Editors speak out: Are trade shows still up to date?
Crowded halls during Labelexpo Europe 2015 - will it be the same this year? (Source: G&K TechMedia)
A summary of comments regarding Labelexpo Europe
The development of trade shows is a known fact. The “big” ones are fighting for exhibitors and visitors and organisations of well known trade shows such as drupa are concerned about possible developments in the future. Are trade shows still worth visiting? NarrowWebTech gives some insights from editors and editorial consultants, who have been working within the label and package printing industry for many years.
Written by Rosina Obermayer
Inhouse exhibitions, open house events or technical seminars are becoming more frequent, organised by companies who cooperate with suppliers and respective customers. There are Open House events such as held by Gallus with their Innovations Days, held last time in autumn 2016, by Nilpeter with “Digital Printing Spectrum” in Illinois in the USA, by Mark Andy in April in Poland, by Omet in March in Italy, or – longer ago – by Durst with its Durst Digital Days in 2015. In addition, suppliers such as Nilpeter or MPS hold such events from time to time.
Inhouse exhibitions the new trend?
Companies are organising inhouse exhibitions, such as the Xeikon Café in March in Belgium, Hunkeler Innovations Days this spring in Switzerland and IST Metz Days in May 2017 in Germany. Heidelberg, who covers its label sector by cooperating with Gallus, has its “Label Days” at regular intervals. The list is never-ending.
On the contrary, it seems, that some trade shows are having more “quiet zones” within exhibition halls or that some events are creating their strength by combining three events into one such as seen in the Italian printing industry by the new 2018 event Print4All. Conferences are often recommended, but the number of participants are not always high. Associations such as FINAT or BPIF are joyful about each new member, because an investment in a membership cannot be taken for granted anymore. Thus, they are looking for full houses at technical seminars and conferences, because without the divers range of visitors the event itself would lose many of its advantages.
Let’s take a look what the editorial team of NarrowWebTech and its sister magazines – all covering the printing industry for years – thinks about trade shows and its meaning nowadays for our industry.
The different point of views will be published during the next few weeks on narrowwebtech.com!
I am sure that the main factor in the demise of the larger shows is cost! All machinery manufacturers will confirm that their profit margins have shrunk drastically in the last ten to twenty years and although the shows are important, they do not return the sales turnover necessary to cover the costs. Look at DRUPA for example, the Hotel costs alone can run into € 100,000 plus for a Company showing larger machinery as the build-up and strip down crews also have to be taken into account.
Another area that needs to be taken into consideration is the length of the show, if it’s more than a week long the Company exhibiting has to still cover its customer services whilst still having most of its key personnel at the show.