Ipex 2014 closed its doors on the 29th of March and Informa Exhibitions has firmly established the show’s future and new direction at the ExCeL, London Exhibition and Conference Centre. The event, which took place from 24-29 March 2014, saw a total attendance of 22 768, which included 3 532 exhibitors, with a geographical visitor split of 54% UK and 46% international.

Peter Hall, Managing Director of Informa Exhibitions said, ‘With the fast evolving print industry and the challenges these changes represent, Informa Exhibitions has collaborated closely with its stakeholders to ensure the delivery of an informative and engaging event that offered a wide range of benefits, most importantly a good return on exhibitor and visitor investment.’

Olotunde Oyelone, CEO of Printmaster Limited in Nigeria said, ‘I have been going to Ipex for nearly 20 years and was interested to see what the event was offering. I found the seminar programme in the Masterclasses very useful, especially the session ‘Adding value in the label sector’. Knowledge is important for print businesses to progress, and I’m looking forward to see how Ipex develops in the coming years. Additionally, the new location in London is very convenient and cost-effective for me.’

Nigel White, Commercial Director of The Henley and South Oxfordshire Standard, added, ‘Thursday was our first day at Ipex, but I wish we’d come earlier. There were just too many companies we wanted to talk to; I don’t think we got round to everyone.’

Ipex exhibitors also reported positively:

Olaf Lorenz, General Manager, International Marketing Division, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe, said, ‘Ipex has been everything we wanted it to be and fulfilled all our objectives. We have been getting 600 qualified leads per day and have already collected more than 40 letters of intent, as well as closing some sales. Based on our historical experience of these types of shows, we are confident that Ipex will net us over R51,36 (€3.5) million worth of new business.’

First time Ipex exhibitor Lumejet was delighted with the show, ‘Quite frankly we are thrilled with Ipex 2014, it has far exceeded our expectations,’ said Miles Bentley, Commercial Director. ‘As a company we were fortunate that Ipex 2014 came just at the right time for us in our development cycle; it has delivered a significant number of good quality contacts and we have not stopped since the show opened its doors.’

Keith Dalton, Director, Fujifilm Graphic Systems UK added, ‘We’ve had immensely positive feedback from everyone on our approach to Ipex 2014, and feel that the support we have given the show and the successful ‘print shop’ we were running on our stand paid off. This was reinforced by the comments we were constantly receiving throughout the show. The visitor numbers were good despite the absence of a number of industry suppliers, and our stand was constantly busy with customers and some of those suppliers themselves.’

In addition to the exhibitors on the show floor, Ipex also delivered the most comprehensive content programme ever seen at an international print centric event. Across the six days, over 170 industry experts participated in the World Print Summit, Masterclasses and Cross Media Production theatres, and offered practical takeaways, new ideas, skills and solutions that printers can implement in their businesses.

Conference producers reported a very good attendance in the 115 seminar sessions, with packed-out theatres and limited standing room only available in some of the keynote addresses.

Kathy Sletten, Director, Print-Manager, Aveda Corp, Estee Lauder, spoke on the ‘An Audience with the Print Buyers’ session. Afterwards, she commented, ‘I was pleasantly surprised to find our audience so interested and engaged, and wish we’d had more time to share with them. They asked many relevant and engaging questions, some of which have given me food for thought. We never stop learning from each other as long as we keep the dialogue going, and the World Print Summit at Ipex 2014 provided the perfect stage for some great discussions.’

Carole Arrantash, from UK based Quadrant, which is part of the Linney Group, was complimentary of the sessions she attended in the World Print Summit, ‘This was a fabulous opportunity to gain an insight, both into what print buyers expect from their suppliers and how they prefer to be approached.To have the opportunity to ask pertinent questions to assist printers in their quest to work with such prestigious companies was also both unexpected and invaluable.’

SME printers attended practical sessions that addressed their business issues and solutions to streamline production and support business growth in the Masterclasses. Bill Campbell, CEO of Australian print business, Fergies Print and Mail said, ‘The Ipex Masterclasses were the main motivator for our decision to visit Ipex 2014, they have assisted our management team in validating the direction we are guiding our company in. From a commercial perspective they have provided clarity to several key areas of interest.’

In the content driven Cross Media Production feature, which ran from 25-27 March, delegates learnt how to effectively implement multi-channel communication strategies in the 1-2-1 Digital and Direct Marketing, Publishing and Brand Management Theatres. Ipex’s stakeholders were unanimous in their opinion that the feature, which had a number of supporting exhibitors, should be a key element in the future blueprint for Ipex.

The innovative Ipex Make-Ready Challenge, sponsored by Burnetts, proved a hit with visitors during the show. This entertaining competition drew 24 entrants from the around the world to compete against the clock on a Heidelberg five-colour press. UK-based contestant Tony Dowd completed the challenge in the record time of 4 minutes 45 seconds, and was crowned the make-ready champion on Saturday.

Inspiration Avenue provided visitors with an eclectic mix of visual and factual elements that demonstrated all that is great about print with three stations spread throughout the Boulevard.

The Eco Zone, sponsored by Komori, also proved a popular feature for visitors. ‘Komori has a long-standing track record of utilising major printing industry exhibitions to highlight the benefits of product innovations and latest technology, and this was precisely the philosophy behind Komori’s decision to sponsor the Ipex Eco Zone,’ commented Steve Turner, Director of Sheetfed Sales, Komori UK. ‘Our demonstrations of the Komori H-UV curing system, with its many ecological strengths, generated serious interest from a wide range of visitors from within and outside the UK.’

In the Future Innovations Zone, which included three different sections covering 3D printing, printed electronics and photo products, presented technologies that are set for rapid expansion over the next few years.

Tim Webb, Executive Director of PICON, commented, ‘The decision to move Ipex to ExCeL London has been a real step forward as far as our membership is concerned. The location, the facilities and the staff have all contributed to a really smooth transition from Birmingham, and ultimately a successful show. Overall, the exhibition has been better than expected with a good level of high quality visitors from around the world looking to do business.’

Ipex 2018 will take place at ExCeL London from 19–24 March 2018.