To no great surprise Heidelberg, the world’s biggest press manufacturer, has announced it will not be exhibiting at the next Ipex, which is due to take place in 2014 in London.
The decision is in line with Heidelberg’s new approach to marketing through trade shows. At drupa four months ago it made it clear to anyone that was listening that it will only have one hall at the next drupa, in place of the two it traditionally takes. It then announced that for the first time it will not be exhibiting at PacPrint in Melbourne next year.
Until now Heidelberg has been the biggest single exhibitor at Ipex - the world’s biggest English language print trade show - however the company has undergone seismic changes since the onset of the GFC four years ago, and as a result is reassessing all areas of its business, including exhibitions, with the board questioning the actual returns against the huge costs involved.
The decision highlights the problems for heavy metal manufacturers with trade shows; the costs of press transport, set-up, take-down, and being at the show, are massive, requiring staff to be on site for virtually two months. Rival manroland didn’t show a press at the last Ipex, it had an information booth, which it claimed was a success, but Heidelberg has eschewed this approach, it clearly feels its stand has to reflect its position as the number one press manufacturer, or better not to have one at all.
Alastair Hadley, sales director at Heidelberg ANZ says, "The decision is in line with Heidelberg's current business environment, and the need to reduce costs."
At PacPrint in Melbourne next year the only offset press confirmed will be a Ryobi; with Heidelberg, manroland, KBA and Komori all absent.
Heidelberg’s decision not to exhibit is a blow to Ipex, which already lost the number two exhibitor HP, who withdrew two months ago due to its own financial pressures. However it is not all gloom for the show’s organisers, of the top 33 key footprints throughout Ipex, 29 have increased their floorspace for Ipex 2014 over 2010.
More specifically 16 major digital exhibitors have increased their stand space by a total of 55 per cent collectively compared to Ipex 2010, indicating, says Ipex, their faith in the Ipex brand, the relocation to London, and substantial ROI that the show delivers. Ipex 2014 says it has already received more significant bookings from the top 100 vendors than before so early in the booking cycle.
Trevor Crawford, event director at Ipex says,“We are very disappointed in Heidelberg’s decision to withdraw from Ipex 2014 – one of the industry’s major global events. Heidelberg has long been synonymous with printing and has a long association with Ipex. As organisers of a range of exhibitions around the world, we will continue to have an ongoing dialogue with them.”
David Preskett, president of Ipex 2014 and European professional print director, Canon Europe, states: “Heidelberg’s decision is obviously a disappointment. However, Ipex has a rich heritage and tradition for innovation, and plans are well underway with the IAC and other industry associations to ensure that Ipex 2014 captures the rapid changes taking place in our industry, as print continues to evolve as a key element in the new order marketing mix.”
Many leading industry brands have already confirmed their attendance at Ipex 2014. These include: Canon, CMC, Duplo, EFI, Epson, Fujifilm, Hans Gronhi, Horizon, Hunkeler, Impika, Kern, Kodak, Komori, Konica Minolta, Muller Martini, Pitney Bowes, Presstek, Screen, W&D, Xeikon and Xerox.
Ipex 2010 attracted visitors from 135 countries, with the split at 52 per cent UK and 48 per cent international visitors. It expects an increase to a 55 per cent international, 45 per cent national split in 2014.
Earlier this week, Ipex announced its plans to host a significant series of roadshows in the event’s key international visitor territories, including Australia, both Sydney & Melbourne. Nick Craig Waller, marketing director, comments: “During 2013, we will be engaging with key print groups, associations, media and exhibitors to provide them with the latest industry analysis, trends and statistics, discussions around growth opportunities, presentations of relevant case studies and the significant role of Ipex 2014. This will include insight into the changing landscape and commercialisation of the technology that will be showcased at Ipex.”