Trevor Crawford, exhibition director for Ipex 2014, has responded with an open letter to stakeholders following the announcements by a number of major companies that they are no longer planning to exhibit at the event. He states that Ipex will take place in London in 2014 as planned and that the organisers stand firmly by their mission to provide today’s printer and their customers with the ideas, insights and solutions to effectively promote the power of print and its integration in the marketing mix.
He says, "We all understand that print is experiencing some change – economic, technological, social, and environmental. Events that represent print – such as Ipex – have to adapt and reflect those shifts. When an event takes place every four years, that degree of change can appear dramatic. In fact, it’s simply that a cyclical event like this pulls together the incremental changes that happened over that time period and concentrates them into one experience. Industries that are in flux have to re-evaluate themselves. They need to be brave and find the clarity to focus on what is valuable and should be developed. This is exactly what our customers and their customers are doing. The same goes for us as an event brand."
He continues, "As always, we’re putting commercial printers right at the heart of Ipex. We surveyed more than 1600 printers worldwide to ask them how Ipex could continue to be relevant to their needs. We’ve taken that research on board to shape our planning. We’re committed to delivering an event that will help printers from all over the world to adapt to these changes and build for the future. Ipex will be the only event in 2014 that brings together the whole international print supply chain to learn, networkand do business."
In the open letter, Trevor Crawford concludes, "We said we’d focus the show on digital: some have interpreted that to mean Ipex will no longer serve litho printers. Nothing could be further from the truth. We expect 80% of our visitors to be commercial printers, whether they print litho, digital, or with a mix of complementary processes. Most successful printers don’t define themselves by the type of press they operate.
"Printers are looking to Ipex for vital leadership and guidance. They need a neutral environment, not controlled by a single manufacturer, where they can find the time and space to assess and absorb the changes and opportunities around them. We will provide them with a wealth of world-class content through initiatives such as the World Print Summit. Ipex is a year away. We’re working to deliver an event that gives printers what they need, while also attracting the people who buy print, and showing them what print is capable of, working hand in hand with other communications channels. Ipex has print at its heart. If you do too, then you’ll be at Ipex 2014."