The new look Northprint 2011 [www.northprintexpo.com] has been given the seal of approval from visitors and exhibitors alike, voting the event a huge success. Visitor numbers to the Harrogate International centre during the three day event topped 2250*, which were over 40% up on 2009. A steady first day of quality visitors, the buzz of an excellent flow of visitors on day two and a good footfall on the final day all resulted in a resounding endorsement that Northprint has a key role to play in the UK print calendar. Sales started within the first half hour of the show, with exhibitors taking orders up to the final hour of day three, demonstrating that visitors came to Northprint to do business.
Norman Revill, Managing Director, manroland says, “Northprint has been great for manroland and has given us an excellent opportunity to meet with many of our customers and reinforce the messages of our Secrets of Profitable Print campaign – that we are here to work with our customers to add value to their businesses and help them maximise their investment in manroland technology. Just like Ipex, the quality of the visitors has been outstanding and we’ve had a number of very positive leads generated on the stand right across our commercial sheetfed, printservices and printcom divisions. We expect to make some exciting announcements as a result over the coming weeks.”
The show’s largest exhibitor, Ricoh UK was also delighted with its attendance at Northprint making several sales during the event, and clinching a sale of its Ricoh Pro C901 Graphic Arts Edition on the final day. Comments Karen Lawrence, Professional Print Solutions Manager, Ricoh UK, “The level and quality of visitors has been very positive giving us the opportunity to meet new prospects and existing customers.”
Jonathan Wilson, Market Development Manager at Konica Minolta Business Solutions (UK) Ltd added his comments, “I’ve no doubt that we will meet our pre-show ROI forecast. The visitors to our stand want to invest, not just in hardware, but they are also looking at the applications and software that will help them evolve their business into the marketing services arena.”
Equally complimentary about the new format show have been the visitors. Ricoh UK customer David Bingle, Managing Director DDL Group adds, “I attended Northprint to complete the £150,000 purchase of a Ricoh Pro C720S colour press, a Pro 1357EX mono printer and a PlanetPress Suite and it was great to be able to view so much of the latest technology under one roof.”
Says Darren Rudge a visitor to Northprint 2011 from Fuller Davies Ltd based in Ipswich, “In this day and age with technology moving so quickly, it’s important to have the opportunity like Northprint to keep up to speed with the latest developments.”
While Adrian Tolley, Commercial Director from commercial print company Prime Group in Nottingham summed up his visit to the show, “Northprint is a great to place to do business.”
Bryan Godwyn, Joint Managing Director, IFS comments, “Attending Northprint was a key part of our 2011 business strategy and I’m pleased to say that it delivered, giving us the opportunity to meet up with our substantial customer base in the North and meet with new prospects. I have no doubt that the leads generated here will turn in to sales during the coming months.”
Peter Jolly, UK Marketing Manager at Duplo UK endorsed the organisation of the Northprint VIP programme saying, “It’s been absolutely superb for us. Business on the Duplo stand continued right to the end, with a last minute sale worth nearly £50,000 sealed in the last hour of the show.”
Presstek Sales Director Peter Banks was also upbeat with how the show had gone. “We were very pleased with our attendance at the show, which gave us the opportunity to exhibit Presstek’s exciting technology, which has met with a very favourable response. There has been a good level of high quality leads from the show, which we are confident this convert to new business in the next few months.”
Quick off the mark to secure the first sale of the Show was MIS Solutions provider The PrintSum Partnership who reported a sale within the first half hour of the show opening. In addition, First time exhibitor Tecnico Solutions Ltd announced that the quality of leads had beaten all expectations.
Says Trevor Crawford, Director of The Print Group, Informa Exhibitions, “At a time when the industry is still facing a host of challenges we’re delighted on behalf of our exhibitors and visitors that the reinvigorated Northprint has been completely vindicated. The new look Northprint was supported by the biggest ever marketing campaign and features such as the Printers’ Profit Zone provided our visitors with business-focussed content as well as the opportunity to see a wide range of technologies from exhibiting companies. The Informa Print Group would like to take this opportunity to thank all our exhibitors for the incredible support they have given this year’s event and I am thrilled that the success of the event has given them the ROI they were looking for.”
Northprint 2011 was the platform for several new product launches including Address and Mailing Solutions (AMS) which launched two new print engines at the show, Dumor UK presented its new range of entry level post press kit, Crease Stream and Multigraf launched respective folding and creasing devices, DBC introduced an automatic document feeder for its 620OS Laminator, while Technotrans unveiled a reverse-osmosis unit aimed at single B2, B3 and digital presses. In addition, first time exhibitor Videojet launched its LC-Pro UV-curable ink.
There was also a series of partnerships announced during the show. Presstek and RedTie signed a web to print agreement, Centaurfax and Ripware announced a new joint venture, Tweak.com secured a partnership with Web2PrintSolution, and Encore Machinery demonstrated its new UK distributorship for New Bind PUR binders.
Tim Webb, Executive Director, Picon says “Our 21 Picon member companies exhibiting here report that it has been a really good networking show with business being done well into the evenings. The timing is good, midway between Ipex and drupa, and it’s as much about forging relationships between exhibitors as it is talking to visitors.”
Other highlights included Konica Minolta’s latest additions to its Bizhub digital presses, while manroland chose Northprint to announce the official opening of its regional printcom office in Kettering, and signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Lubetech for its environmental spill control solutions.
The event was also packed with a comprehensive range of free visitor features and attractions including profitability workshops, case studies and industry debates in the Printers Profit Zone, financial advice from the BPIF and presentations from industry experts in the Litho Technology Theatre.
Following its success at Ipex 2010, the Printers’ Profit Zone made its debut at Northprint, drawing standing only audiences to its case study presentations and industry debates. Industry expert and The Print Coach Nick Devine was delighted to bring the concept to Northprint 2011. “Based on our extensive industry research we built a programme of interactive presentations around the real issues facing SME printers today, and offering real value added solutions, which has once again proved to be another winning formula for visitors.”
Northprint also played host to the sixth PrintIT! awards ceremony, which took place in the Royal Hall at the exhibition, where the industry came together to support and honour the work and achievements of all the finalist students.
Peter Orford, Marketing Manager for Northprint 2011 concludes, “In the coming months planning with get underway for Northprint 2013 and the success of this year’s event will provide the firm foundation on which to build the event going forward.”
*This figure excludes all exhibitor personnel and repeat visits.