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Is This The End Of The Print Trade Shows?

5th April 2016

With more and more of the major ’players’ in the print industry deciding to set up their own open days and shows, the days of Drupa and Ipex, where exhibitors pay large amounts of money to showcase their products against each other, to win your money are nearly over.  By housing their own events, they focus the client on ALL of their products without any competition around the corner…….

Many of the large manufacturers in the print industry (HP, Heidelberg, and Kodak among others) have decided to not exhibit at this years IPEX show. For many years, IPEX has been held at the NEC in Birmingham, but due to the vastly diminished list of tradesman hiring space, can now be held at a much smaller venue in London.

Trade shows are expensive, and sellers have been successful at organising focused user-group events. Witness the success of Dscoop. HP, Ricoh, MBO, Hunkeler (Innovation Days) all run multi-day highly organized focused events targeted towards specific users and groups. They get to set the agenda, set the attendee’s, and control their expenses.

Shrinkage of the many parts of the industry has actually made it easier to single out your prospects. There are so many databases and so much information out there, it’s not difficult to single out likely prospects for your technology. Trade shows were built on the premise that there were many unknown prospects out there who would travel to major exhibitions and show up at your stand, ready to be sold. That’s not the case today.

For centuries, the trade fair and exhibition served as the central gathering point for information on new technology. That’s no longer the case. You can conduct some pretty deep research right from your desk these days. And that’s what most people do, so that when they do show up at the show, they’re quite prepared.

Large companies like Heidelberg, Kodak, HP and so on have got fed up with forking out millions of pounds in travel, staff and floor space at a variety of shows so now house there own exhibition days on their own premises, thus saving a lot of money.

The massive shows like IPEX and Drupa still have years left but with the onset of cheaper travel, shows like China Print have become a major venue in recent years, and within the Asian markets, there is still a strong desire to travel to see the goods and meet new vendors. Drupa is a major drawing point in that you will see manufacturers you never knew existed.

But we will increasingly see major targeted events run by manufacturers that will compete with (and draw attendees away from) the traditional shows.

This is a sad fact but with the onset of all the 21st century technology, clients can do all of their homework on thousands of products via the web, without having to set foot in a specific showcased event.

Kestrel Printing Limited has visited these shows regularly to see what new ideas are being banded about, but technically we can now do this from our offices…