Fespa 2018 recorded a 22% increase in attendance on the last four-day event, which took place in 2016, with visitors from a record 142 countries attending this year's event in Berlin.
Taking place from 15-18 May at Messe Berlin, this year’s Fespa Global Print Expo was the first to move to a merged annual cycle, with the Fespa Digital spinoff rolled into its parent show to cover all disciplines. A total of 20,442 individual visitors were recorded across the four days - mirroring the numbers that attended last year's five-day event in Hamburg.
It boasted features including the co-located European Sign Expo, the Printeriors textile printing showcase, the Print Make Wear fast-fashion feature and the debut of the Digital Corrugated Experience for packaging and POS. Including repeat visits to the show, the number of sign-ins totalled 33,799.
Fespa exhibitions director Roz Guarnori said: “As this was our first year running an annual cycle, we didn’t really set attendance targets and instead resolved to wait and see. But the response has been phenomenal, and our exhibitors really got behind the new framework.
“It was always factored into our plan that with the merged show, screen printers could come to us as and when they needed us allowing them flexibility. But we never anticipated getting the whole community behind us as we have and there will likely be a heavier screen influence at next year’s show.
“Our floorplan for 2019 is already filling up and we are now getting back positive feedback from exhibitors and visitors alike. We hope they see Fespa as a launchpad event that we will keep fresh with new exhibitors, new content and new launches.”
The highest attendance numbers came from Germany, with 26% of attendees from the host country. The UK, Poland, Italy, Spain and France also factored into the top 10. Digital printing was registered as the key focus for 44% of visitors, while one in three indicated an interest in the textile and fabric offerings.
Fespa 2018 was also the host of the World Wrap Masters Series Final on its last two days, with Ivan Tenchev of Bulgaria taking the top prize, while second and third went to Casper Madsen and Jan Edelgaard respectively, both from Denmark.
World Wrap Masters judge Jeremy Conner said: “As an installer with 26 years’ experience, it was my honour to see these wrappers perform under the pressure of the tight time limits we gave for each task and in full view of an audience.
“The spirit of the Fespa World Wrap Masters is the camaraderie among us all and the opportunity to learn new tricks, improve our performance and advance the industry as a whole.”
Fespa 2019 will take place at Messe Munich, Germany from 14-17 May. Fespa 2020 will follow on 24-27 March in Madrid, Spain.