|Printer trade shows, summary for past years to prepare for exhibitor lists summer-autumn 2013 and 2014.|
Printer expos such as SGI Dubai, Sign Africa, D-PES in China:
This page is a list of all the trade shows we visited in 2011-2014, so you can use it as a guide to begin considering which printer expos you may wish to attend in 2014-2015.
Sign & Graphics Imaging, Dubai 2015
SGI, Dubai, is the first major expo of year every year (late January or early February), but its tough to find space at the venue, so the expo has been earlier in January in 2014 and mid-January for 2015).
Their web site is SignMiddleEast.com, but the expo itself is best known as Sign & Graphics Imaging, SGI, Dubai.
I have attended year after year. Why fly all the way to Dubai?
Because if you want to be ahead of the crowd, can you afford to wait until FESPA or until DRUPA?
In summary, the 18th Annual Sign & Graphic Imaging Middle East (SGI Dubai) is worth attending in order to get ahead of your competitors. Also Dubai is a friendly country: you can bring your whole family here. Frequent flights put the Dubai airport within reach of anywhere else in the world.
If you wish to make an appointment to meet Dr Hellmuth in Dubai, please contact FrontDesk “at” FLAAR.org by e-mail to obtain the consulting fee info. We can provide assistance before, during, and after the Dubai expo (and for any and all other printer trade shows during 2014-2015).
Graphics of the Americas
I have enjoyed attending Graphics of the Americas for many years, and I will attend all three days, March 1st through third, 2012. Plus, for their 2012 expo I will again be presenting a lecture.
For 2012 Graphics of the Americas was back in Miami. I much prefer Miami over Orlando. But then GOA 2013 was back in Orlando! Fortunately 2014 Graphics of the America will be back in Miami.
FLAAR looks forward to attending GOA in 2015; Dr Nicholas Hellmuth will lecture in Spanish and other topic(s) in English.
D-PES, China Sign
D-PES was in Dongguan the last two years. In 2012 the D-PES was in Guangzhou, the same week as the competing expo.
Since we have abundant experience in China, working with Chinese ink, media, and printer manufacturers, and attending all the key Chinese printer expos, we can provide helpful tips, suggestions and knowledge about which expos you (as a printshop owner or manager, or you as a distributor, or you as a manufacturer) should know about.
You do not want to waste your time (and airplane cost) flying to the wrong expo in China!
Contact us, FrontDesk “at” FLAAR.org to learn about the services available, to you, in-person with FLAAR to guide you through the maze of Chinese printer expos.
We go to D-PES every year, and four of us from FLAAR will be at this expo in mid-February.
Sign China, Guangzhou
There are two expos in the same city, the same week: both cover printers, inkjet ink, media, substrates, CO2 laser engravers, cutters, etc.
What is the difference between Sign China (the second one), and China Sign (D-PES)?
We can help you because FLAAR attends both, each and every year.
We cover Graphispag in our FLAAR Report in PDF format on trade shows around the world.
Sign & Digital UK
I enjoyed visiting Sign & Digital UK in 2010, and for 2011 sent Silvia Herrera there. Silvia is one of our two Technical Writers stationed in Europe (yes, we are expanding worldwide; we will have four of us stationed in China for five weeks later this year).
I went to IPEX many years ago, but, like Graph Expo, IPEX is mainly offset and office copiers (and today narrow format digital presses, both inkjet and toner). So I find that Sign & Digital UK is more of a wide-format showcase, and definitely more inkjet media, inks, etc.
I never returned to IPEX after one peek; too many office printers; not enough signage; not enough flatbed printers; not enough innovative inks
Sign & Digital UK is essential if you are in this part of the world, but since FESPA 2013 is in the UK, that will satisfy most people’s need for the UK market. But we are impressed by the energy expended by the organizers of Sign & Digital UK to keep their expo moving forward. The one snag for people from outside the UK is the cost of traveling in the London area. Birmingham has the downside of not having reasonably priced hotels near the expo center: but at least the expo center is at the main airport.
ISA Sign Expo
I enjoyed being on an ISA sub-committee last year (2011) and I have a better idea of the organization that stands behind this expo. FLAAR provides diverse services to trade show organizers, including providing pre-show and post-expo FLAAR Reports to our increasing multitude of readers.
Another service we provided to ISA was one we copyrighted, a special kind of map to show attendees where each kind of printer is located at the expo. FLAAR had experimented with this service with SGI in Dubai 2011 and we rolled it out in more detail at ISA in 2011. This is a detailed and specialized “what to see” exhibitor list that goes far beyond the traditional categories pages inside the official printed catalogs. Those old-fashioned style pages list too many confusing categories, and most is simply padding by the exhibitors.
FLAAR, in its popular independent manner, cuts through the hype and lists precisely which booths show which printers. These FLAAR Reports were handouts at the 2011 expo, or available on-line.
Since ISA provided a complimentary booth we flew four of us to ISA 2014 in Orlando. One person for the booth, since it is best if the booth has a person present the entire day (most trade show and trade magazine booths tend to have no attendant most of the days).
We look forward to ISA 2015 and are considering having a booth there again.
FESPA Digital 2014
FESPA Digital has been the most successful printer exposition in the Europe; their halls have been sold-out for months. All other sign expos in Europe have shrunk; the Milano expo collapsed over 30% last year (2010). But FESPA is growing. We hope all printer trade shows recover, but clearly FESPA Digital is successful (and for 2014, Munich is such a better venue than over-priced London Docklands).
We also like FESPA Mexico but have not attended for many years.
Textile printers, after-market inks, media expo in Shanghai, APPPEXPO, every July in China.
Every year in Shanghai there is a monumental expo on wide-format printers (five to six halls), with three or more exhibition halls on LED and LCD signage too. In 2011 it was 13 halls !
We are not yet writing evaluations of LED and LCD digital signage, but we are interested, and as soon as we have manufacturers who bring us to their companies we will begin evaluating dynamic digital signage. But in the meantime we are focused on wide-format textile printers, printable fabrics, after-market inks, and media, substrates, and printable materials.
We are also preparing a new FLAAR Report on Chinese-made printers with Epson DX5 and DX6 printheads. We found a new brand of these printers (for water-based inks) that has a good reputation.
For all APPPEXPO Shanghai 2011 reports, we needed time to process the over 847 photographs that we took during our week in Shanghai. But now all reports are available from 2012, to prepare you for the APPPEXPO Shanghai exhibitor list for 2013.
We are now preparing previews for APPPEXPO 2014 in Spanish, in Russian, and in English because this one expo (APPPEXPO) is not the de-facto world leader.
Textile wide-format printers and dye sublimation inks at huge Brazil expo
The FutureTEXTIL (sic) expo is co-located with SIGN 2011 (meaning wide-format inkjet printing) and combined with Serigrafia to result in the largest wide-format and textile expo in the entire Americas. Yes, sorry folks, more visitors, more enthusiasm, and more sign shop owners, managers, and printer operators than any single signage or print expo anywhere in Mexico, USA, or Canada.
We came out of curiosity: what we found exceeded our expectations (especially for dye-sublimation). Yes, if you want production textile printers at one ton per machine, you need to go to ITMA; if you want the leading several Italian textile printer manufacturers you need to go to FESPA Digital or VISCOM Italy. But if you need dye-sublimation there is plenty to see at FutureTEXTIL+SIGN+Serigrafia 2012. We saw the key textile-dedicated companies: Digi-Fab from USA and I met many new companies such as Dr Ink (in Havir booth).
WOW, plenty to see here (not to mention Brazil is a friendly country; the restaurants are worth the visit by themselves; and there is enough eye-candy in every booth and every aisle that if that’s what you need in life Brazil sure is a great place.
I came here for printers, inks, media, cutters, and to learn about the distribution system for introducing international products in Brazil. But you would have to be blind to not notice the attractive and pleasant booth hostesses in every booth.
For 2013 Serigrafia is the identical dates as APPPEXPO in Shanghai; no contest: most people around the world will vote for the gigantic Shanghai expo.
Sign Africa, AFRICA Print, Johannesburg
FLAAR attends Sign Africa each and every year. Nicholas presents lectures and interacts with all the major distributors here in South Africa.
Sign Africa is the premier inkjet and office copier printer expo on the continent, and is held in August (in this part of the world, the temperatures are pleasant in August).
Since FLAAR is dedicated to assisting printer expo organizers, we enjoy working with Dyelan Copeland and Charnia Yapp each year. We were back in Joburg to enjoy the exhibitor list for Sign Africa 2013. It was nice to see them join with the FESPA branding to create FESPA Africa 2014. We support printer expos which cooperate with other expos.
Unfortunately the dates for 2014 are the identical days as the enormous international printer expo in China, APPPEXPO, so for the first time this decade we will skip Sign Africa (FESPA Africa) and skip Africa Print 2014.
FLAAR also contributes, all year, to the leading trade magazine of southern Africa, Practical Publishing.
Graph Expo, 2014, Chicago; and every four years called Print?
Graph Expo used to be a giant printing trade show. Every four years it changes its name to “Print” and is bigger than the other three years when it is called Graph Expo.
For several years FLAAR was a major sponsor of the Wide Format Pavillion, plus we lectured each year.
Then the woman in charge of the Wide Format Pavillion was no longer at the expo organizer, and a university was put in charge of the lecture program. Lectures on wide-format inkjet disappeared, and everything was on old-fashioned offset and flexo.
I attended Graph Expo 2011 because Memjet was launching their first 42” printer. I skipped 2012 (since SGIA and ISA and FESPA have all the wide-format inkjet nowadays). I returned to Print 2013 but was disappointed to see that Print was smaller than Graph Expo expos during the years 2006-2007.
There was also a first launch of a hybrid UV-cured printer during a Graph Expo.
Otherwise, this is an offset printer expo, office copier expo, and digital press show (Xerox (and what was left of Kodak). This obviously raises the question: shoud you opt for SGIA? ISA? Graph Expo?
How do these compare with FESPA or VISCOM in Europe?
Should you attend a Chinese printer, media, ink expo instead!
FLAAR’s entire staff of evaluators attends selected printer expos around the world every year: we have specialists for ink, for textile printers, for media, for cutters. So you can come to us for assistance in making crucial decisions which printer expo you should consider.
What will happen to your business if DRUPA is the only expo you attend? What other options are available?
ITMA, for learning about advances in textile printing inks and printers
Dr Hellmuth attended ITMA 2011 (Barcelona) about five days, together with Silvia Herrera, the FLAAR representative for Europe (who lives in Spain; our other European rep is in Ukraine, and was with Nicholas at Reklama Moscow the week after ITMA). Yes, we now have staff in Europe, as FLAAR continues to expand.
ITMA is all about textile production; the machines that weave and knit textiles. But there are also exhibits of textile inks, RIP software for printing textiles, and textile printing machines. These are more than just dye-sublimation: here at ITMA you get serious million-dollar printers, as well as serious production printers (that do not cost a million dollars) such as the new textile printer by efi VUTEk.
ITMA in Europe is only every several years, so the next ITMA that we might attend is Asia. It is ironic that although ITMA is considered “the biggest and best textile printer expo in the world” in actuality we found another expo with a whopping 38 brands of textile printers (if my brain cells can remember numbers). So now even the venerable ITMA has serious competition.
If you wish to attend a textile (or glass or ceramic) printer expo, you can write FLAAR and ask to have Dr Nicholas Hellmuth to go with you to all pertinent booths. Plus we can suggest which expos are worth attending (and which not).
WIDE-format surprise at Labelexpo Europe in Brussels
FLAAR continues to expand coverage in the world of inkjet printers, and attended Labelexpo Europe 2011, in Brussels. Nicholas flew there from three days taking notes and having meetings at Reklama Moscow.
Labelexpo Europe is much more than just flexo and offset. And at this expo we were invited to photograph the most remarkable WIDE-format printer we have seen this entire year.
We were tempted to visit LabelExpo 2013; as always, it is the same identical week as Viscom Paris and Reklama Moscow! But we had so many reports to finish that we decided to skip all three. However we would be interested in LabelExpo Europe in 2015.
VISCOM Spain, Madrid
6-8 October, 2011 was the VISCOM Spain expo, in Madrid as always. Since this expo is too small, I no longer attend, but I did send Silvia Herrera, since FLAAR is gradually making lists of all the distributors, country by country. This is because many manufacturers ask us for this information. So as a public service we prepare lists of distributors.
But it is more than the list that counts: anyone can make a list. What counts is which are the reliable distributors; which are the distributors that actually pay the costs of the equipment from the manufacturers. There was a well publicized scam in the US where one distributor kept declaring bankruptcy and then opening back up under a slightly different name.
Viscom Spain 2012 will have a tough time competing with both DRUPA and FESPA Barcelona. But this is the nature of reality: competition. Evolution of species gives success to the successful. The inefficient and old-fashioned become extinct.
It is the same with trade shows: web sites are replacing expos. But even though FLAAR is 100% web site proficient, we prefer to work with expo organizers. This is why we work with Sign Africa, SGI in Dubai, ISA in USA, and several expos in China.
VISCOM Duesseldorf, Germany
13-15 October 2011 was a nice expo in Germany. I found it worth visiting even though it is not gigantic.
For 2012 it will be tough, since probably 100% of all German, Austrian, and Swiss printer industry people will visit DRUPA. But like the other expos in the autumn, here you can see the printers which at DRUPA (in early summer) were only (non-functional) prototypes. By the time of Viscom Frankfurt 2012 later in the year, you should be able to see these new printers actually function.
I am tempted to visit Viscom Duesseldorf in 2013, but not yet decided.
SGIA expo: sign printing and other applications
TThere are several ways to describe SGIA 2011. One is to say that it's wide-format aspect is as large and often larger than any other printer expo in the world during autumn.
I can document this because in the two months before SGIA I have attended GraphExpo (Chicago), GlassBuild America (Atlanta), Viscom Paris, Viscom Duesseldorf, Reklama Moscow, LabelExpo Europe (Brussels), Sign Africa and five days at ITMA textile expo in Barcelona (it lasted an entire week but I had to fly to two other cities that same week).
And, although two MEMJET 42" wide-format inkjet systems were launched during these months, one of the most remarkable looking wide-format technologies will be a world-first at SGIA.
We returned to SGIA 2013, and sure am glad that it is not stuck in New Orleans any more. The exhibitor list SGIA 2014 should be healthy since this is no longer a DRUPA Year.
Viscom Italy was worth visiting in November three years ago
I enjoyed visiting Viscom Italia but this expo in Milano continues to shrink noticeably. The number and size of booths in 2010 shrank about 30% over 2009. In 2011, the expo was noticeably smaller than 2010. Nonetheless Viscom Italy was still larger than Viscom Paris and Viscom Madrid put together. And still worth coming to Milano.
We discuss the rise and fall of Viscom sign expos in a separate web page in our network
Expos we skipped in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 (but would consider for 2015)
In 2011 we skipped IPEX Middle East; we were invited but never heard back the month before he expo, so we never bought a plane ticket. There have been several small local print expos in the Middle Eastern countries, but so far only SGI in Dubai has reached international status. But I hope that expos in Egypt, Jordan, and other countries can also become high status.
We skipped IPEX 2014 since London is over-priced and the expo center is far far far away from Heathrow. We did not attend Serigrafia, Sign, Future Textil 2014 in Brazil because airfare costs were excessive, and friends in Brazil said the expo had shrunk. In the future we would be interested in returning if airfare and hotel were hosted.
In 2013 Serigrafia in Brazil was same July dates as APPPEXPO in Shanghai. Since many of us in the industry need to attend APPPEXPO (since it is now the largest inkjet printer expo in the world in terms of inks, media & substrates, flatbed cutters, printers, and laminators (has more inkjet workflow brands than even DRUPA !, plus is a nice easy 4-day program, and not the unnecessary days of DRUPA).
In 2014 Sign Africa (now nicely rebranded as FESPA Africa) is also the same identical dates as APPPEXPO in Shanghai. Since APPPEXPO offers so many after-market ink options, dozens, scores of media (Korea in addition to China and Taiwan, plus European brands as well), UV-cured printers, dozens of textile printer brands, five of us will go to Shanghai. We all enjoy Johannesburg and many of my staff wish to travel to South Africa to get to know the country, but for 2014, because the Africa expo is identical dates as Shanghai, we will focus on APPPPEXPO in Shanghai. We hope to return to FESPA Africa and AFRICA Print in 2015.
During 2011 I also decided not to attend two other expos. By 2012 we skipped each and every VISCOM since VISCOM Madrid barely exists, VISCOM Milano is less than 50% of its glory days. I enjoy all VISCOM events, also in Paris and Germany, but sorry, VISCOM never got their branding coordinated and let FESPA become the expo in EU which offers almost everything.
I enjoyed the expos in Russia but prices are out of sight; they don’t even provide a complimentary exhibitor list manual to the press, and the Moscow expos have shrunk in size since they were asking too much for booth space. I would enjoy returning to Reklama Moscow, but we do not recommend to anyone to go without a translator to be with you from the arrival airport to when you depart.
There has to be a compelling reason to attend an expo and if there is no reason, I can write more reports by being in my office than stuck at airports and on an airplane. However I did travel over 440,000 kilometers, so got to a lot of trade shows.
Two reasons: first, our audience is international. We can better serve our audience if we get to know the distributors and print shop owners in each part of the world.
Second, I am inherently curious. We make no profit by attending trade shows (the airfare, hotel, meals, and time away from the office cost more than any way money can be made at an expo). But I do learn about printing technology, printheads, inks, substrates. I can see what is true green and what is blustering greenwashing.
I wish to help provide information for our million+ readers, and I do this by asking questions wherever I go. I have been a university professor in my earlier life and I guess the twin concepts of research and then providing, and sharing, my knowledge with others is simply ingrained in my personality.
What (printer) expos would we like to consider in 2014?
I would like to go to more glass printing, and to ceramic printing expos in 2012.
I would like to attend expos in Canada, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Asia outside China (since I automatically go to the main Chinese expos already). I have never been to KOSIGN in Korea, for example.
Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, India, Malaysia, are a few of the countries I would like to visit for their printer expos.
Since we are multi-lingual at FLAAR we would enjoy attending regional expos in Argentina, Columbia, Peru and other countries in South America (we have attended FESPA Mexico there).
Many regional expos, such as Sign Africa, SGI in Dubai, Sign Istanbul and others provide basic costs for FLAAR to attend, since in return we provide consulting services for their expos. We would be open to comparable relationships with printer, architectural décor, or photo expos in other parts of the world.
What about digital photo expos?
So if you wish additional information on advanced digital photography, we are available as consultants.
Please understand that it is not realistic to answer individual questions about cameras, lenses, software, etc. We are working 12 to 14 hours a day, often in distant countries, and we apologize that we can handle questions about digital photography, studio lighting, etc. only as a consultant. Best is to fly us to PhotoEast expo in New York or sign up for consulting at Photokina (next expo is autumn 2014). We invoice in advance and then at the expo we will walk the aisles with you and go into each pertinent booth to introduce you to the key people and the technology. Plus we explain the downsides as well as the benefits of a camera brand, lens brand, backdrops, etc.
What about fine art giclee expos ?
A decade ago we attended the key fine art giclee expos: every year. But one year the expo organizer said that for us to have a complimentary booth we would need to recommend a private company he and a partner operated. Since we do not wish to recommend a company unless we inspect it, and learn about its philosophy and business practices, we declined to exhibit. We have never attended that fine art giclee event since then.
But we have fifteen years experience in the world of giclee and still provide useful consulting. So if you wish additional information on what is giclee? How much profit can be harvested from the giclee market? We can assist you.
And most importantly, how can all the new inks and printers that will appear in 2014-2015 totally revitalize and revolutionalize the giclee and fine art market.
What about 3D scanning, imaging, and modeling expos ?
FLAAR was working with 3D projects long before the movie Avatar made 3D popular worldwide. We still attend 3D expos and can provide consulting services for selecting 3D scanners and 3D manufacturing equipment.
Our background is architecture (just Google Hellmuth architect ) and all architects make 3D models since the days they are in school, so already at age 19, while a student at Harvard (undergraduate major in architecture there), I was making models (by hand !) back in the 1960’s (before I even knew how to use a computer or software).
We will be expanding our coverage of 3D scanning and modeling during coming years, as 3D printing (additive manufacturing, rapid prototyping), is really advancing
Wide Format Printers