The organisers of this year’s Fespa Global Print Expo have reported an “upbeat mood” in the industry with an “overriding sense of optimism for the future”.
The exhibition at RAI Amsterdam from 12 to 15 October attracted 7,850 visitors – fewer than the last Global Print Expo in Munich in 2019 but a strong turnout as the world continues to battle a global pandemic.
Visitors came from more than 100 countries, including the UK, with a strong emphasis on the Benelux region and Germany which accounted for 49% of the audience.
Run alongside European Sign Expo 2021, it was the first live Fespa event in Europe since spring 2019 and attracted an audience dominated by business leaders in the print industry.
Fespa’s CEO, Neil Felton, said: “Feedback from exhibitors was effusive, with many commenting on the upbeat mood among visitors, the unmatched value of face-to-face conversations with senior decision-makers, the enthusiasm for the new technologies and consumables on display, and the overriding sense of optimism for the future.
“The buzz in the halls was energising and the impression was that delegates felt very confident and happy to be in a live event environment again after such a long time.”
Exhibitors included Mimaki Europe – one of the event’s Gold Sponsors – which showcased its portfolio of digital print technologies including the new TS100-1600 printer for garments.
Danna Drion, EMEA general marketing manager at Mimaki Europe, said: “We were thrilled to be back at Fespa Global Print Expo after such a long and difficult period. To finally be able to meet everyone in person was both exciting and reinvigorating.
“During the four days, the general atmosphere was overwhelmingly positive. We could see how the industry is not only alive but back to running at full speed, with all the players looking into new, innovative applications, as well as into the cutting-edge technologies.
“Not only did we exceed our targets, but we also welcomed high-profile, decision-making visitors, who came to plan their next investments and showed huge interest in our latest products.”
Other exhibitors included Aeeon, Brother, Kornit Digital, M&R, MS Printing Solutions, Polyprint, Roland, Roq, Summa and Zünd.
Close to half of all visitors (44%) were owners or managing directors, reinforcing the significance of the event as a springboard for business recovery and forward planning. Two in three visitors influenced or made final purchasing decisions in their business.
The organisers also reported that 54% of visitors stated they were visiting the show for the first time.
Features at the exhibition included Printeriors which was inspired by nature and curated by Fespa’s textile ambassador, Debbie McKeegan. It highlighted digitally printed applications targeted at printers operating in or looking to expand into interior décor.
In collaboration with industry suppliers including Kornit Digital, Imageco, PONGS, swissQprint and TTS, the products displayed were produced using a series of high-end technologies, print processes and materials.
For people unable to attend the event in person, Fespa and its exhibitors provided an array of live-streamed and virtual content. The Fespa Live sessions involved conversations with key exhibitors, printers and print experts on the latest trends and innovations, and these attracted 5,125 views throughout the four-day event.
The recordings of the sessions are still available to watch on demand at fespaglobalprintexpo.com/fespa-live.
Neil added: “The past two years have undoubtedly been challenging for everyone in our community. To move forward, printers and signmakers need to unearth new opportunities, explore the latest technologies and meet with peers to share ideas.
“This year’s events were an important milestone in our collective recovery and we hope that our next Global Print Expo and European Sign Expo, which will return to Messe Berlin, Germany, from 31 May to 3 June 2022, will finally put our whole global community back in motion.”