Ipex: Rediscovering the power of print

The world's decision makers will converge in London for Ipex from 24 to 29 March to drive their businesses forward. Trevor Crawford, event director, gives the lowdown to Mihir Joshi

15 Mar 2014 | By Mihir Joshi

Why should the Indian print players visit Ipex? What are the applications that are driving businesses in different segments?
Ipex will be the largest international print-centric event in 2014, combining an extensive content programme with hundreds of international companies demonstrating the latest global technologies and applications, making it an event not to be missed.

Quite a few Indian printers are going to attend the show, what are the different product launches that should excite them?
A host of new technologies are being launched – some from first time exhibitors – withmore scheduled to be announced in the lead up to Ipex and at the event itself, with many exhibitors keeping their news under wraps until the event opens on the 24th March.

For pre-press, there will be new market software solutions for colour management, variable data printing, web-to-print, integrated communication solutions and design. On the print production side, there are digital printing product launches for inkjet, inkjet label, inkless photo and five-colour LED A3 printing, as well as new document mailing solutions and converting and feeding technologies. New systems will also be showcased for the range of finishing techniques, including laminating, foiling, folding, booklet-making, binding, cutting and more, in addition to new solutions for machine maintenance and consumables, with a wide range of new inks and substrates being showcased.

There is a theory that trade shows are focussed too much on technology rather than application. What is Ipex doing to remedy this trend?
Ipex has carved its own identity as the first international print event to combine an exhibition with a comprehensive content and feature programme that addresses every level and component of a print company. Where technologies demonstrate the high quality applications that can be produced, the content programme will explain how to use print in the 21st century.  

Talking about technology, vendors are showcasing equipment with similar technology. Take for example, digital presses. Other than the speed, rest of the configuration is just the same. Is that a concern?
Ipex is a technology neutral event. Our role is to provide the ‘shop window’ for the industry to come together to see technology and learn how it can help their businesses meet customer needs.

Do you think that the demand for print technology is enough to support the number of vendors now flooding the market? Especially when the growth in western markets has slowed down considerably?
As mentioned in the previous question, Ipex provides the shop window for printers to decide which suppliers are best positioned to meet their needs. Print is a global business and Ipex is a global event, with a host of international visitors scheduled to attend. Western markets are still a key place to do business, especially in London – one of the business capitals of the world.

You are in constant touch with the printing fraternity in India. What is the mood here in India? Can we expect a revival of Ipex India?
We have always enjoyed strong relationships with India, and the Ipex brand resonates positively throughout the country. Having launched Ipex South Asia and run the event for three editions to 2011, we remain confident that Ipex India would be well received in the long term. However as you can imagine for now all our focus, energies and attention is very firmly on Ipex 2014.n