FESPA Reveals New Strategy

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FESPA CEO Neil Felton has revealed a new three-year strategy for FESPA. ‘We are not just an exhibitions company,’ he said. ‘It’s got to be about more than shows; it’s got to be about building demand for print by engaging with designers, architects, brands and marketers and about lengthening print market opportunities for our community.’

Felton was speaking at a press conference in Cologne ahead of FESPA 2015 in the city in May. It was announced that the event has been expanded to include industrial and 3D printing features as well as the newly introduced Printeriors and the co-located European Sign Expo. ‘There are other markets we’ll also look to address over the next three years,’ said Felton.

The move follows early findings from the first annual global FESPA Census, that showed more than half of respondents so far are researching new markets, and also reflects a widening FESPA remit. ‘We can’t just stay in this space,’ said Felton. ‘Wide-format, screen and textile print remains our core community but we have to look beyond that.’

The new strategy includes a changing relationship between FESPA and the 37 trade associations it represents. All have been asked by FESPA to draw up operational plans.
Subsequently, FESPA now has detailed information on each of the associations’ memberships, whether they are rising or falling, how each association networks with members and what events are scheduled by each, etc.

‘It means we’ll be better able to provide the right support,’ said FESPA general secretary Sean Holt, who pointed out that FESPA reinvested around R65million (500000 Euro) in 2014, R1.6million (124900 Euro) of which was direct funding to its associations. The rest went to various projects, some that provided membership benefits in the shape of the reworked Planet friendly Guides, etc. Other projects provided industry knowledge such as the census, and the Print Inspiration Rally bus that expand the sector’s educational reach.

‘We are committed to increasing the level of investment in the associations,’ said Holt. ‘A key objective is to boost membership in every Fespa association, and over the next 12 months we’ll be helping those that are struggling. We also want to increase the number of associations that are members of FESPA those that can help drive our agenda.’

Other announcements included details of the educational content programme for FESPA 2015 where various speakers will deliver sessions in the FESPA Education Hub, two theatres located on the main show floor. The Sign Hub theatre will be featured in European Sign Expo, while, Printeriors will host its own dedicated conference on 21 May. That will be led by English fashion designer and co-founder of Red or Dead, Wayne Hemingway. There will also be two panel discussions. ‘Whether visitors are interested in garment, digital, screen, industrial or interior decoration, the FESPA Education Hub, Sign Hub and Printeriors conference have something to offer every visitor,’ said Roz McGuinness, divisional director.

Confirmed Printeriors speakers include:
– Jennifer Castoldi, chief creative director of online design and fashion publication, Trendease International. She will look at ‘insights into the growth and creative development of printing for interior markets’.
– Andreas Skantza, president of Big Image Systems AB will talk about ‘creative solutions with digital printed fabrics’.
– Mark Burmingham and Peter Morrison, owners of Arc, will look at ‘cost-effective creativity’ and how digital print is a productive medium enabling the designer to execute creative campaigns efficiently, cost-effectively and to strict deadlines.
– ‘Image is Everything’ by Jan Baden, CEO, Druckprozess, will look at the photorealistic images digital print offers meeting today’s trends for image-led interiors.
– Janjaap Ruijssenaars, architect at Universe Architecture, will explore how he sees print in the architectural design sphere and will share his recent project of producing the first ever 3D printed house in his session titled ‘the recipe for discovery’.
– Michael Berman, CEO of Schoos Design, will ‘explore print in interior design’ using case studies of work and discussing how he sees print as an important tool for design.
– ‘Exploring the opportunities of digital technology for the design world’ by Sedat Baliolu and Osman Ciritci of Turkish digitally printed decoration paper company, Base Dekor.

The Printeriors 2015 exhibitors’ panel session, will include contributions from speakers who have created showcase illustrations, while sharing their experiences. The ESMA panel session will be chaired by Peter Buttiens of ESMA, and look at technologies and key players in this sector, specifically focusing on printing on ceramics, glass, wood and vinyl.

FESPA Digital 2016 will mark its ten year anniversary by returning to the Amsterdam RAI from 8–11 March 2016. The four-day event will once again include Fespa Fabric, Printeriors and European Sign Expo.

Meanwhile, FESPA Fabric 2015 is on track to be 44% larger than in London in 2013. And European Sign Expo 2015 is set to increase the floor space by 48% in comparison with the 2013 show.

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