The first ever FESPA Americas show, held alongside Graphics of the Americas and the ISS show from February 24-26th in Orlando, Florida, has been hailed a success with overall visitor numbers 16% higher than the previous Graphics of the Americas exhibition in 2010. Representing 90 different countries, 75% of visitors to the show were senior decision-makers within their companies.
FESPA Americas aimed to educate and inspire visitors through a range of innovative exhibits and show features. This approach drew positive feedback from exhibitors, including INX Digital International who comment, “FESPA Americas has brought new life to the GOA show and we have seen a great number of visitors from both North America and Latin America, which is really unique for an event in the US.”
Supported by David Murphy, Director of Marketing Americas, HP, who praised the event “We’re really pleased with what we have seen here at FESPA Americas – it is a really busy and successful show. You can feel a new level of energy and dynamic exchange of ideas among attendees.”
FESPA Americas provided visitors with the chance to see some of the latest and most pioneering technologies introduced to the market, including Sun Innovations’ NEO UV-LED-Evolution, a printer which promises new opportunities for producing full colour designs on diverse surfaces including water. Remarking on the company’s experience, Lina Safronova, International Sales Manager at the Sun Innovations Company says, “We gained a lot of traffic to our booth with people wanting to see the capabilities of our printer and were running samples constantly to demonstrate photo-printing on any substrate, including water – that was a real show stopper! We sold both our machines at the show and have more quality leads to follow-up.”
FESPA Americas offered a packed visitor program, designed to appeal to a broad spectrum of the industry- screen, fabric and digital printers. Attractions included the Wide Format Print Shop Live!, a world-first from FESPA bringing together global brands EFI, HP, Roland, Caldera and EskoArtwork to run three functioning, end-to-end print production lines on the show-floor.
Platinum sponsor EFI’s Frank Tueckmantel, Vice President of Corporate Marketing commented “FESPA is an important partner for EFI on a global basis; they are interested in continually bringing new solutions to facilitate customer engagement in all their events and the Wide Format Print Shop Live! is a perfect example of that.”
The show also introduced the Screen Master’s Workshop, a unique boot-camp for aspiring screen printers. Screen masters Michel Caza, Scott Fresener, Charlie Taublieb, Bhargav Mistry and Ad Versteeg offered workshop participants a hands-on learning experience of the complete screen printing process.
“We were privileged to share our experience with the students at FESPA Americas, and between the five of us there is a lot of it, nearly 200 years in fact!” says Scott Fresener, Screen Master and SGIA Parmele Award winner. “This was a brand new feature format for FESPA shows and I would hope it’s one which will return because the feedback from participants has been tremendous. Combining active learning with interactive discussion is a winning FESPA formula.”
Tiffany Rader, Chief Operating Officer, Allusive Butterfly commented on the Screen Masters Workshop: “This event has been the highlight of my career, gaining hands-on tips and working with world renowned screen print masters like these has been an invaluable experience that I can transfer to my day-to-day business.”
In addition, FESPA Americas saw the second round of the spectacular global FESPA Wrap Cup Masters Series, where vehicle wrapping teams from North, Central and South America competed against each other to decorate a classic Ford Mustang. The winner of the competition was James Miller, Miller Decals from Atlanta, GA, who has now been invited to participate in the grand finale at FESPA 2013 in London.
Describing FESPA’s intentions in launching the Americas event, Marcus Timson, Sales & Marketing Director, FESPA says: “With FESPA Americas, we wanted to create an event which brought something completely new to the American market. For us, that meant introducing visitors to the newest, innovative technologies on the market, educating them on the latest market trends, and ensuring everyone got the most out of the event ‘experience’- which we started before the show even began with the introduction of our Rock Star Treatment competition.”
Visitors who registered to attend FESPA Americas were asked to submit a 100-word answer to the question (What do you think 2011 holds for the wide format marketplace?). From the hundreds of entries received, Robert Parker, owner of Visually Adaptable Graphics, was selected to receive an all-expenses paid VIP trip to the show.
Robert said, “Winning the Rock Star Treatment prize and attending FESPA Americas has been a great opportunity to network with the community, and find innovative ideas and solutions to enhance my business. I would recommend FESPA and their events to anyone seeking expert information on the status and future of trends in the industry. The experience, for me, has been invaluable. Thanks so very much to everyone at FESPA!”
While at the show, Robert had the chance to participate in the Global Business Forum, offering business-critical information, delivered by global experts in their fields. The 2 day event included content from Andrew Milne, bv02 who examined ‘Print as an integrated media’ and keynote Martin Wragg, Nike, discussing their ethos on sustainability issues.
Australian delegate David Leach, Look Print, commented on the forum “I have gained a lot of useful information. It has been really interesting to see the similarities that are spanning the print industry globally. I have heard some great ideas and solutions, especially on taking print into the modern age and linking it with new technology.”
Further complimentary feedback from delegates included “...this was a great experience for learning, networking and fun!”, “...the two-way dialogue was brilliant, I learned so much...”, “Thank you for such an awesome event!”
Following the success of the first FESPA Americas, FESPA has confirmed that the show will return next year in Miami, March 1-3.
“FESPA Americas has been a fantastic experience for all of us; the visitors, exhibitors and the FESPA team,” comments Marcus Timson. “We were overwhelmed by the response and are glad to know that our innovative show formula has been so well received in Orlando. FESPA came to America in response to feedback telling us there was a gap in the American print market for a new, wide-format event specifically targeting an audience of printers with a pan-regional perspective. We are proud that FESPA Americas has successfully filled that space.”