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Fespa Survey

Majority of survey respondents say recession is over; first half sales fuel optimism

FESPA’s third Economy Survey, conducted by FESPA research partner InfoTrends immediately after FESPA 2010, underlines the event’s significance in stimulating and motivating visitors to make significant business decisions.  70% of respondents who visited FESPA 2010 intended to make strategic business investments following their visit, and 80% said they had learned something relating to innovation that they planned to use in their business.

The electronic stakeholder survey obtained feedback from 270 printers, vendors and resellers worldwide, with the split between customers and suppliers being roughly 50/50.  93% of respondents attended FESPA 2010.  FESPA’s objective was to obtain an update on major industry developments, ascertain post-event views on the economic situation and outlook for the wide format community, and understand the impact of an industry event such as FESPA.

According to the Economy Survey 3, output dominates visitors’ spending plans, with 45% likely to invest in new or additional printing equipment, with an emphasis on ‘eco-friendly’ technology (40%).  Finishing is an investment priority for 25% of respondents, followed closely by variable data capabilities (23%) and workflow software (18%).  Interest in printing onto textile substrates is high, with 42% of respondents now planning purchases in this area.

The majority of respondents (57%) now believe the recession is over, though opinions on recovery are divided, with 10% claiming the market has recovered, 28% expecting business levels to bounce back later this year, and 19% stating that the market is unlikely to recover its pre-recession buoyancy.  Only 5% of respondents see recessionary conditions continuing beyond 2011.

The first half of 2010 has been a strong sales period for 13% of respondents, with another 30% saying the six months have been better than expected, and a further 42% rating their first-half sales as ‘fair’.  Only 15% said sales were worse than expected or very poor. Among print service providers specifically, 44.3% said their first half sales were strong or better than expected.

FESPA sales and marketing director Marcus Timson comments: “FESPA 2010 came at the perfect time to support print service providers in making business-critical decisions, and the high level of global attendance from senior decision-makers is proof of this.  This fresh Economy Survey data shows that our community’s returning confidence is founded on solid sales performances early in 2010, and this was reflected in the experiences of the companies that exhibited at FESPA 2010.  Vendors across all five halls were very satisfied with the footfall to their stands and – most importantly – the number and quality of discussions being conducted with serious buyers.”

He continues: “Our ‘Catch the New Wave of Innovation’ campaign for 2010 resonated strongly among our survey respondents, and their other answers tell us why.  Two thirds of respondents have innovated processes or products to address the downturn, with more than half entering new business areas or niches, and a third making changes to sales and marketing strategies. Close to a third claim that digital inkjet has allowed them to create new niches for their business.”

François Martin, marketing director for the Graphics Solutions Business of HP, FESPA 2010’s largest single exhibitor commented: “FESPA was an outstanding show for HP sales-wise. The exhibition attracted a high quality of visitor from all over Europe, who, for the first time were able to see HP’s new products and end-to-end solutions. With five new products on display on the stand, HP demonstrated that its strategy to replace solvent with UV and Latex is becoming a reality. The HP Designjet L25500 and HP Scitex LX600/LX800 latex printers generated more than 350 new leads alone.”

EFI/Vutek’s experience was equally positive, with Paul Cripps, Managing Director EMEA commenting: “The leads and interest generated at this event have eclipsed any held in the past few years.  The number of customers buying second and third units is also continuing to grow.  Stand traffic was impressive as we not only had large numbers of European visitors but also significant increases in the number of attendees from the Americas, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.  We tracked a huge increase in customer demand for our VUTEk and Rastek printers, but also for our Jetrion UV inkjet label printing press, our remote proofing, web-to-print and business process management software -- as printers in this market are looking to automate processes and expand their business into new markets. FESPA 2010 in Munich delivered on its promise to be the premier platform for EFI to highlight its innovation into the market.”

Michael Lackner, speaking for FESPA Innovation Sponsor Durst Phototechnik added: “FESPA 2010 has fully delivered to our expectations – Durst operates a consultative sales approach, so for us, FESPA affords us the opportunity to both bolster relationships with existing customers and foster new ones. For us, FESPA is the most important show in Europe and has become an annual platform for Durst to launch our innovations.”

More than 21000 individual visitors from 130 countries visited FESPA 2010, with total attendance reaching 32504 visits over five days. 67% of these visitors make or influence major purchasing decisions.

68% of visitors to FESPA 2010 highlighted digital technology as a priority interest area. (Source: FESPA 2010 on site visitor registration data).