Sell-out FESPA Digital 2011 showcases print community's evolution

Fespa Digital 2011 Logo

FESPA Digital 2011 is fully sold out, with all 18000 m2 (net) (36,000 m2 gross) of available exhibition space allocated to around 370 exhibitors, and a waiting list of would-be exhibitors. The size and scope of this year’s event make it an even more comprehensive showcase of wide format printing than the three dedicated digital halls at last year’s main FESPA exhibition in Munich, adding up to the largest focused digital wide-format printing event ever to take place in Europe.

Printers across Europe have been enthusiastically pre-registering for the event via the event website at, with close to 5000 individuals registered so far, and 50 new registrations received every day since the beginning of March 2011.

This year’s show is the fourth in the Digital series which was hosted in Amsterdam in 2006 and 2009, and in Geneva in 2008. The move to Hamburg for 2011 will appeal to printers from all over Europe, but the location is proving particularly attractive to delegates from northern Germany, Benelux, Scandinavia, the Baltic States and eastern Europe, in particular Poland.

Managing director of FESPA events Frazer Chesterman observes, “When we last staged FESPA Digital in 2009, our industry was in the throes of a deep recession, yet the show still attracted 9,682 digital print ‘Revolutionaries’. Times change, our community is forging ahead with increasing optimism, and the talk now is of ‘Evolution’, which we at FESPA define as ‘growth through adaptation’. At this year’s event, we’ll be concentrating on the characteristics that print service providers need to adopt in order to survive and thrive in this changed business landscape.”

He continues: “There are plentiful examples of that Evolution in the digital marketplace, of printers who are achieving continued and renewed success with new technologies, innovative materials, more efficient workflows, creative products, different business models or go-to-market plans. FESPA Digital 2011 will share their best-practice examples, and the combination of supplier exhibits and educational elements is designed to motivate other printers to follow their lead.”

Expanded show – extra day, more visitor content

FESPA Digital 2011 has been extended from the traditional three days to four, giving exhibitors additional scope to engage in meaningful discussions with serious buyers, and enabling FESPA to set aside time on the final day to offer The Big Idea, a programme of content specifically targeted towards creative decision-makers from agencies and corporate marketing departments who are looking at how they can integrate wide-format print into their marketing mix to maximise impact and boost response levels from target audiences.

For the first three days of the show, Digital 2011 visitors will also have access to FESPA Fabric, the campus-style satellite event concentrating on garment printing and promotional wear, with exhibits of hardware and materials for screen and digital printing, embroidery, embellishment and garment finishing. The event features the Fabric Live! Fashion Show, hands-on t-shirt printing workshops in Charlie’s Corner, an educational conference moderated by textile printing expert Scott Fresener, and the Apparel Store, a new, contemporary, retail-style showcase of quality pre-print garments from a line-up of industry-leading suppliers.

As in previous years, the make-up of FESPA Digital clearly reflects the prevailing industry trends. Alongside the many expected innovations in digital output, visitors can expect to see significant developments in software and workflow automation, meaningful advancements in finishing and mounting, and the widest ever selection of substrates optimised for digital print. The reviving interest in environmentally sustainable print will also be a dominant theme, with the majority of exhibitors sharing solutions that reflect this growing concern among buyers of wide format print products, following the clear price orientation of the recession years.

The current boom in textile printing, and the expanding use of digital processes for industrial applications like ceramics and glass, will also be reflected by exhibitors around the show. Textile will of course will be the focus of the third FESPA Digital Textile Conference, which takes place on 25th May (Day 2) alongside the show-floor, moderated by the editor of industry authority publication Digital Textile (see separate press release with programme details). Education continues beyond the conference, with a series of knowledge-sharing sessions taking place throughout FESPA Digital in the Showcase Theatre, and in the Fresener’s Fabric programme within FESPA Fabric.

Following closely on the contest at the recent FESPA Americas event, the world tour of the show-stopping FESPA Wrap Cup Masters continues in Hamburg, to be followed in Asia in October this year. The winner from Hamburg (and from next year’s FESPA Digital show in Barcelona, Spain) will join the winners from other regions at a grand finale at FESPA 2013 in London.

Frazer Chesterman concludes; “Ours is a dynamic industry, with print service providers constantly reshaping their offering to respond to shifts in customer demand, and developing new niche applications and specialisations. Great digital wide format print never ceases to be exciting and inspirational. With FESPA Digital 2011, our aim, once again, is to give our community an event to match.”