Nigel Steffens has announced his retirement from Fespa following 23 years of service to the organisation.

Having joined Fespa in January 1993 as assistant general secretary, he was promoted to general secretary in 2000 and become CEO in 2003. He handed over his duties as CEO to Neil Felton, and those of General Secretary to Sean Holt in 2013. Since then Nigel has occupied a consultative role within the organisation.

During his tenure, Fespa has expanded from a secretariat of three to an in-house team of 36 and enjoyed the significant growth and development of its flagship European events. Nigel was instrumental  in the introduction of the so-called ‘mini-Fespas’ in the mid-1990s, which subsequently evolved into Fespa’s regional knowledge-sharing events, seminars and congresses.

In September, Nigel addressed Fespa’s member associations at the organisation’s General Assembly in Copenhagen, commenting that, “The incredible progress and expansion of Fespa’s global event portfolio over the last 23 years gives me a huge sense of pride. It has been a privilege to help an already-powerful brand go from strength to strength. The greatest reward is to have been part of a team that has steered Fespa to a level of commercial success that enables us to actively reinvest funds for the long-term development of the print community, to be giving back and creating positive conditions for our members’ growth.”

Fespa board member Lascelle Barrow praised Nigel’s contribution, saying: “From the moment Nigel joined Fespa in 1993 he quickly established himself as a trusted advisor to a succession of Fespa presidents and the Fespa board. His advice and guidance has been invaluable as Fespa has grown from a regional trade body to a global exhibition brand. We will miss his quiet diplomacy and wish him every happiness in retirement.”

Fespa president Yaşar Güvenen, added: “It’s been a pleasure to work with Nigel over the years and we’re extremely grateful for his hard work and dedication. He has committed himself to building a sense of a close knit Fespa family, enabled by his unique ability to bridge different cultures. As a valued adviser and honest friend, I wish him the very best for the future.”