Posted Dec 12, 2014
Many people like to know what is going to happen in the new year. So the best investment is to attend the first international trade show for wide-format inkjet printers and signage. Each year, the first expo of international stature is in Dubai.
SGI is the official name but it is also widely known as Sign Middle East. This trade show is organized by IEC. You can learn more by looking at www.signmiddleeast.com..
For 2015 there will be a Signage Middle East Awards ceremony for best signage results of the area. Then there is a new lecture program which starts Jan. 10, the day before the expo opens. The second day of the lecture is the first day of the expo. The lecture and awards ceremony is organized by Enthalogy (www.enthralogy.me).
The expo is 11-13 January; the lectures are 9-10 January.
Posted Oct 16, 2014
Glasstec is for glass the way ITMA is to textiles the way Tecnargilla is for ceramics: Glasstec 2010 and Glasstec 2012 were very impressive, especially the depth of diverse kinds of inks used to print on glass. Plus, what is especially important, are the chemicals needed before printing and after printing.
So Dr Nicholas Hellmuth, Senior Review Editor of FLAAR, attended Glasstec 2014 in Duesseldorf. With a Germanic name such as Hellmuth, he will be at home, since German is his third language, after English and Spanish. Since FLAAR is read around the world most of our editors are multi-lingual.
Unfortunately Glasstec was the same week as SGIA in Las Vegas, but we still felt that it was essential to attend Glasstec 2014 since the American glass expo, GlassBuild America is nowhere near as thorough in its coverage.
Another reason for attending Glasstec is that the Hellmuth family is an architectural dynasty for three generations: grandfather, great-uncle; then Nicholas's father formed Hellmuth, Yamasaki + Leinweber, then formed HOK (Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum), one of the three largest architectural firms in the world. So we at FLAAR study all printers and inks for printing on architectural materials: glass, ceramic tiles (Tecnargilla expo several weeks ago in Rimini), and printing textiles for interior decoration (ITMA and also ShanghaiTex). Plus we write about wallpaper and wallcoverings (inks, substrates, printers, and lamination or coatings).
Glass is easy to print on, but most ink fails to adhere adequately. So we study printers for glass in all aspects. Hence it is essential to attend Glasstec 2014 in the pleasant city of Duesseldorf, Germany.
Posted Oct 15, 2014
Unfortunately SGIA was on the same days as Glasstec in Duesseldorf. But four of us attended SGIA since SGIA is a stable expo. Indeed SGIA is one of the few wide-format and signage expos in the world which is really healthy.
FESPA 2015 in Cologne, SGI 2015 (Sign Middle East), Sign Istanbul 2015 all are doing well also. APPPEXPO 2015 in Shanghai is doing amazingly well (over 90 brands of UV printers; over 205 models of UV-cured printers).
We recommend SGIA because it is holding its own in a world of printer expos which are collapsing (VISCOM Madrid) or which fell by close to half (ITMA 2014, VISCOM Milano over the last three years). Graph Expo 2014 was waaaayy down (but still great to attend for copiers and digital replacements for offset, plus great for commercial printers and all the workflow equipment).
We enjoyed SGIA in Las Vegas: inks, media & substrates, textile printers and inks, T-shirt printers, inks and toner, cutters, RIP software, and hopefully color management and MIS software were the main topics of importance in the world of inkjet, signage, and textile printing.
Posted Oct 6, 2014
Two of us from FLAAR Reports attended Tecnargilla ceramic expo four days. We have a list of every inkjet printer: in-line single pass and also flatbed printers (not single pass, and not in-line).
Ceramic expos can be found in several countries, so why does FLAAR Reports attend the one in Rimini and not in Valencia, Spain?
And what about printing on glass?
The Hellmuth family background is in architecture, around the world. Two of Dr Nicholas's brothers are architects as is his cousin, father, grandfather and great uncle.
So we cover all aspects of printers for architecture (glass and ceramic tiles especially) and for interior decoration (printing on textiles).
Posted Oct 6, 2014
We at FLAAR recommend attending Graph Expo in Chicago if you are interested in the five top brands of wide-format printers, or if you want to see office printers and mailing systems. But APPPEXPO in Shanghai had 90 brands of UV-cured printers alone (not counting the scores and scores of eco-solvent printer brands and lots of textile printer brands).
Plus, sadly, the wide-format pavilion of Graph Expo was too empty: too much PR made you expect a BIG fancy area. Instead it was just aisles of double width, empty unoccupied booth areas, other booths which were given free just to try to fill space, and lots of tables and chairs to cover over the fact that not many brands wanted to exhibit here.
The expo itself is fine, just that the PR releases are exaggerated, so you come to see what is claimed is available: and instead you see empty areas; empty floor space, in every part of the hall (since Heidelberg pulled out and not even Agfa is here any more).
But HP is here; Canon and Xerox had large and popular booths. EFI had a big and popular booth and had excellent coverage every day in the "Show Daily" newspaper.
So if only the PR releases could be totally toned down, and if claims of BIG wide-format pavilion could be muted, then everyone can enjoy what is still present (and not be looking for everything which was claimed but was embarrassingly missing).
Chicago is a great place to visit; and Graph Expo still has lots of brands for office printing, commercial printing, and mailing of what is printed. Just that for wide-format inkjet, it is safer not to claim too much, since APPPEXPO in Shanghai had 171 booths of media and printable substrates. I did not notice more than three or four booths of media at Graph Expo, and mostly just for office printers.
If you attend only Graph Expo you can be content; but if you travel all year to expos everywhere, your vision is a tad better rounded. Even Sign Istanbul had more wide-format everything than Graph Expo (two of us from FLAAR attend Sign Istanbul every year). Then we flew to Photokina: smaller every year but still big enough to attract massive crowds; this is the busiest expo I have visited in the entire world all year (even though it is smaller each time). We want all expos to be successful, but if no one admits to reality, and if PR releases make claims which show they are not familiar with the wide-format printer industry, misleading expectations arise.
I hope that Graph Expo can co-locate with another expo (more than just a tiny packaging aisle) so that Graph Expo can continue. Six years ago even FLAAR had a booth, and the wide-format pavilion had inks, media, printers and everything.
IPEX is one good lesson. VISCOM Spain is another (Sign Madrid; they never could brand themselves understandably). Their web sites do not even explain why they don't exist any more: yet for years their PR releases claimed each VISCOM was so great, so big, so filled, so many attendees! (fortunately VISCOM Paris was actually well attended this year, so there is still hope…but only if organizers wake up and don't hide under excessive PR claims).
Updated Sept. 10, 2014
Posted August 20, 2014
There are many reasons to attended Sign Istanbul, first, it is the longest-running sign and printer expo for wide-format inkjet printing in this part of the world.
Second: Istanbul is a great place to visit, so you can bring your entire family or at least a travel partner.
FLAAR attends Sign Istanbul every year. There are lots of ink companies, media (especially rigid ACM (also called ACP), printers, cutters: and all the rest of the workflow.
The web site is www.SignIstanbul.com; click on UK flag to get English.
Two of us from FLAAR attended the show, and arrived two days early, we spent lots of time during these two set-up days checking everyone's booth.
Posted July 14, 2014
Two people of our FLAAR staff flew to experience the second year event of Panamá Expo Gráfica, in Centro de Convenciones Atlapa.
There are two large hotels across the street from the expo center: Sheraton and Aloft Panama Hotel, so the expo center was very convenient to hotels (also, hotel prices do not gouge you as at most expos in some other countries).
Dr. Nicholas was a guest speaker at the opening ceremony to inaugurate this year's event.
He presented two different lectures during that week. This was arranged by Arq. Brenda Morales (Nicholas's Hellmuth family background is architecture; so we also study printing on architectural materials). This expo was a generic printing and graphic arts expo.
In one week Dr Hellmuth will be hosted to present lectures in the Middle East.
Updated June 6, 2014
Previously updated December 2013, posted Oct 10, 2013
We have enjoyed visiting Istanbul, exploring this remarkable city, and attending Sign Istanbul for many years. So two of us from FLAAR flew to Sign Istanbul in late November again last year (2013). We appreciate the expo organizers for providing the tickets and hotel so that we could study this expo.
Because there are so many expos around the world it is not realistic to attend all. But we find Sign Istanbul worth attending since it is international, relatively large, and thus offers a full range of signage and wide-format inkjet printer products.
Most expos have entertainting PR releases, promising everything and claiming the world's best. This kind of constant blast of PR releases vary from embarrassing to misleading.
We do not make any profit from any expo; yes, of course expos select our team to inspect their expo, but they cover only round trip airfare, hotel, and meals. And most important, we say what we feel is appropriate about an expo; never do we accept the PR releases of the expo organizer (not even of expos for which we are consultant).
If you wish to see the most diverse range of products in Turkey, in the signage and wide-format world, with brands from many areas of the world, be sure to come to beautiful friendly Istanbul for Sign Istanbul 2014, at new dates in early autumn.
Our free report is now available; just click on the front cover and it will download.
The web site is www.signistanbul.com
Every year we send our team of evaluators to the major trade shows around the world. After 15 years experience attending printer and signage trade shows, we know which expos are worth the effort (and which expos are no longer worth visiting: we really enjoyed VISCOM Madrid, but stopped going already six years ago).
I went to VISCOM Milano every single year: but stopped going in 2012 (because most Italian colleagues said it was no longer worth attending (FESPA Digital in Europe had a wider range of products)).
APPPEXPO in Shanghai we have attended every year. First I went by myself. It was so large that next year I returned with an assistant. Every year I added more staff since the expo kept growing (now we send at least five of us to APPPPEXPO, this July 3-6, 2014.
There are plenty of nice hotels across the street. There are hundreds of restaurants all around. Shanghai is a remarkable city (and definitely less crime than Atlanta expo area!).
People in China are friendly and the staff in the booths speak better English than in any expo in two other countries (to be polite I will not name the other countries, but in both there was no interest in speaking English or even Spanish or German or any other major international language).
So Shanghai is a great place to visit. We hope to see you here this July. To get an attendee pass, sign up and register here: www.apppexpo.com/2/EN/Visitor
Below are the new FLAAR Reports related with "what to expect" at APPPEXPO 2014
Updated May 27, First posted May 9, 2014
Four of us from FLAAR Reports attended FESPA 2014 to experience all the new launches, to communicate with many colleagues, and to let our over half million readers around the world learn more about this main FESPA printer event in Europe.
FESPA 2015 will be in historical German city of Cologne, a great place to visit. We recommend FESPA in western Europe, and are considering possibly to visit FESPA Mexico 2014 (since Guatemala is very close).
Now that FESPA Digital is over, five of us are preparing to spend an entire week at APPPEXPO 2014 in Shanghai.
Although the July expo is four days, we arrive in Shanghai two days in advance since we are the international consultants for this growing printer, signage, and also traditional advertising expo.
There are roughly 200% to 300% more models of UV-cured and eco-solvent printers at APPPEXPO than any other expo in the world (about 400% more brands than at DRUPA!).
Sign Expo 2014, also known as ISA, was in friendly Orlando, Florida, which is easy to reach from anywhere and everywhere in the world.
We attended to this great event, since ISA is a significant expo for learning the trends, and it is precisely the trends in inks, printers, printheads, media, cutters, laminators and coaters that FLAAR researches.
We also provided consulting for print shop owners, managers, printer operators; we provided consulting for distributors from other countries who come to ISA to figure out what products are reliable. Plus clients came to us to ask what printers, inks, or materials their companies should consider (especially for industrial products and especially for atypical materials).
We enjoyed ISA 2014, and we hope you saw us at our booth #3011.
ISA 2014 was in Orlando, a great place also to bring your family or your travel companion, since there is lots of family style entertainment here.
www.SignExpo.org is their web site, definitely worth visiting.
Posted April 2, 2014
The Printing & Publishing Group (Dubai) has invited Dr Nicholas Hellmuth (FLAAR Reports) to present the Keynote speech for their seminar on Beyond Conventional Printing.
April 9 (Wednesday morning), 2014, Le Meridien (Wasl Ballroom) Airport Road.
Posted Feb. 11, 2014
Two of us from FLAAR where again at the GOA in Florida. We have attended almost every year for a decade.
Miami is a better city for bi-lingual, Spanish-English. We hope you saw us at Graphics of the Americas. We stayed all there all three days in late February (27 Feb through March 1st)
Updated January 6, 2014. Originally posted Dec.4, 2013
SGI Dubai (Sign Middle East Dubai) opened Jan 7th and will run through January 9th. Nicholas Hellmuth and Pablo Martinez arrived in Dubai after two days of flights; over 11 hours delays in airports due to winter weather in USA, plus Ryan Crist, who has worked with FLAAR on international projects in the past.
In previous years we tried to cover this expo with just one person, but since SGI Dubai is the first major printer expo of the year, we really need three people.
Sign & Graphic Imaging Middle East 2014 is the largest printer trade show in this part of the world. SGI Middle East really covers the entire Middle East (in part because Dubai is such a popular travel destination for shopping).
Lots and lots of Chinese branded printers; more than any other expo outside of China, and many many brands of Chinese media, but almost no booths of Chinese ink manufacturers; whatever Chinese ink may be present is mostly rebranded with local names.
FLAAR will make a list of every UV-cured printer, every textile printer, each T-shirt printer, all solvent printer brands, any water-based, plus latex (which most ink chemists consider very different from true water-based).
SGI, Sign Middle East, Dubai, is capably organized by International Expo Consults, associated with Falak Holding.
Their web site is www.SignMiddleEast.com
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