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Has this long-established annual event still got pulling power? Glimpse its attractions then make your mind up.

Are the oldies the goodies? When it comes to a show with a 26-year history, Sign and Digital UK event director Rudi Blackett believes this industry stalwart still has plenty to offer – and that 2013 will be proof positive of that.

A look at what you’ll get for your money if you attend the Fespa Global Summit 2013.

Traditionally printers aren’t very good at forking out for strategic business insight, but tradition is out of the window as those attending the third Fespa Global Summit will understand. The pace of change all around us means that to run a sustainable business owners/managers need to know all there possibly is to know about the issues affecting a company’s profitability and longevity.

Viscom focuses on LFP sustainability at this year’s show, which runs 25 – 27 October in Frankfurt.

EcoPrint, the first show dedicated to sustainability in print, may now be over but the issue of sustainability in print is far from it. Expect the should-be priority topic therefore to get a good airing at Viscom in Frankfurt at the end of this month.

How are kit manufacturers ‘selling’ such technologies to the show’s vast and varied range of visitors?

Drupa is the shopfront for suppliers to the print trade so it goes without saying that wide-format is going to be represented. But how will kit manufacturers in this space represent themselves and their wide-format solutions at this giant of a show, where digital print - and inkjet in particular - promises to be a focus yet must rub shoulders with all the other print technologies and vie for attention with the enormous cross-section of visitors the show attracts? We asked a random selection of Drupa exhibitors with wide-format offerings, for their take on the issue…

Yes, it’s getting close to the extravaganza that is Drupa and its celebration of all things print related. If you’ve not booked your flight to Dusseldorf, this is why you should…

“Many parts of the industry were hit hard by the economic crisis of 2008 and 2009, and they are still dealing with the consequences today, with a fundamental transition in the print and media industry. Web-based technologies, digital printing, smart phone communication and of course classical sheet and web offset printing - in particular linking different technologies - these are all just a few of the headlines for current discussions. Drupa 2012 has come at the right time in this phase of transition. It facilitates the future transition to Print 2.0 and actively pursues this with its conceptual cornerstones.”

If you are you planning to attend Sign and Digital UK at the end of March, here’s what you can expect from the show in its 25th year.

Sandwiched between Fespa Digital and Drupa, Sign and Digital UK may see fewer product launches this year than it has tended to in the past. But as a UK-based show dedicated to the sign making and digital print sector it still promises to draw a crowd, especially those who don’t fancy hot-footing it to Barcelona or Dusseldorf this side of the summer.

Fespa is expanding to explore the wider opportunities afforded by the new visual landscape.

According to MD Neil Felton, speaking at the pre-show Fespa Fest event towards the end of 2011, “Fespa will always be print focussed, but we do need to embrace other technologies and Fespa’s focus will change to encompass wider imaging specialisms.” Hence at Fespa Digital 2012 in February you will see not just the integration of the Fespa Fabric ‘show within a show’ focussing on garment printing/decoration, but a space for narrow format/labelling too.

From revolution to evolution: That’s where we are in terms of large-format digital print development, a move that you can expect to see reflected at Fespa Digital 2011 in Hamburg in May.

Evolution: a gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form. Yep, that works as a definition for today’s large-format print community. We’ve oft repeated the mantra ‘adapt or die’ in Image Reports as the sector morphs from one thing into another and printers develop their diversification instincts in a bid for long-term survival. So it’s little wonder that Fespa adopted the ‘Evolution’ theme for its 2011 show. 

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