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Event Spotlight

The Print Show

After two very successful years, The Print Show returns in October. Rob Fletcher looks ahead to what we can expect from this pivotal event

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The Print Show 2016 attracted a total of 5,916 visitors across three days, and organisers expect to surpass this record at this year’s event

Walk this way

‘If you build it, they will come’. Although perhaps one of the most misquoted film lines of all time, it is a phrase that has been used to describe everything from the venues for the London 2012 Olympic Games, through to new shopping centres. This phrase also rings true for The Print Show, which, since its launch in 2015, has become the must-attend event on the UK print calendar.

(Above & below) The Print Show 2017 will take place from October 11th to 13th at the International Centre in Telford, a town known locally as the ‘birthplace of industry’
Focused squarely on the UK commercial print industry, the event will again welcome a host of major print and print finishing technology manufacturers, while also truly reflecting the UK print industry supply chain through its 110 plus exhibitors.

For 2017 these include HP, KBA, Canon, Konica Minolta, Epson, RISO, Industria Meccanica Lombarda (Perfect Bindery Solutions), Watkiss Automation, Duplo, Morgana, Intec, Vivid Laminating Systems, B and R Moll, Mimaki (Hybrid Services), Xerox (Xeretec), Renz, Roland DG (Grafityp), EFI, Inktec Europe, Manroland Sheetfed, Hans Grohni (Printers Superstore), X-Press On Demand, and OKI.

O Factoid: The International Centre offers more than 15,000sq m of exhibition space, while the nearby ‘Convention Quarter’ has recently undergone a £250m upgrade, with a host of new restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues now open.O

In addition, there are many of the industry’s top technology, material, software, and consumables distributors at the show, such as Smart Print (Ricoh), Premier Paper, Imprint MIS, Encore Machinery, Tarrant Machines, Colourbyte, Printmax, RGB UK, Your Print Partner, R.A. Smart, Antalis, YPS, Smart Print, Granthams, and Signmaster Systems.

A key attraction of The Print Show this year for the printer is not only the diversification opportunities that can be explored within its halls, but also of course its co-location with Signlink Live, which is dedicated to the UK sign-making professional

In addition, a key attraction of The Print Show this year for the printer is not only the diversification opportunities that can be explored within its halls, but also of course its co-location with Signlink Live, which is dedicated to the UK sign-making professional. Below I have attempted to draw out a cross section of both the special attractions and exhibitors that showcase what The Print Show is all about, and why it is well worth your time to attend.

Bigger and better

For 2017, The Print Show will switch over to the International Centre in Telford, a town that is known to the locals as ‘the birthplace of industry’ and, from a quick glance at the floorplan this year, the event and this nickname go hand in hand with each other.

Alongside the many exhibitors that will attend this year—some of which feature later on in this article—organisers have confirmed its line-up of special areas of the show, which proved very popular in previous years.

One such area is ‘The Printers’ Bazaar’, which organisers have confirmed will be at The Print Show for a second consecutive year after a successful debut in 2016. This feature will once again house six areas, each of which focused on a certain sector of the industry that has been highlighted for its growth opportunities.

Visitors can drop in on the ‘Special FX Station’ for information on adding value to print, or the ‘Packaging Pavilion’, to learn more about the opportunities in this expanding sector. Also set to feature is the ‘Textile Trading Post’ for all visitors’ textile print and soft signage needs, as well as the ‘3D Print Express’, which is set to be one of the most innovative areas of the show. In addition, ‘The Branding Box’ will showcase promotional and personalised print, with the ‘The Label Loft’ looking at all things label.

Elsewhere in the International Centre, the ‘Business Seminar Theatre’ will again play host to a wide range of speakers, each of which will be offering advice and help on a number of industry issues, while the ‘Training Theatre’ will offer advice and training on leading programmes such as Adobe, while also providing insight into the transformational power of management information systems and workflow software.

(Above & below) The Business Seminar Theatre was a star attraction for The Print Show 2016, and saw star speaker Julia Bradbury raise awareness about the business benefits of environmentally-friendly printing

The ‘Traditional Print Masterclasses’ will allow visitors to cast their mind back in time and see technology that helped shape the modern print market, while ‘The Pit Stop Café’ will be open for business, providing visitors with free lunch and refreshments, and giving them a chance to recharge before heading back out to the show floor.

Power of print

One of the stand-out names on the floor plan for those interested in finding out more about the latest in cutting-edge digital print technology is HP. The manufacturer recently revealed that it will be using The Print Show as a platform to showcase a comprehensive range of its print production technology.

Anne Sharp, marketing manager in the UK and Ireland for HP, says: “HP will guide visitors through the world of applications through the HP Wall Art Suite platform, an easy and innovative web-to-print experience designed to help small-to-medium sized print-service-providers in the decoration space and explore new possibilities to express yourself through custom wallcoverings, blinds, and other applications for interiors in the HP application area.

HP will be demonstrating its full portfolio of wide-format inkjet systems in addition to demonstrating the flexibility, quality, and application scope of its highly-acclaimed Indigo print technology

“We will be showcasing our HP Latex technology and Page Wide XL range, with a key focus on applications both from our large-format business and Indigo business.”

Also confirmed for this year is Epson, which has had a presence at the show since its launch in 2015 through value added reseller partner Colourbyte, but has this year opted to take its own stand after a strong response from visitors in years one and two.

HP plans to showcase technologies from its HP Latex and Page Wide XL ranges at The Print Show 2017

Colourbyte will be attending this year alongside Epson, with visitors able to switch between the two stands to see the full array of technology available on the market.

Epson technology due to feature at The Print Show includes the Sure Color SC-S80600 and Sure Color SC-S60600 printers, both of which give users the choice of four to ten colours—including white and metallic—and up to 95.3sq m/h single-pass productivity.

Epson’s SC-S80600 will be one of a series of Sure Color machines that will feature on the manufacturer’s stand at The Print Show in October

For the professional photography, fine art, and proofing markets, Epson will show three printers from its Sure Color SC-P Series—the SC-P20000, SC-P8000, and SC-P5000—while the manufacturer will also display its Sure Lab D700 compact six-colour photo production printer.

In addition, those companies with a textile print focus may want to look on the Epson stand to see how students from Birmingham City University and award-winning fashion designer Richard Quinn will bring to life Epson’s textile printing solutions including the Sure Color SC-F2000 for direct-to-garment and the Sure Color SC-F6200 for dye-sublimation.

Another major digital print player set to grace The Print Show in 2017 is Xeikon, which is set for its debut at the event. Its focus will be on educating the UK commercial printers visiting the show about the strong diversification opportunities its presses can open up. A good example of a Xeikon press that has been helping commercial printers around the world move their businesses into new markets is the PX3000 digital label printing press—based on the firm’s new Panther UV inkjet platform.

Duncan Sargeant, sales manager for labels and packaging at Xeikon, explains more about the press: “The Xeikon PX3000 is a digital UV inkjet label printing press. Just like that other feline in our family, the Cheetah, it is designed to deal with short runs, more demanding customers and ever higher creative expectations. Think: efficiency, versatility, and quality combined—all within the Xeikon ecosystem. You’ll be ready for whatever is behind the next turn.”

Glowing words

Meanwhile, Renz, which has supported the event since its launch in 2015, has also spoken candidly about its decision to return to the show this year. Iain Bullock, managing director at Renz UK, has paid a special tribute to the efforts of the organising team.

Bullock says: “After initial scepticism about the need for a new show three years ago, Renz exhibited and not only had a good show, but were very impressed by the look and feel of the show, as well as the dedication of the staff organising the show. On the strength of the first cycle I had no qualms about signing for the second cycle.

“I admire The Print Show’s tenacity and never say die attitude. I told them that I would absolutely not be exhibiting at their show in the IPEX year, yet here we are exhibiting as I am so impressed by the good job they have done in gaining such momentum for the show.

“The thing that stands out is simply the fact that all the exhibitors that I know and had spoken with had good shows during the first two cycles, there was no negativity after the second cycle as the show truly proved itself to be a worthy event.”

Bullock adds: “The simple reason why we are now exhibiting at The Print Show is just to be there in front of our audience with relevant pieces of equipment. This is how Renz has grown and built up our reputation and contacts in the industry over the years.

The simple reason why we are now exhibiting at The Print Show is just to be there in front of our audience with relevant pieces of equipment

“I would hate to be sat back in the office knowing that there was an exhibition somewhere in the UK and that Renz wasn’t present, yet potential customers of ours were.

“The Print Show also falls at a good time in the calendar for Renz, just as the calendar season begins to start and printers and finishers alike are thinking about how they are going to fulfil their calendar work.”

Renz has also revealed that it will use the show to display important new technology for the first time in the UK, including the super quick Bindomatic Accel Cube and Ultra thermal binding machines, alongside the Renz desktop DTP 340 A semi-automated punch and ECL 360 electric Ring Wire closing machine.

Renz will be out in force for The Print Show and demonstrating its brand new range of highly-automated binding systems

Also set to feature on the Renz stand is the Punch 500 heavy duty punch, AP 300 Compact automated punch, and MOBI 500 semi-automated Ring Wire binding machine for books and calendars. In addition, Renz will be showcasing the Argos F 400 cold UV coating machine, with its innovative cold UV curing technology, for the first time in the UK.

Elsewhere, IST (UK) has also revealed that it will use this year’s edition of The Print Show to debut its new Hot Swap technology in the UK market. Hot Swap allows sheetfed, web or narrow web printers to run both UV and LED-UV on a single machine, with IST (UK) adding that the technology also enables users to switch quickly between UV lamps and LED arrays.

LED Cure from IST is a water-cooled high-performance LED system for sheet-fed offset printing

The concept has already attracted praise from a number of sectors and was also short-listed in the Stationers’ Company Innovation of the Year Awards this year.

Chris Schofield, joint managing director of IST (UK), says: “Printers are expected to supply shorter and shorter runs to tighter and tighter deadlines and this is key to the growing popularity of UV, LED-UV, and LE-UV systems.

“It is the ability to have dry sheets off the end of the press that is key to investment in this area but there are other advantages including the lift in aesthetic finish, lower energy consumption, and the elimination of spray powder.”

Iconic brand

While the many technologies on the show floor may be the main attraction for most exhibitors, this year, The Print Show will this year host a key event away from the hustle and bustle of the halls.

Kall Kwik will stage its annual general meeting at the event and encourage as many of its members as possible to attend for find out more about what the company has in store for the near future.

Speaking about the decision, Nigel Toplis, chief executive of the Bardon Group, which oversees the Kall Kwik network, says that when the opportunity to host the AGM at The Print Show arose, it was a “no brainer” to agree to the terms.

Toplis says: “Since its launch, The Print Show has gone from strength-to-strength, constantly securing some of the biggest names in the print industry and adding more to each edition.

“It was a no-brainer; The Print Show is the industry show, with the iconic brand. Combining a discussion on strategy, opportunities and new income streams with the ability to see potentially new income streams and new opportunities. I want to take the time to catch up with old faces and also new opportunities.” And that dear reader is one of the most important reasons why you too should make the time to come up to The International Centre for a day or two from October 11th to 13th. It is less ‘can you afford to go?’, and more ‘can you afford to miss it?’.

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