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Madrid in march?

If you haven’t already done so, get booking your flights for Fespa Global 2020. Here’s what you can expect from the show.

According to Fespa CEO Neil Felton, Fespa Global 2020 is the “key destination for speciality printers.” ‘Ah, well, he would say that’ you’ll be thinking. But think a bit more and you realise that this is more than the usual pre-show “you a must attend, it’s a fab event” comment - it really reflects the fact that Fespa is developing the show to attract a wider swathe of visitors. It’s to be expected of course - exhibitors realise that inkjet offers huge scope and they want to get its capability in front of potential new buyers. So, the 2020 event sees new ‘attractions’ - not all of which are aimed squarely at the readers of this magazine, but nevertheless, it pays to take notice of what’s happening in the wider world of inkjet print.

18,000 visitors are expected at Fespa Global 2020 - 60-70% from outside host country Spain - but it’s hard to second guess how many will come from beyond the realms of ‘professional print graphics’. Much is being made of show features such as Sportswear Pro and Print Make Wear, intended to court those who may not otherwise attend a print trade event, so we’ll see. These special features also boost exhibitor numbers - now standing at around 700. And Fespa says they reflect the findings of its own Print Census research - a new round of which will be launching at this year’s show, with findings slated for 2021.

So what can you expect from Fespa Global 2020 beyond the new launches and technical updates we’ve come to expect - and which we’ll flag up in ‘News’ on the Image Reports homepage and in our twice weekly enewsbulletins as detail comes in. 

Lets kick off with the new features already mentioned above as part of that programme to attract new visitors. The new co-located Sportswear Pro is aimed at those in the sportswear manufacturing industry looking at on-demand, customised sportswear production so we won’t dwell on that, other than to flag-up the fact that Fespa’s Print Make Wear feature will act as link - physically as well as thematically - between the two. 

Print Make Wear will recreate a live end-to-end production process for sports garments, starting with colour utilising CAD/CAM, design and prepress, production workflows, grading and nesting, progressing to printing, drying, cutting, sewing, welding and embellishment, culminating in packing and retail display. Two workflows will run side by side. The first one will exhibit direct-to-garment (DTG) printing onto blank sportswear and leisure garments - the second will be dedicated to roll-to-roll printing.

A programme of guided tours, led by Fespa’s textile ambassador Debbie McKeegan, will run and can be booked in advance via  https://www.fespaglobalprintexpo.com/features/print-make-wear/print-make-wear-tours. There will also be a series of ‘Experts in Conversation’ sessions.

Textiles will also be a prominent feature within the now established but constantly evolving Printeriors showcase of digitally printed interior décor applications. Jasper Goodall is the creative mind behind the designs for both Print Make Wear and Printeriors (located between halls 3 and 5) and you’ll find a botanical theme running across the features. Unfortunately, at the time of going to press, Fespa could not say which PSPs would be involved in the actual print.

2020 is the second time Fespa will run Colour LAB, a walk-through showcase of colour management technologies and live demonstrations. Again there are guided tours - of which there are four in total (not all run every day) and which each last around 45 minutes. You can book at: https://www.fespaglobalprintexpo.com/features/colour-lab/colour-lab-tours

It’s also worth going online ahead of your visit to scope out the free Trend Theatre seminars/panel discussions. There’s an outline timetable in the panel within this article, but fuller details are on the show website, and from previous experience it’s worth plotting your choices ahead of the show.

There are a couple more ‘highlights’ to note - the World Wrap Masters, Fespa Awards - and the co-located non-print focused European Sign Expo in particular. No doubt you know the score by now on these, but as a swift reminder, the Wrap Masters sees wrappers compete live in the show arena, while the Fespa Awards aims to showcase and celebrate the best of speciality print via an exhibition and gala awards night. Fespa UK Association, in collaboration with Vism, is running a separate awards scheme this year because if feels wide-format digital inkjet could benefit from a scheme directed more specifically to the sector’s output. UK/Ireland companies have nevertheless been shortlisted for this year’s Fespa Awards. So best of luck to McGowans, Harwood King Printmakers, BOBO1325, ATADesigns and Digital Plus, the last three in the new Printeriors section. And good luck to you too in navigating what promises to be a busy Fespa 2020. 

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