The second-largest exhibitor at Informa’s printing industry trade show, Heidelberg, has withdrawn from the next edition of the quadrennial show in 2014.
The loss of the key German printing products manufacturer comes two months after HP, Ipex’s largest exhibitor in 2010 at 2,870sqm, pulled out of the show. Landa, another significant printing brand pencilled into the floorplan with 1,650sqm, is also reportedly reviewing its presence in 2014.
In a statement, Heidelberg MD Gerard Heanue said the decision to pull out was prompted by a rethink of its sales and marketing strategy and the changing needs of customers in different territories.
However, the company will continue to support rival print media fair, Drupa, a German quadrennial exhibition that has just signed off its latest edition at Messe Dusseldorf from 3 to 16 May 2012. HP has also reiterated its commitment to Drupa in 2016.
“We need to take a different approach here in Europe than in developing markets like China and Brazil, where there remains a need to use exhibitions to meet new buyers and make them aware of the scale and scope of our wide portfolio of products and services,” Heanue said.
“The consolidation of printing in the European market, the reduction in the number of printers and the increasing focus on more complex technical sales means exhibitions are not as relevant as in the past for Europe.”
Heidelberg plans to rely more heavily on its UK showrooms, along with bespoke demonstrations and targeted forums for sales moving forward, Heanue said.
Ipex event director Trevor Crawford expressed disappointment in Heidelberg’s decision and said Informa will address its cancellation in detail at the next Ipex Advisory Committee meeting on 20 September. Heidelberg took 2,448sqm at Ipex 2010.
“Heidelberg has long been synonymous with printing and has a long association with Ipex,” Crawford said. “As organisers of a range of exhibitions around the world, we will continue to have an ongoing dialogue with them.”
He pointed out 29 of the 33 key footprints at the next Ipex have increased their presence including 16 major digital exhibitors, who have upped their combined stand space by 55 per cent. Brands confirmed include Canon, EFI, Epson, Xerox, Kodak, CMC, Konica Minolta, Hunkeler and Muller Martini.
Ipex moves to Excel London on 26 March to 2 April 2014 after a long tenancy at The NEC in Birmingham. The move has been endorsed both by HP and Heidelberg.
“By integrating our Cross Media event into Ipex 2014, it will provide a wider range of visitors than ever before,” Crawford said. “The nearly 400,000 people working in London’s creative industry, all contribute to make it the capital’s second-largest sector with €32bn per year, generating 16 per cent of the city’s gross value.”
Earlier this month, Informa announced a complementary global roadshow programme next year across various key geographies in the lead-up to the main 2014 event.
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