Where packaging met print

20 April 2006

Whether offset, flexo, digital or gravure press builder, ink supplier or pre-press provider, their IPEX news had a similar ring: the packaging converting market was one in which they all want a share. Just as drupa in 2004 had identified a market that was here to stay for the printing industry, so Ipex had done much to foster our sector that will hold far more importance to print in the future. After all, how do you make a virtual pack?

So in that respect show organizer IIR has much for which to be congratulated. It now has a clear understanding of converting – something distinctly lacking last time round. Its positioning of the flexible packaging area near to a PrintCity that had a strong packaging focus was a good idea. Now it just needs to attract more exhibitors and persuade others, for example the pre-press specialists who were in a hall that seemed a mile or two away, to move or to have another presence within the packaging sector.

On the visitor front the organizer confirmed that the exhibition has exceeded all expectations particularly in terms of international status. At the close of the show, 52,432 individual visitors had passed through the doors of the NEC, Birmingham, UK. With the inclusion of repeat visits, this figure reached 82,537 over the course of eight days. Forty per cent of visitors came from overseas. Regions with particular growth opportunities for exhibitors included Eastern Europe, the Middle East and South East Asia, with over 2,000 visitors coming from each area.

Trevor Crawford, exhibition director, said: “The proportion of overseas visitors at the show re-confirms Ipex’s international pedigree. We’re delighted that the initiatives such as the INNOV8 theatre, international days and training have been valuable for visitors and have enabled them to extend their visit to Ipex. The feedback we’ve received has been outstanding.”

The only moan I heard was that the UK converters weren’t there in great numbers. I have to say that if you didn’t go to Ipex 2006, don’t make the same mistake next time.

You missed a great event!

Pauline Covell

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