Fespa opens its account in Dubai with 138 brands
On 29 January 2024, Fespa Middle East 2024 will be opening its doors to the inaugural Fespa Middle East 2024 at the Dubai Exhibition Centre, UAE. Bazil Cassim, Fespa's regional manager in Middle East & Africa shared with PrintWeek that global suppliers and regional distributors have confirmed for the event, and over 138 brands are represented on the floor plan. In conversation with Charmiane Alexander.
08 Dec 2023 | By Charmiane Alexander
Charmiane Alexander (CA): What can visitors from India expect?
Bazil Cassim (BC): Visitors will have the opportunity to see print and signage solutions from event sponsors including Signtrade, Flex-Europa, Epson and CMYK, and technology from leading exhibiting brands including Brother, IECHO, Mimaki, Roland DG and Vanklaser. In addition, Aerolam, Avery Dennison, BestSub, Boyang, MacTac and Mecolour will be among the companies presenting the latest media and consumables.
CA: What about local distributors in the Middle East?
BC: We have a strong line-up of confirmed distributors, including Flex-Europa, Blue Rhine, ADS, Strings International, Quantum Digital, Al Shabak, Desert Sign, Helios Business Systems, Magic Trading Co. and Wellcare Advertising. The global brands they represent include HP, 3M,
Metamark, Graphtec, Mutoh, Onyx, Orafol, Philips Digital Signage, Pongs, Rhino, SwissQprint, Valiani and many more.
CA: So, you're confident?
BC: I’m confident that Fespa Middle East will offer our visitors access to a wealth of product innovations, and I’m looking forward to seeing the array of products on display throughout the exhibition halls.
CA: Why was the decision made to launch Fespa Middle East and to expand into this new region?
BC: Major vendors have been expressing a strong appetite for a content-led Fespa event in the Middle East for some time, and this was matched by demand from the leading speciality print service providers in the region. The speciality print market in the Middle East continues to show solid year-on-year growth, alongside the region’s renowned core industries. With the launch of Fespa Middle East, we aim to provide a platform for sharing technological innovation in digital wide format, screen and textile printing, and signage and visual communications.
CA: What's the Fespa mission?
BC: Our mission is to extend Fespa's global exhibitions, business support and community to the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. We’re excited to expand Fespa's presence into this market, and to support print and signage businesses in MEA through Fespa Direct Membership.
CA: What are the opportunities visitors should look out for at the event?
BC: Supporting our community with educational and inspirational guidance to enhance their business growth is a significant part of what Fespa does. Our educational features, as well as the opportunity to network with global industry experts, will give visitors extensive insight into the latest trends and solutions.
CA: Flash forward to January in 2024. What will transpire at the Fespa show?
BC: On day one of the event, ColorBase and its founder and CEO, Marco Roos will join us for the first edition of our free, interactive Colour Confidence workshops. These will provide practical guidance on implementing effective colour management solutions, while also sharing actionable advice on effectively communicating around colour quality and repeatability and navigating customer expectations.
CA: Anything else?
BC: We’re also hosting the second edition of our Fespa Leadership Exchange (FLEX) on 30 January 2024. The first FLEX hosted in Dubai in March 2023 was a huge success, so we’re very pleased to be bringing back this knowledge-sharing event. Sessions are free to attend for visitors, and will cover sustainability, new technologies in AI, personalisation, automation, and market trends highlighted in the recent Fespa Print Census.
CA: Anything on sustainability?
BC: We’re thrilled to bring our popular Sustainability Spotlight feature to the Middle East, which is always a great success with visitors to our global events. Hosted in North Hall 1B, the material showcase will provide advice on sustainable production and material alternatives with a display of environmentally responsible graphics and textile samples.
CA: What about the Fespa attractions like vehicle wraps?
BC: For visitors interested in vehicle wrapping, we will also host our first-ever World Wrap Masters Middle East regional competition. Here, vehicle wrappers will compete for the regional champion title, and a place in the 2024 World Wrap Masters Final at Fespa Global Print Expo 2024 (Amsterdam, The Netherlands).
CA: Quite a lot.
BC: Oh yes. With the support of exhibitors and sponsors, we will also be running free daily training workshops and demonstrations for all visitors to get involved in. I’d definitely recommend having a look at the high-adrenaline competition!
CA: Any special membership drive?
BC: We’re also pleased to offer members of Fespa's national Associations and Fespa direct members free access to the Club fespa lounge at Fespa Middle East. Located on stand B50, this space offers opportunities for networking with regional and global printers and sign-makers, as well as all-day refreshments
CA: If I am interested in becoming a Fespa direct member, what do I have to do?
BC: Quite simple. Click here to find out more about the benefits.
CA: Moving on. What are the trends visitors should expect to see throughout the halls?
BC: With constantly changing customer demands, new verticals and technological advancements, it’s vital to stay abreast of these trends and changes in speciality print and signage.
CA: Any trends that you have discerned?
BC: Garment production and decoration are growing as a result of the rise of e-commerce in this region. To meet tight turnaround times, and to reduce energy usage and waste, there’s an evident shift towards more streamlined and automated processes. In line with this, visitors to Fespa Middle East 2024 can explore an array of technology, software, media and consumable innovations, including end-to-end solutions for textile production, screen printing carousels, substrates, inks and more for efficient textile production.
CA: Anything linked with tourism?
BC: Absolutely. Here in the Middle East, we’ve also witnessed continuous growth in tourism, events and hospitality. The region’s printers are capitalising on the new opportunities this brings, producing a variety of applications including printed interior décor for retail and hospitality spaces, and commercial and way-finding signage for events.
CA: So lots of tech solutions ...
BC: No matter whether you’re a wide format graphics producer, textile printer or sign-maker, with the support of our exhibitors and industry experts, you can explore the solutions you need to capitalise on market trends and guide your business forward at Fespa Middle East 2024.
CA: Any final words?
BC: I look forward to welcoming the readers of PrintWeek in India to Dubai in January.