Ipex has confirmed the 2014 event will take place in London, at the newly developed ExCeL centre in the east of the city, ending a 30 year stint at the NEC in Birmingham. The 2014 exhibition will take place in the heartland of London’s redeveloped Royal Docklands from March 26 to April 2.The move to the capital has been widely expected, and is designed to increase the show’s international appeal, with London a more favourable city to visit for overseas printers. Ipex is keen to retain its status as one of the world’s big four print shows, along with drupa, Igas in Japan and Print in the US, and to do that it has to attract a sizeable number of non-UK printers, the move to London will certainly help with that.
The move from the NEC has also been made possible by the fact that no web presses were at the 2010 show, and are unlikely to be at future shows. The floor at the NEC was the only one in the country strong enough to take web presses, no webs means no need for that floor.
ExCeL London, which will play host to seven Olympic and Para Olympic events in 2012 (the most that any venue has been given), is an award winning international exhibition and convention centre within a 100 acre campus offering 100,000 sq metres of flexible exhibition space, five on-site hotels, numerous bar and restaurants for after hours networking and excellent transport links to central London. This includes easy access to London City Airport and the London Underground, three dedicated onsite DLR (Docklands Light Railway) stations, as well as providing parking for nearly 4,000 cars. The onsite facilities at ExCeL itself include more than 40 cafés, bars and restaurants serving cuisine from around the world.
Trevor Crawford, director of the Informa Print Group which owns Ipex says, “We have undertaken detailed consultation with exhibitor and visitor groups prior to making this decision, and we are extremely excited about the move to ExCeL London for the considerable new opportunities it offers for the expansion and development of Ipex going forward. While our UK audience will always remain critically important to the show, Ipex is a truly global event, and the attraction of London as a venue, and the remaining legacy of the 2012 Olympic investment into the area, will certainly add to the attraction for our international visitors.
“This is a significant decision in the history of Ipex that sees the exhibition return to London,” continues Crawford. “Ipex has been located at the NEC since 1980, some 30 years of its successful history, and until now the NEC venue was the only one in the UK that could handle the sheer size of the event. Since the expansion of its event halls in May 2010, ExCeL London has now become the perfect venue for Ipex to begin the next chapter in its development.”
Equally bullish about the move is David Preskett, President of Ipex 2014, Chairman of the IAC (Ipex Advisory Committee) and European Professional Print Director, Canon Europe. “Relocating to London will give Ipex the backdrop and foundation to further expand its International appeal. Ipex is a forward-thinking event that is determined to raise the bar to reflect our changing industry and communications media landscape.”
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London has welcomed the return of Ipex to London. “It’s tremendous news for London, and certainly befitting to our Olympic legacy and standing on the international events stage that the ‘Olympics of the global Printing Industry’ returns home to our City.”