FESPA 2012 kicks off!

Fespa Digital 2012

FESPA’s fifth digital print exhibition in Europe opens today (21st February 2012) at Fira de Barcelona Gran Via, Spain.

Covering 16,500 square metres of hall space in Hall 3 of the exhibition centre, with more than 350 exhibiting companies, FESPA expects the Digital show to attract an international audience of print professionals looking to ‘explore the wider opportunities of digital print’ highlighted by the show’s extensive visitor promotion campaign. When pre-registration closed on 20th February, more than 16000 printers had indicated their interest in the show.

In developing the event content, FESPA has focussed on bringing to life the wealth of opportunities that exist for print service providers to grow their business, from technology investments and workflow optimisation, through diversification into new applications and business models taking advantage of the latest developments in substrates and inks.

In addition to the show floor exhibits, there are eight free visitor attractions under one roof at FESPA Digital 2012.

  • Explore Conference
  • Planet Friendly Zone
  • Print Shop Live!
  • Big Buck$ Cafe
  • Narrow Format Zone
  • Hall of Fame
  • Wrap Cup Masters Series
  • Wrap Rally II

FESPA Managing Director Neil Felton comments, “We’re delivering the richest and most relevant Digital visitor programme yet here in Barcelona, with a raft of new content that matches the specific needs and interests of the wide format printer community, all free of charge."

He continues, “FESPA’s central mission is to use our collective expertise in wide format print to educate, share knowledge and highlight best practice to help our community succeed. We hope visitors to FESPA Digital 2012 will take full advantage of this programme, using every opportunity that’s here to complement what they see on exhibitor stands with expert knowledge, insight and a dash of inspiration to help grow their business.”

The free onsite Explore Conference offers more than 40 individual educational sessions in English and Spanish on topics including: Business Building, Technology Issues, Narrow Format Print, Sustainability, Digital Signage, Customer Insight, Printed Electronics and Planet Friendly Printing.

FESPA’s long-standing commitment to sharing knowledge and best practice in the field of sustainability is manifested in the shape of the Planet Friendly conference stream within the Explore Conference, as well as a series of hands-on clinics and workshops running on the FESPA Planet Friendly Zone on the FESPA stand (B15A), inviting printers to share their queries about improving their environmental performance and receive direct advice from FESPA’s four subject experts.

In addition to the vast array of technology innovations on display on exhibitor stands around the show, FESPA’s Print Shop Live! offers PSPs their first opportunity to tour a real end-to-end workflow within a European FESPA show. Live jobs including conventional and textile applications are being produced using GMG colour management software, Onyx ripping and preflighting tools, with output across multiple print devices from Epson, HP and Mutoh. Media are supplied by Ilford and final output is being finished using Esko Graphics cutting solutions.

Inspiration and ideas around innovative print applications can be found at Big Buck$ Cafe, a working coffee shop and WiFi zone within the show, where visitors can see close up how digital print can enhance everything from POS and signage, to floors and walls, to furniture and fashion. The cafe menu provides details of how each application was produced and a dedicated microsite invites visitors to explore further.

For printers thinking about spreading their wings into other formats, the Narrow Format Zone at stand A30 offers advice and insights into opportunities to complement wide format production with digital labels and small format commercial printing. In addition to sign-posted narrow format exhibits around the show, Dr Peter Mayhew of Lyra Research Inc. will host a series of conference sessions within the Narrow Format theatre in this new zone.

The Hall of Fame is where FESPA’s celebrates the leading lights in digital wide format printing as nominated by their peers. It is the culmination of an online vote conducted over a ten-week period, during which members of FESPA’s worldwide community were invited to nominate a printer they believe has made an outstanding contribution to the field of wide format digital. Over 400 nominations were received and narrowed down to a shortlist of 250 who are represented in the gallery of stars in the show entrance. Over 3,000 votes have been made online so far, and visitors to FESPA Digital 2012 can continue to vote onsite for their favourite here. The winner will be honoured at a champagne reception on the final day of the show on the FESPA stand.

The pace speeds up at FESPA’s Wrap Cup Masters Series, the show-stopping live vehicle wrapping competition running throughout FESPA Digital 2012, in which 48 vehicle wrappers will battle through several rounds to be crowned FESPA Wrap Cup Masters European Champion 2012. In Barcelona, the teams will take on the challenge of wrapping a Smart car, to be judged on quality and speed.

The last, unmissable stop for visitors to FESPA Digital 2012 should be the wrapped motorhome which toured the UK, France, Switzerland and Spain on FESPA’s Wrap Rally. The eye-catching RV has come to a halt in the entrance area of Gran Via, and visitors can take a closer look at the printed vehicle graphics, and see video interviews captured dung the tour, which visited more than 10 print ‘explorers’ around Europe.