Tags:One of the world’s largest graphic arts and publishing shows, Ipex 2006, is set to open its doors on April 4 in Birmingham Contrary to some negative opinions about the print industry, Ipex president and director of Agfa Graphic Systems, Laurence Roberts, says Ipex is shaping up to be a great show.
“If you take into account the number of stands booked for Ipex, I think there is a much more positive feeling in the print industry than there was, say, two years ago,” says Roberts. “There is no boom but there is definitely no need for despondency either. The industry has always had its highs and lows, but in general it is vibrant. Printers need to find technologies that can differentiate themselves from their competitors and enable them to enter new markets and there will be many ideas at Ipex which will enable them to do this.”
Exhibition director Trevor Crawford says the show is going to focus on innovation, with visitors able to see the latest technology in action in all sectors of the industry from prepress right through to finishing.
“They will also be able to learn through seminars and presentations how to drive their business forward, running it more efficiently and profitably,” says Crawford.
Roberts agrees. “We are committed to making Ipex as innovative as the industry it serves. “We also recognise the importance of focussing more on helping visitors build and evolve their business overall rather than simply buying the newest technology available. New technology is fantastic but it’s how a company can apply the technology to grow their business that is key.”
With 11 halls covering 135,000 square metres and held over eight days, layout will follow the production workflow with similar equipment together, thus enabling visitors to spend more time in the areas which are of most interest to them.
“Instead of having a hall dedicated to digital printing and another to litho, there will be litho presses sitting across the aisle from digital presses,” explains Crawford. “This means that visitors can not only check out the latest technology of the different output devices but actually draw comparisons.”
Crawford says they have been working hard to ensure that the exhibitor base is a true reflection of the industry today to enable visitors from all types of businesses to get the most out of their time at the show. “We want to make it worthwhile for companies to send their middle managers and operators as well as their senior directors so there will be an element of learning about given subjects and issues as well as showcasing new technologies,” he says.
The speaker programme will focus on different countries and sectors on each of the eight days of the show including sector overviews led by key industry bodies such as FIPP, World Packaging Organisation and The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA). The afternoon sessions will feature keynote speeches from print business leaders, round tables, case studies and networking events providing live and interactive debates and interviews from pioneering companies.
There will also be a number of Vendor Theatres scattered around the show where exhibitors will give presentations on their offerings, as well as providing practical and technology led training sessions. These will be designed to ensure that operators are better equipped to gain optimum performance out of new and existing equipment.
With overseas visitors accounting for 36 per cent of attendees to Ipex, specific international visitor days will focus on particular countries. The international day for Australasia/ Japan will be April 7.
Organisers have also arranged several other initiatives aimed at making the show relevant to
“What a printer wants out of a show like Ipex is very different to what, say, a newspaper publisher wants and neither of them have necessarily the same set of motivations or interests,” says Crawford.
As a result, dedicated sectors such as publishing, packaging, commercial printing, agencies and dealers will all have days specifically catering to them.
“Our aim is to reach the point where the industry will look at Ipex and think, how can I afford not to visit the show?” he explains.
Other features of Ipex 2006 include the Print-IT initiative which encourages younger people to consider a career in print; and the free Ipex Training Centre, which will give shop floor teams the chance to learn more about some of the hottest topics in the industry at the moment.
Ipex is offering free entry into the show for all pre-registered visitors. Visitors can pre-register online at www.ipex.org
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