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Event Spotlight

The Print Show 2018 Preview

The Print Show is back and promises to be better than ever. Harry Mottram looks ahead to the event as he looks to buy a good pair of shoes to tread the halls

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The Print Show will return to the Birmingham NEC this year after holding last year’s show at the Telford International Centre

A step in the right direction

Certainly, it is the largest show so far in its four-year history, as the big guns in the industry take notice with many recognising its place as the nation’s number one print and allied industries trade show, attracting some of the best known names in the business. These include HP, EFI, Hybrid Services (Mimaki), Morgana Systems, Vivid Laminating Systems, CMYUK, Renz, Premier Paper, Spandex, Peleman Industries (formerly Unibind) and Perfect Bindery Solutions.

And that’s not all. With the show approaching, more names have come forward to make their presence felt in the vast halls of the Birmingham venue. The likes of Duplo, Friedheim International, Two Sides/Print Power, Denmaur Independent Papers, Amaya, Encore, Venture Banners, A Star Binding Supplies and Smart Print have all signed up. And the list is growing as is evident by the list of exhibitors chalked up on the event website.

Why visit?

Apart from the latest in computer programmes and print management systems, the presses in operation, the finishing machines collating and packaging, there is a lot more to take in. For buyers it is a buyers’ market with the chance to strike a deal with competing manufacturers vying to give them the best possible package on the day. For sellers there is no better platform to get their product in front of several thousand potential customers. As many a stand holder has said: “It’s a no brainer.”

The Print Show at the NEC runs from 18th to 20th September

And it is not just about the buying, investigating and negotiating as The Print Show’s Chris Davies explains: “The comment we hear most from visitors to The Print Show is that not only is it a great place to scope out the latest technology and get a good deal, but it is a fun, entertaining, and informative day out. For instance, there’ll be demonstrations from traditional printers with vintage presses in a recreation of a traditional print house and showcasing skills ranging from hand bookbinding to letterpress and iron hand press printing, not to mention die-cutting, and speciality foiling. These are the basics of the original industry and we find students, apprentices and young people find these sessions fascinating.”

It is a great place to scope out the latest technology and get a good deal, but it is a fun, entertaining, and informative day out

The venue is located in the centre of England with easy connections for flights to nearby Birmingham Airport, the motorway system and railways with plenty of parking available. Davies continues: “And the NEC complex includes the facilities of Resorts World with its four-star hotel, shops, cinemas, conference rooms, restaurants and bars as well as top class entertainment. Birmingham itself is brilliant city with its Balti houses, China town, comedy clubs and loads of late night entertainment.”

Thousands of visitors attend the show every year

After going head to head last year with IPEX, The Print Show came out on top after IPEX threw in the towel and decided it could no longer compete. The Print Show is now the UK’s main trade show for the industry. It attracts visitors from Ireland, Wales, Scotland and the far corners of England as well as abroad; and that is one of its attractions. It is not ‘FESPA lite’ but a full-blooded 100 percent committed British and Irish trade show with a strong international connection.

The three-day show is not just about the latest print and finishing technology, it’s about meeting, greeting and networking as Mark Szeliga, national sales manager - CRD Corporate of Canon comments: “It’s been nice to meet people that we haven’t spoken with before. We have had a steady flow of visitors and we have been able to get plenty of good leads.”

This year there is a chance to catch up with old friends and acquaintances, build connections, improve relations and put the printing world to rights over a glass or two in the show’s very own park. Park Life is conveniently located near the NEC’s bar, so visitors can sit within the arboreal splendour of a wooded park, taking a pew on a log to chill out.

Media support

The Print Show features more than 30 free business seminars and events with industry professionals giving advice and insights into where print is going in the future, as well as incisive technical knowledge that is worth a visit in its own right. There will be support from the show’s sister publication and the industry’s leading trade magazine Print Monthly with coverage in the trade press and business pages of the traditional media.

O Factoid: Distributed to 10,500 businesses nationwide, Print Monthly is the largest and most widely distributed business-to-business trade magazine in the UK print industry. O

For 25 years Print Monthly magazine has connected suppliers and manufacturers of print technology, products and services to UK-based commercial printers. Distributed to 10,500 businesses nationwide, Print Monthly is the largest and most widely distributed business-to-business trade magazine in the UK print industry. Because of its reach, and the quality of its journalism and being linked to the highly popular Print7TV, more printers and those in allied industries hear about the show and visit it every year.

Who will be there?

Finishing specialist Friedheim International is sponsoring the Printers’ Bazaar special in-show feature. The Printers’ Bazaar is an attraction that is packed with ideas and innovations with merchandising and added value products suggesting new revenue streams for printers.

Friedheim’s managing director, Mark Bristow, says: “We are very well known in the UK for high speed folders, guillotines and laminators, but how many customers know we have a separate converting division, or even a packaging division? We want to show printers what they can do with the latest offerings from KAMA, Komfi, Beck Packautomaten, Bograma to name a few manufacturers who produce the very best machines in their respective fields but have smaller profiles in the UK market than they should. By sponsoring the Printers’ Bazaar, Friedheim will be able to showcase applications that our machines can produce in a way that a stand filled with machines won’t be able to.”

Grafityp will be promoting printing equipment and media at the show 

Another big name is Duplo which has doubled its stand this year after success at last year’s event, when the exhibition was in Telford. The company will be sharing the art of the possible with sensory touch through their DuSense product, offering a ‘true differentiator to any quality printer seeking to stand out from the crowd.’

Duplo recently revealed it had upgraded its stand for the 2018 show, taking the largest stand at the event (at the time of going to press)

Two Sides/Print Power have also signed up to exhibit at The Print Show for the fourth consecutive year, praising the annual event for its ability to “showcase innovation”. Print Power promotes printing while Two Sides aims to dispel the myth that paper is not sustainable. Talking of the environment, Forests Stewardship Council (FSC), the international organisation which promotes the responsible use of forests worldwide, has also taken a stand.

The list of companies at the show is getting longer each day. Intec Printing Solutions will be there as will Xeikon, Xeretec, Trotec, Spandex, Ribbon Writer and Print Max. A Star Binding Supplies are showing punching and binding equipment, while HP, which has a major stand at the show, says their HP Designjet, HP Indigo, HP Inkjet High-speed Production Solutions, HP Scitex and HP Specialty Printing Systems give printers the chance to create anything from personalised direct mail to super-wide billboards.

Another top name at the show is Hybrid which distributes Mimaki’s range of printers, cutters, software and ink in the UK and Ireland. They will be joined at the NEC by Morgana Systems with their finishing products and innovative technology such as the Morgana SmartScreen touchscreen control and speed. For a full list of the growing numbers of companies exhibiting, visit the website at www.theprintshow.co.uk.

Away from manufacturers there is the IPIA Village, created by the trade group the Independent Printing Industries Association, which promotes their members and holds events throughout the year to ensure the industry continues to thrive. Another trade organisation at the show is PICON which represents manufacturers and suppliers to the printing, papermaking and paper converting sectors.

Traditional printing technology will also be demonstrated at the show

The paper industry sees Denmaur Independent Papers taking part along with Premier Paper while the signage and wide-format industry is well represented by Mida Sign Services, Venture Banners, Stanford Marsh and Signmaster Systems. Print finishing equipment is also very catered for from binding and collating to creasing, counting and laminating.

There is also a good chance you could walk away with thousands of pounds worth of freebies or even an Epson Sure Color SC-T5200 large-format printer worth £2,300 in the Golden Ticket Prize Draw that runs every year and has become a real highlight of The Print Show. Every pre-registered visitor receives a personalised print invitation to the show with a Golden Ticket attached to it. To enter the draw, they just need to bring it to The Print Show and have it scanned on the door. Another really good reason for attending the only print show this year.

The show runs from Tuesday to Thursday, September 18th to 20th 2018. The halls are open from 10am to 5pm daily (4pm on Thursday). For full details visit www.theprintshow.co.uk or call Chris Davies on 0117 980 5049, or email him on chris@theprintshow.co.uk. We hope to see you there!

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