19 October 2015 Events

Solid start as the Print Show pulls the visitors

The UK has a new print exhibition after printers poured into the NEC in Birmingham last week.

The Print Show last week exceeded what may have been muted expectations, in which case it surpassed these by a sufficient amount for many exhibitors to declare their commitment to the show for next year.

More than 5,000 visitors toured Hall 3a at the NEC, for the most part finding enough to occupy them for the entire day. On the second day in particular the numbers underlined the optimism that organiser Link Exhibitions had displayed during the build up to the show.

Where exhibitors had also marketed their attendance the reward was an influx of printers. Ricoh in particular enjoyed a constant flow to its stand where a wide format inkjet machine had printed the entire decoration of the stand.

“When we showed this at Northprint two years ago, it excited very little interest,” says production print marketing manager Gareth Parker. “Now we have had a lot of serious enquiries – 12 on the first morning alone.”

This was repeated across the show floor where it was normal for visitors to be discussing the finer points of technology on display rather than just collecting the samples and brochures. The event even managed a handful of product introductions. Presstek brought a DI press with a tuned UVC lamp system to an exhibition for the first time.

Riso demonstrated a version of its ComColor which could print an envelope, wrapping this around the folded letter and inserts as an all in one printing and mailing unit. It is compatible with the Royal Mail’s Mailmark system

It was a first outing for Seiko Infotech wide format printers since acquisition by Oki was concluded. These are large format inkjet printers able to print neon colours and with a neat means of communicating status back to a manager. Each printer can have its own Twitter account to send updates to an operator, and equally to receive messages. The Oki machines, in versions dotted around the show as well as on Oki’s own stand, have been renamed the Pro series.

Perfect Bindery Systems had a unit from IML for automatically cutting the board needed to form the spine on a case bound book. It sat alongside a system for producing folders, including riveting the ring bind mechanism to the folder.

TCS, Morgana and Watkiss featured small perfect binders and the latter also had small format flatbed cutting tables. These are aimed at those producing samples of packaging printed on digital presses. Watkiss was working with sheets printed on the new Xerox iGen5 featuring a strong orange special colour printed on the fifth extra unit.

There was also a strong presence from trade service companies, Exaprint joining Grafenia, Route One alongside Dutch newcomer Helloprint, making its second bid for the UK market. It claims to have signed up more than 500 companies while Grafenia was in constant discussions with hose interested in its new stand up fabric printed displays as well as its Brambl software elsewhere in the show.

Exaprint's Simon Cooper put it: “We are enabling printers to say Yes when customers ask about products that the printers do not create inhouse.”

Not everything tried came off. The area devoted to the industry’s heritage enjoyed a steady flow of visitors to see hand operated letterpress, hot metal typesetting and hand sewn binding. However, the Diversification zone where commercial printers might ask about how to move into textile printing, packaging, industrial printing seemed a little confused, an observation that the organiser has acknowledged.

However, this did not detract from what was agreed to have been a successful first outing for the Print Show. The success stemmed discussions about what had been the cynical timing of Informa’s announcement that it planned to attach the Ipex name to a triennial UK based show. The first of that event is planned to take place in 2017 and is headed for a direct clash with the Print Show. The result of that face-off is no longer a foregone conclusion.

In the meantime the Print Show will be back on 11-13 October next year, perhaps in a sllightly larger hall according to event director Chris Davies: "The industry wants a small focused event, not something across several halls, but one where the smaller guys do not get lost."

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The Print Show 2015

The Print Show 2015

the Print Show attracted enough visitors and exhibitors to ensure there was a "good vibe" according to event director Chris Davies.

It was also a good selling event with unplanned as well as planned deals being completed and hundreds of leads gathered across the floor.


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Is the return of Ipex a good idea?

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Ricoh at the Print Show

Ricoh at the Print Show

“When we showed this at Northprint two years ago, it excited very little interest,” says production print marketing manager Gareth Parker. “Now we have had a lot of serious enquiries – 12 on the first morning alone.”

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Ricoh's wide format overview

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ComColor 9150

ComColor 9150

Riso demonstrated a version of its ComColor which could print an envelope, wrapping this around the folded letter and inserts as an all in one printing and mailing unit. It is compatible with the Royal Mail’s Mailmark system


Explore more...

View the ComColor brochure

Story 3 of 3