
Fespa said visitors will see printed interior decor applications including furniture, wallcoverings, flooring, window graphics and soft furnishings provided by show exhibitors.
A summary of the findings of the second Fespa Print Census, launched last year, will also be shown at the event. 1,400 people completed the survey.
More than 20,000 visitors are expected to attend Fespa 2018. 507 exhibitors have signed up so far and Fespa divisional director Roz Guarnori said the show is “virtually sold out” and that organisers are very confident of a full house in May.
She added nearly 70 of the confirmed exhibitors are from the screen printing community, which is now able to exhibit at every Fespa event following a change to the show’s format announced last year.
“We’re committed to ensuring that every Fespa exhibition delivers fresh experiences for visitors and helps them to make valuable connections,” said Guarnori, speaking at the Fespa Fest show preview event held in Berlin earlier this week.
“With that in mind we’re absolutely delighted that, to date, 16% of our contracted exhibitors are exhibiting at Fespa for the first time in 2018 – some 80 new companies.”
She added: “This is a four-day exhibition because feedback from our exhibitors and visitors, and visitor attendance patterns from previous events, indicate that four days is the right length for the show and that the optimal days for the event are Tuesday to Friday.”
Fespa chief executive Neil Felton added: “At Fespa you have the breadth of companies that you don’t get anywhere else. If you’re a printer, your time is very tight and you need to make sure you are using it effectively.
“You can see hundreds of exhibitors at Fespa so it’s time-efficient and incredibly innovative – some of the major launches for all of the big pieces of equipment have been at Fespa.
“I think the fact that we’re a community-based organisation also means there’s a different feel to Fespa than other events.”
Many of the show’s sponsors, including HP, EFI, Mimaki, Aleph, OKI and Brother, took part in the Fespa Fest event and said they will reveal more information about the products they will be exhibiting in the weeks leading up to the show.
Fespa also announced that next year’s event will take place in Munich, from 14-17 May 2019 at Messe München. The host city and venue of the 2020 event will be revealed later this year.
For more information, and to pre-register to attend Fespa 2018, visit www.fespaglobalprintexpo.com.