As Fespa 2017 rapidly approaches, Images talks to Roz McGuinness about why Fespa Digital is no more and which seminars are essential for garment decorators looking to get ahead

In just a few days, Fespa 2017 will open its doors in Hamburg, Germany with more than 700 exhibitors eager to show the very latest in screen, digital and textile printing technologies. Usually a bi-annual event that alternates every other year with Fespa Digital, Fespa will be an annual event from now on, absorbing Fespa Digital in the process. Roz McGuinness, divisional director at Fespa, explains: “Holding an annual screen and digital exhibition means that Fespa will have the same proposition each year, offering clarity and consistency to the global print community. Serving the market, rather than technology, it will also ensure that Fespa’s global screen and digital print community members have the opportunity to exhibit every year.”

Roz reports that feedback from visitors and exhibitors has shown that as digital becomes a more mature technology, they would like Fespa to run an annual event that incorporates both digital and analogue products and applications. The increase in hybrid technology launches has also prompted the association to provide exhibitors with a regular event where they can showcase the technology.

“The benefit to readers of Images is that, no matter what their business interest, whether screen or digital printing for textile, attending a Fespa global print expo will provide them with the tools and resources across all technologies to help them take their business further,” says Roz.

The strapline for Fespa 2017 is ‘Dare to Print Different’, as Roz explains: “Whether print service providers (PSPs) are using screen or digital processes or a combination of the technologies, the real driving force behind our industry today is the development of new creative applications, with technology innovation supporting that diversification.

“When we urge our community to ‘Dare to Print Different’, we’re reminding PSPs to stand back and open their minds to the opportunity to improve and evolve that is almost certainly still there for them. We want them to think about the avenues they haven’t yet explored, to think of fresh ways to be different, to do things in ways their competitors can’t and, in the process, to move their customer relationships to a new level.”

On the Mimaki stand at Fespa

The last Fespa Print Census, announced in 2015, highlighted textile as being a dominant growth application in the market. Roz reports that this area continues to grow: 23% of the new Fespa exhibitors are involved in textile, and one hall will be dedicated to textile printing technology, including both digital and screen processes.

Going to any show, particularly an international one, is a big investment, acknowledges Roz. “As Fespa 2017 will cover all technology processes and will have 700 exhibitors covering screen, digital and textile print and signage, including equipment, consumables and substrates, there is a vast amount on show and something for all specialty printers.

“Accompanied by our seminar programme, which covers all processes and applications, visitors can learn how they can use the technology and applications they have seen around the show floor to help them ‘dare to print different’. This invaluable knowledge will provide added benefit to visitors’ time at the show.”

Two show events she recommends in particular for Images readers is the seminar ‘Direct to Garment Printing – Should We or Shouldn’t We?’, hosted by Scott Donovan, principal at BleuPrintCreative (2pm, Monday 8 May, repeated throughout show), and a panel discussion titled ‘Textile printing: Fashion Victim or Captain Future – Where do we go now in textile printing?’ hosted by Sonja Angerer, editor at RRRabbitproductions.

The show runs from 8-12 May in Hamburg Messe, Germany. Fespa has partnered with Lufthansa airlines to offer visitors discounted travel to Hamburg. To make a reservation, visitors should go to: and enter the access code GBZJIKQ in the ‘Access to Your Special Lufthansa Offer’ area. This will open an online booking platform that will automatically calculate the discount offered.

For free entry to the show, use code: FESM705.