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The Print Show 2018 Preview

The highlight of the calendar for many in the UK market, The Print Show returns this year for its fourth edition. Rob Fletcher looks at what we can expect from the event

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The Print Show 2018 will return to the NEC in Birmingham, taking place in Hall 9 from September 18th to 20th

Energise your business

For a number of years, the UK printing industry suffered without an event that solely focused on the domestic market. However, in 2015, The Print Show was born and brought with it a huge wave of positivity that has continued to gather momentum in recent years.

Now in its fourth year, The Print Show will return to the NEC in Birmingham—the site of both the 2015 and 2016 events. The move comes after a successful experiment at the International Centre in Telford, with both venues proving a hit due to their central location.

Running at the earlier dates of September 18th to 20th, a host of leading brands have already confirmed their place at the show, with a wide range of new and exciting technologies set to be on show. Here, we examine come of the wide-format highlights to look out for at the NEC this year.

Opportunities await

As was the case at earlier editions, The Print Show this year will be running a number of special areas, each designed to offer advice and guidance to help visitors improve their business. 

One of these sections is the Printers’ Bazaar, giving visitors an in-depth insight into the different markets that could offer diversification opportunities to sign-makers and wide-format print companies.

Focusing in on the different sections of this zone, visitors can learn more about label printing, print and packaging, promotional print products and speciality print finishing. In addition, for sign-makers looking to add an extra string to their bow, there will be dedicated areas for large-format print and textile printing products so that they can analyse their diversification options.

Speaking about the Printers’ Bazaar, Chris Davies, event director for The Print Show, says: “From day one, our focus has been on providing an event that offers the key tools printers and wide-format print companies need to be successful. The Printers’ Bazaar epitomises this approach, offering valuable insight into the key growth areas within the wider industry.

The Printers’ Bazaar will showcase diversification opportunities in the key areas of label printing, print and packaging, promotional print products, speciality print finishing, large-format print and textile printing

“For sign-makers, the Printers’ Bazaar is an incredibly useful resource as it allows them to find out more about markets that could offer up valuable expansion opportunities. We see many print companies moving into sectors that were previously only occupied by sign-makers, but the system works both ways—and the Printers’ Bazaar will open sign-makers’ eyes to this.”

Also returning this year is the Business Seminar Theatre, which will play host to some of the leading names in print. Each session will focus on a specific area or topic of print, with expert speakers offering advice and guidance to delegates in attendance.

Nick Devine, aka The Print Coach, will be delivering the keynote speech in the Business Seminar Theatre this year. Devine, who has a 35-year background in sales, sales management and business management, will focus on selling techniques, noting that as many printing businesses will know, “you will realise you don’t make money producing printed products”.

Nick Devine, aka The Print Coach, will deliver the keynote speech in the Business Seminar Theatre

Speaking ahead of his presentation, Devine says: “If you want to catch up on industry trends as well as seeing the latest innovations in technology, then you must attend The Print Show 2018.”

Elsewhere, for sign-makers and wide-format printers looking to improve their software knowledge and learn new skills, the Software Training Theatre will feature a number of sessions designed to educate and inform. With Adobe among the confirmed contributors, visitors will have a fantastic opportunity to get hints and tips from software experts.

Delivering quality

Away from the special areas, the show floor will feature some of the biggest names in wide-format print. One of the stand-out brands is HP, which, after its debut last year, will return to the event this year to display its print technology.

HP will use The Print Show as a launch platform to showcase its new Latex R Series in the UK for the first time.

The first latex technology from HP capable of printing on both flexible and rigid materials with HP Latex Ink, the Latex R Series made its official industry debut at the FESPA Global Print Expo and will become commercially available this autumn.

HP will use The Print Show 2018 to showcase its new Latex R Series in the UK for the first time. Last year, HP displayed its gigantic HP Latex 1500

Anne Sharp, large-format print marketing manager for UK and Ireland at HP, says: “Equipped with a single, six-colour ink set, the HP Latex R series technology delivers unprecedented quality at speed, and is the first, true hybrid latex technology that merges HP’s renowned flexible printing capabilities into rigid printing.

“The HP Latex R series brings unparalleled quality to a wide range of rigid materials such as foamboards, foam PVC, cardboard, fluted polypropylene, solid plastics, aluminium, wood and glass.

“Unlike UV printing technology, which creates a thick layer of ink that completely covers the material and requires time to dry, HP’s water-based Latex Inks preserve the look and feel of the media and delivers odourless prints that are both safe for the environment and the printer operator.”

Sharp also picked up on how the Latex R Series tackles one of the industry’s most “pervasive limitations in printing”, with HP’s White Latex Ink featuring a system that recirculates the white ink—both within the ink delivery system and at the printhead—to avoid settling.

Sharp says: “It also has a unique storage system with automatic agitation for when the ink is not being used to minimise waste. For the first time, HP’s innovative White Latex Ink delivers glossy, high-quality “true white” that doesn’t yellow over time like traditional UV-based white ink does.”

Comprehensive collection

Elsewhere, Epson will have a presence at The Print Show for the fourth year in a row. Phil McMullin, sales manager of Epson UK, say the manufacturer is looking to build on its “big success” in 2017 by showcasing a selection of kit, suitable for various applications within the sign-making and wide-format print markets.

The Epson stand in all its glory at The Print Show 2017. Epson will be back this year to show a comprehensive range of wide-format inkjet solutions

McMullin says: “We want to show the breadth of our inkjet solutions and the quality of print that is possible for dye sublimation, textile, label, photographic, POS and signage applications. We expect some of our commercial partners to be exhibiting also, demonstrating an even wider range of applications printed with Epson technology.

“We will show a comprehensive range of wide-format inkjet models from our signage (S series), photography (P series) and textiles (F series) SureColor range.

“Visitors can also expect a modern and eye-catching display to reflect the diversity of products that can be handled from textiles and décor to wraps, posters, signage, POS and promotional applications.”

Meanwhile, Hybrid Services will also be returning to The Print Show, following its successful appearance in 2017 where it displayed the Mimaki UCJV150-160 and UCJV300-160 for the first time. Hybrid Services is the exclusive distributor of Mimaki in the UK and Ireland, and visitors can expect to see a selection of kit from the manufacturer on the firm’s stand this year.

Hybrid will showcase Mimaki printers on its larger stand this year

John de la Roche, national sales manager at Hybrid Services, comments: “Hybrid has increased its stand space by about a third, and a number of our resellers have already committed to the show so we’re expecting another substantial Mimaki presence in 2018.

“Mimaki’s product line-up sports an incredible variety of ink technologies including LED UV, solvent, textile and water-based machines and our stand will represent this with a range of systems on display.”

He adds: “We’re keen to enable visitors to investigate new business opportunities and with the breadth of capability we have within Mimaki’s product range, there are very few print-related needs that we can’t offer a solution for.”

Analyse the market

Aside from manufacturers and their dedicated supply partners, The Print Show will play host to a number of companies able to provide kit from a number of top brands. CMYUK is able to supply kit from the likes of EFI, Mimaki and HP, and visitors can learn more about these options at the event in September.

Similarly, Signmaster Systems can supply print and finishing kit from top brands such as Roland DG, Mimaki, OKI and HP, and will be back at The Print Show as it seeks to expand its customer base. In addition, printMAX can provide technology from Roland DG, Mimaki, HP, Vivid Laminating Technologies and Summa.

Incidentally, Vivid Laminating Technologies will be running its own stand at the show again this year, as it seeks to educate visitors about its latest finishing kit in the wide-format print sector. Vivid has had a presence at The Print Show since its launch in 2015, demonstrating a range of new technologies and techniques over the past three years.

O Factoid: The National Exhibition Centre (NEC) features 20 interconnected halls, spread across an area of 611 acres (2.54km sq). The Print Show 2018 will take place in Hall 9. O

With this and so much more on offer this September, a trip to The Print Show is a must. Having relocated to the NEC, the event is positioned in a central location that is easily accessible from all areas of the UK—not to mention that it is also free to attend.

Arriving by train, car or plane, The Print Show will welcome thousands of visitors from across the market as they seek out the solutions that could bolster their business. We’ll see you there!

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