Fri, Aug

What’s going down...

...At Fespa Digital 2014, the theme of which is ‘dive deeper into digital print’.

Fespa Digital 2014 promises to be bigger and bolder than any that have gone before, and present an ‘ocean of opportunity’ for the printer... and hopefully to designers, product managers, brands, agencies, marketers and advertisers, all of whom Fespa aims to attract to this digital wide-format print, signage and garment decoration show that encompasses Fespa Fabric and European Sign Expo.

The stats suggest this should be a knockout event. The extended showspace - which encompasses halls A1, A2, B1 and B2 - is a sell-out, with 463 exhibitors across the main Fespa Digital/Fabric halls and another 73 in the co-located European Sign Expo. Fespa said there will be at least 50 product launches at the show which opens on 20 May. There’s not room to go through each launch here, but see news for announcements.

There are several changes and new features you will note this year, the most obvious perhaps being that Fespa Fabric is no longer hived off from the main event in a separate hall but integrated within it which should increase traffic throughflow into what is essentially a garment printing arena, but with a number of exhibitors also wanting to show textile printing solutions for the likes of soft signage, interiors etc.

“By placing Fespa Fabric exhibitors in one area, it limited the diversity of those companies who also offer other digital print solutions. Therefore in 2014, we’ll be highlighting fabric suppliers through the website, catalogue and onsite signage to ensure our dedicated fabric visitors have ease of access to all the companies at the show offering products and solutions to suit their needs,” says Roz McGuiness, who was appointed as divisional director of Fespa towards the end of last year and given responsibility for the event.

Fabric will have its own ‘Hub’ (in hall A1) as part of another key show development that also sees the introduction of a Digital Hub (hall B1), Wrap Hub (hall A2), and Sign Hub (hall A1 as part of European Sign Expo) – all hosting relevant seminar programmes, workshops etc. A full list of these free sessions (some of which will be in German) can be found online. The World Wrap Masters competition final will also take place in hall A2 from 21 – 23 May.

Calling for your vote

Again Fespa is running its awards scheme and at the entrance to the show you will see the best submissions. Fespa has announced the shortlisted entries for its 2014 awards and is now asking you to vote for your favourite to win People’s Choice of the Year. Voting for the Fespa Hall of Fame Printer of the Year is also now open. The winners of both will be announced at the Fespa Awards Celebration Dinner in Munich on Thursday 22 May 2014.

The shortlisted Fespa awards entries, chosen by a judging panel, are now live on the Fespa website (www.fespa.com/awards/shortlisted-entries). You have until 20 May to vote for your favourite from across ten categories for the People’s Choice of the Year award.

You are also invited to vote for one printer from each country from a list of nominees in the Hall of Fame Printer of the Year competition. This spotlights printers who are considered inspirational and have been nominated by their peers.

The Innovation Award, which is given to the entry which all judges agree offers the most outstanding example of innovation across all awards categories, will also be announced during the celebration dinner (ticket details are online).

Data delivery

Fespa will use the Digital event in Munich to kick off a new Global Census. This is a one year campaign that will see Fespa gather information at all of its shows around the world and via online surveys. The results will be released in various stages, with a full report expected shortly after Fespa Brazil in 2015.

“We want to get as large a base as possible of information, which we can turn into global trends, regional and more granular national material,” explained Felton, “so we can see for instance, how the UK is performing against the rest of Europe? How is Europe faring on the worldwide stage? As a global organisation we want to be able to provide that sort of information.”

Driving creative towards wide format

At Fespa Digital 2014 visitors will get a chance to see the first iteration of the transformed American schoolbus that is at the heart of a new Fespa project called Print Inspiration Rallye. As part of its not-for-profit promise, Fespa is ploughing around £120,000 into the project aimed at getting wide-format print application possibilities in front of creatives. To enable it to do that the organisation has bought one of the iconic US school buses and will transform it into a showcase of wide- format print that will be driven to various vertical market exhibitions and events through to March 2015, its first outing being the Munich show.

“We need to try and highlight how printers can succeed and that means looking at the supply chain - the buyers of print and how we engage with them. We started at Fespa 2013 with the Creative Corner and provided a focus and content for brands, agencies and creative to say ‘this is what wide-format print can do’, and now we’re taking it one step further,” says Fespa CEO Neil Felton. “We’re going to take that information to the events where these people are – Cannes Lion etc. – via this moveable showcase.”

The bus will be in relatively early stages of transformation at Fespa Digital but this promises to be an ongoing process, with new applications being added throughout the year to inspire advertising agency creatives and production teams, brand owner marketers, and interior designers and architects.

“What we’re aiming to show is the breadth of print applications, and highlight some of the lesser-known capabilities of print (at least in the end-user communities), such as printing direct to glass, wood, metal, textile, as well as printed electronics,” explains Duncan MacOwan, head of events and new media, Fespa.

He adds: “We welcome suggestions and input from the print community on items and information we can include in the project. We are keen to showcase the best of print, regardless of the technology or technologies, used to produce it.”

The bus will be wrapped and have a printed awning. Inside will be a number of printed applications plus videos of case studies. Also available will be stats about the effectiveness of print in various disciplines.

At a glance

Where: Messe Munich, Germany

When: 20-23 May 2014

Times: Tue – Thurs, 10am - 6pm; Fri 10am - 4pm

Cost: Free if you register by 19 May. Registration afterthe 19 May is charged at 25 Euro online and 35 Euro on site

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