22 Feb 2019

Ipex 2010 tour lands in Italy to kick start event preparations

IPEX 2010

The city of Milan will provide the backdrop for the next stop of Ipex’s global marketing tour on Wednesday, 23rd September when Ricoh Italia will host the seventh leg of the international roadshow, from 10:00 to 15:00.

Designed to help existing and potential exhibitors draw as many visitors as possible to their stands at the international Ipex 2010 exhibition, the event will reveal the variety of free marketing tools available for use in pre-show marketing campaigns. Attendees will also find out how they can take advantage of sponsorship opportunities to further raise their profile at the show.

They can also discover how to reduce the cost of participating at the Ipex exhibition with the ‘Recession Buster’, an initiative which includes a range of cost-saving packages from stand build, rigging, production waste handling and storage, to budget accommodation options.

The Ipex team will provide the latest update on planned visitor features, event initiatives and the Ipex 2010 global marketing campaign, as well as offer further information on travel and logistics.

Nick Craig Waller, Ipex 2010 Marketing Director, says: “It’s less than a year until Ipex opens its door to visitors from around the globe, so it’s important for companies to put their marketing plans together now and tell people about their presence at Ipex. The roadshow provides an ideal place to start because we can give them an overview of the event, pass on experience from previous Ipex exhibitions, and guide them through all the central resources available.”

In addition to help and advice from the Ipex team, journalists from leading Italian graphic arts publications will talk about the latest market trends and show how exhibitors can produce more effective information for trade journals. Representatives from the key Italian graphic arts associations will also be on hand to address any questions relating to the event.

As one of the top ten exhibitors at the upcoming Ipex exhibition, digital printing solutions provider, Ricoh, will provide an insight into how it is maximizing its exhibition activities to further interact with its customers. Graham Moore, Director Production Printing, Ricoh Europe PLC, says, “Ipex 2010 is the ideal platform for the Ricoh Group to prove its commitment to the production printing market and to demonstrate its focused solutions for corporate and commercial printers. It’s an important international event for us as we continue to expand our global presence in this market. As this will be our first time at Ipex, we’re extremely pleased to be so closely involved during the preparation stages and to be hosting this interactive and informative event at our offices in Milan. I’ve personally attended some of the previous events in France and Germany and know how valuable the roadshow is for confirmed and prospective exhibitors.”

Nick Craig Waller adds, “So far, we’ve held roadshows in Belgium, Germany, China, France, Japan and the UK, and the feedback has been extremely positive. I’ve no doubt that attendees in Italy will find this day just as invaluable in their preparations for Ipex 2010.”

Velmex Distribution announces Fogra certification and partnership with RIP manufacturer EFI

Velmex logo

Velmex Distribution, based in Mitcham Surrey, announced today their strategic relationship with EFI to boost their product offerings into the large format channel. EFI’s prepress and production products provide an end to end solution when used with the recently Fogra certified Canon iPF5100 or iPF6100 products.  Velmex, the leading Canon UK large format distributor now have a Fogra certified engineer who can calibrate and install a Colorproof XF system that produces an “EFI-Fogra cert” compliant proof. By passing this certification Velmex are now able to offer a full chain of Fogra compliant products. The importance of this solution means Velmex are now able to distribute the total printing package to the reseller channel, and offer their customers a full EFI – Fogra certification on their printing systems once calibrated.  Daniel Judge, Product Specialist for Velmex distribution said, “It gives us the opportunity to provide a further value added service to our resellers, allowing them to sell our solutions with the knowledge we can provide the qualification to back it up.”

Whilst EFI’s product range is vast the concentration for Velmex is around three products, EFI’s Colorproof –XF, Colorproof – Express and for production environments the EFI Fiery XF. “Our aim was to provide quality products that gave our customers a good range to choose from, whatever their requirement” says Judge, “These products provide the perfect balance to our portfolio, and our EFI Fogra Certification means we can now provide a full end to end solution or any element within that.”    EFI, a company with a pedigree in rip production since 1989, are based in Foster City in the Silicon Valley, they have 23 offices worldwide and are leaders in the digital print industry.  EFI together with Tecco and Fogra set up the “EFI Fogra cert” initiative for compliant proofs to guarantee high quality and reliably printing, it means that resellers, consultants, printing houses and prepress business and their customers can understand what the standardisation means and receive all the benefits from it. As an EFI Fogra certified engineer Judge can go onto a customer’s site and using the approved EFI Colorproof XF and Canon iPF5100 or iPF6100 printer produce a proof card to be submitted to Fogra so the customer can receive Fogra certification on their printing system.  “This opens up sales avenues for our channel” says Judge, “the feedback we’ve had from our resellers is excellent and we have all products and upgrades now in stock and we’re looking forward to a long term relationship with EFI to help take us further into the proofing market.”

Woodrow Press discovers diversity and dividends with integrated Roland print-and-cut solution

Roland SolJet Pro III XC-540 

Before investing in its SolJet Pro III XC-540, an integrated printer and cutter, London-based Woodrow Press had a solid portfolio of clients whose typical requests included lithographic and digital production. It was the desire to cater to these larger demands, and to evolve its services into a one-stop offering, that has given Woodrow the true hybrid mantle it can claim — and nobody has been more receptive than the clients, who can now take advantage of the company’s wide-format, precision cutting capability.

Being able to offer a broader range of output methods means that Woodrow Press has extended its range of chargeable services for customers, who are mostly marketing outfits who require campaigns across several formats and media. Extending into wide-format has helped the company accrue more of their spend, with its ability to produce indoor and outdoor banners, signs, vehicle wraps, decals and POP displays to a phenomenally fast and accurate standard.

“The Roland SolJet PRO III XC-540 is an excellent extra source of revenue and has turned out to be a very successful investment,” explains Paul Ramsay, Sales and Marketing for Woodrow Press. “It was a natural extension for us. We’re heavily experienced in digital and offset print and feel there’s no sense in restricting ourselves to a single output method. On top of that, we have always found that our clients appreciate being able to buy their print from a single supplier that they trust and have an established relationship with.”

“The majority of the work we produce on the SolJet is for point-of-sale purposes and this is where the cut function really comes into its own,” adds Ramsay. “Profile cutting graphics adds a lot of value in the eyes of the customer and it will cut to almost any shape.” With the print and cut functions integrated on the XC-540, the need to incorporate a separate printing unit is avoided, and has speeded up Woodrow’s production process.

In taking advantage of the SolJet’s ROI capability, the printer has discovered the cost-effectiveness of wide-format and its ability to plug in next to existing services. Wide-format is a lower capital outlay than lithographic and other digital production technology and starts to make its money back immediately — a vital and necessary advantage to have over competitors in belt-tightening economic times.

“The SolJet PRO III XC-540 is reputable for its ease of use and we recommend it as an ideal first wide format machine for commercial printers,” advises Mat Drake, Print Product Manager at Roland DG (UK). “Printers with experience in the digital and off-set markets won’t find the learning curve extraordinary but those keen to get the absolute best from the machine should investigate the complementary Introduction to Digital Print course at the Roland DG Academy, which is included with each purchase.”

Woodrow Press is one of several XC-540 owners who has taken advantage of a free upgrade to Roland’s Intelligent Pass Control technology. The addition allows for enhanced gradients and flawless image quality at greater production speeds, lending new versatility to an already gutsy unit. Automatic take-up and advanced media feed can be upgraded with an optional dryer/blower unit, and the printer itself can be supplied as a 5-colour model. This configuration equips the SolJet with white ECO-SOL MAX ink, creating bold white graphics for packaging comps, window graphics and POS purposes.

“Woodrow Press is proof that wide format inkjet provides commercial printers with the perfect opportunity to increase revenue and move one step closer to becoming a true one-stop solution,” offers Drake. “The demand from an established customer base is already there for commercial printers. In an industry where profits are being squeezed relentlessly this technology presents a real opportunity for improved margins through genuine growth rather than stringent cost cutting.”

“The output quality is exceptional and the machine has been able to do everything that’s been asked of it, with absolutely no hint of any downtime yet,” considers Ramsay, whose machine was supplied with Roland’s standard one-year silver warranty. “Simply put,” he concludes, “the XC-540 has allowed us to offer more to our existing clients and thus resulted in a significant boost in revenue. ”

Find out more, and calculate the running costs of the Roland SolJet PRO III XC-540 printer, at www.rolandpro.co.uk

FESPA revamps its website to incorporate key social networks

FESPA website 

FESPA has enhanced it main website (www.fespa.com) to connect with a number of key social media networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, helping the organisation capitalise on the communication opportunities that the rapidly evolving social media landscape provides. The site’s overall layout has also been given a facelift, making its content clearer and more user-friendly.

This initiative builds on the dynamic growth of FESPA’s own Wide Network, the world’s only online community for wide format digital print professionals. An early adopter of social media, FESPA developed its dedicated micro-network to create an international online community of printers, print buyers, marketers, consumers, editors, designers and analysts within the wide format industry, to encourage communication within the sector. Having tested the medium through the Wide Network, which has over 1200 members to date, FESPA is keen to take further advantage of social networks to broaden its communication with stakeholders.

Marcus Timson, FESPA Sales & Marketing Director comments: “Social media sites are not just about socialising with friends. They are a great way to stay in touch with business contacts and promote awareness of our events, products and services in the marketplace.  For FESPA, a key aspect of social networks is the open dialogue it enables with our members and the wider print community. Not only does it allow us to regularly communicate the latest FESPA news and event information and conduct quick research, but we are also able to receive direct feedback, helping us tailor initiatives to effectively meet members’ needs. For example, we have a Twitter account where we can provide FESPA ‘followers’ with the latest news, and we pick up any ‘tweet’ on the site where ‘FESPA’ is mentioned.”

FESPA.com’s revamp comes shortly after the organisation’s successful digital wide format print exhibition, FESPA Digital 2009, which was based on the theme of ‘Revolution’.

Timson continues: “Ours is a dynamic and ‘revolutionary’ community. This can be seen in the innovative technologies regularly brought to market, as well as in the inventive business practices that companies are implementing, which are increasingly including the active use of social networks. It’s important for today’s print businesses to keep up with market trends and take advantage of the commercial and learning opportunities that the ongoing media revolution presents. At FESPA, for example, we have plans to run marketing events on Twitter and are looking into other initiatives to help us engage effectively with new audiences and vertical markets.”

FESPA’s website continues to provide visitors with the latest industry news, RSS feed capability and show-dedicated links and information. Videos featuring interviews and news from prominent industry figures and FESPA spokespeople can also be viewed on the site simply by clicking on the ‘FESPA TV’ section or the YouTube icon.

'My Ipex' planner goes live for visitors

My IPEX Planner 

To help visitors optimise their time at the international Ipex 2010 exhibition (18th – 25th May 2010, NEC Birmingham UK), the organisers have launched a new interactive, online planning tool called ‘My Ipex’ (www.ipex.org/myipex) which visitors to the event can use to devise personalised itineraries.

Users of ‘My Ipex’ can explore the show stand-by-stand by looking at interactive floorplans on screen, or by searching for exhibitors alphabetically, by hall, or product category. After identifying which exhibitors to visit at the show, users can then easily create a short-list containing all exhibitors’ locations with links to their company profiles, press releases, new product information and video content at the click of a mouse. The personalised itinerary can then be printed or saved and re-visited when they next access ‘My Ipex’. The interactive planning tool will also assist visitors in finding their way around the show prior to arrival, and provides links to travel and accommodation information.

Nick Craig Waller, Ipex 2010 Marketing Director, says, “Visitors come to Ipex to network with industry colleagues, discover the latest print technologies and find new ideas for their businesses.  But Ipex is a massive event with a broad range of products and services on show, and we acknowledge that our visitors are busy people. ‘My Ipex’ offers a great planning and navigation tool, enabling visitors to prepare for their trip beforehand so that they can maximise the time they spend at Ipex and get as much as possible out of the show.”

‘My Ipex’ is just one part of the comprehensive Ipex website where visitors can pre-register free in advance for the exhibition, read the latest show and exhibitors’ news, obtain further information about cost-effective travel packages and find out about show features.

FESPA stakeholder survey shows printers positive about upturn

FESPA logo 

The results of FESPA’s first stakeholder Economy Survey suggest that wide format printers and their suppliers worldwide are broadly optimistic about the chances of business recovering to pre-recession levels within the next 12 months.

Some 14% of survey respondents already report signs of recovery, with a further 23% expecting fortunes to improve in the second half of 2009.  25.6% of the sample expects the upturn to come in early 2010, with a similar figure anticipating recovery by the end of 2010.  Less than 12% foresee current trading conditions lasting into 2011.   83% of respondents believe themselves to be well positioned to take advantage of the conditions if the market rebounds.

The electronic survey of some 400 individuals during July 2009 was conducted by FESPA in partnership with research organisation InfoTrends.  The research, which includes printers, manufacturers and resellers, will be repeated on a regular basis between now and FESPA 2010 (Munich, Germany, 22 - 26 June 2010), helping FESPA and exhibitors to reliably gauge the mood of the wide-format community.

FESPA marketing director Marcus Timson explains: “We found the intelligence from our recent Worldwide Survey so valuable that we decided it would benefit FESPA, our exhibitors and our global community of print service providers (PSPs) to test the temperature of the market more regularly.  With the Economy Survey, we’re questioning a meaningful sample of printers worldwide to assess how they’re managing the impact of the global economic downturn, and to understand the measures they’re putting in place to get through the difficult times and equip themselves for a positive future.”

While a quarter of those questioned indicated that their business had stagnated or experienced minimal impact, the majority had seen turnover affected, with 27% of respondents citing a negative effect of 25% or more.

The survey shows that print service providers are still looking to their operational processes for solutions to falling revenues.  76% of printers had developed production-led strategies to address the downturn, with many looking to reduce overheads with lower priced media (35.2%), lower priced ink (28.7%) and by cutting printer maintenance programmes (18.5%). Sustainability practices have benefited, however, with 46.3% of respondents having tightened their waste management practices.  Flatbed printing technology has also experienced a boost, with 22.2% of PSPs looking to this technology to trim labour costs.

Unfortunately, pricing is still a popular tactic to attract sales, with 41.3% of respondents resorting to rebates and price promotions to tackle the downturn.  Almost a third of those surveyed mentioned flexible payment terms as a means of attracting business, and more than a quarter indicated that their pricing strategy had been driven by aggressive pricing by competitors.

Encouragingly, however, many printers have responded positively to the challenges, optimising their product portfolios, or increasing their focus on different applications such as textile to grow margins (15.7%).  23.9% of printers questioned have implemented fresh sales or marketing strategies, and 12.2% have expanded sales resources to cope with the downturn.

Timson comments: “While the Economy Survey offers clear evidence of the impact of the economic downturn on FESPA’s stakeholder community, it also demonstrates that our community is robust and fundamentally optimistic, and sees the need to continue to innovate to build value and profitability.”

“As we start to shape the FESPA 2010 event, this Survey provides FESPA with an invaluable snapshot of the wide-format service provider community at this point. The results of this and future FESPA Economy Surveys will help us to understand the drivers for PSPs and monitor how the economic backdrop to their businesses is changing.  Those insights will allow us to adapt our events, products and services to offer relevant and meaningful support as they steer their businesses out of the current slump towards a more positive future.”