Industry suppliers swing behind PacPrint
Industry heavyweight Heidelberg shocked the local industry last week by pulling its presence from PacPrint13 next year, but Australia’s leading printing industry suppliers have shown their support for the quadrennial trade fair by confirming their places as primary exhibitors.
Although Heidelberg will be absent from the event, it will still play host to the likes of Fujifilm/Fuji Xerox Australia, Ricoh, Agfa, Konica Minolta, Oce-Canon, Jet Technologies, Ferrostaal, Cyber and Muller Martini, among many others.
Currie Group is set to be the largest exhibitor with 990square meters. The Group will be hoping to have the first HP Indigo 10000 on it stand by that time as the centrepiece of its digital solutions. It is also likely to feature a range of Horizon finishing equipment, especially for print on-demand as well as Scodix digital finishing technology.
“We’ll be at PacPrint as always. We’ve been there from the start. I believe it is important to support the industry and our customers,” says David Currie (pictured). “I have no plans to reduce the size of the stand, although I haven’t signed any contract yet.”
Next in size will be the combined firepower of Fuji Xerox and Fijifilm with 810 square meters. Fiji Xerox will likely feature the first iGen150 that was the star of the drupa show,while Fujfilm will be demonstrating the Acuity 1600 LED UV inkjet.
Reinforcing the digital dominance of the show, Ricoh Australia’s business solutions and production, Kathy Wilson (pictured), says that her company’s decision to be part of the event has not been affected by Heidelberg’s decision. “The show is bigger than one vendor,” she says. “We think it’s a very important show and we intend to continue to pick up shows that have relevance to us.”
While Heidelberg said that its decision to pull out of PacPrint was partially because it could justify the ROI in taking part of the fair, Wilson says that, despite difficult questions around investment returns related to trade shows, being an exhibitor can still pay off.
“The question of trade shows has been a difficult one to quantify in terms of ROI,” she says. “Directly, it is hard, but there are times you’ll do business as a result of people who weren’t engaged with you before becoming interested in what you have because of a show. [Trade shows] give a good chance to showcase a much broader range of what we offer.”
The head of Jet Technologies, Jack Malki, agrees with Wilson’s stance, saying that appearing at trade shows like PacPrint is not so much about direct ROI as it is about building a brand image and profile.
“We’ll be there, we’ve booked about 200-odd square metres” says Malki (pictured). “It’s about local marketing technologies. It’s brand building, and a lot of it comes back years later; I think it’s worth it. Last PacPrint we had a good result.”
Steve Dunwell, managing director of manroland is still considering his company’s participation. He makes the point that there is little benefit for the web-printing sector exhibiting but the revitalised sheetfed company is a different matter.
“Let’s say our participation in PacPrint is in the consideration stage,” he says. “It depends on a number of business developments in the near future.”
Another big industry name that has stayed the course for next year’s PacPrint is Muller Martini, with the company’s Australian managing director, Livio Barbagallo (pictured), saying that next year’s space will, in fact, be larger than the company’s previous fair’s space.
“We have a floor space bigger than last time,” says Barbagallo. “From Muller Martini’s perspective, everything is going as planned and everything’s been booked. We will focus on books-on-demand…and increased efficiencies, that will be a big part of the exhibition.”
Barbagallo says Heidelberg’s decision topull out based on ROI concerns has nothing to do with the industry’s shift to digital, but rather, refers to the ongoing question mark around return from trade shows.
“The return of an exhibition is not something new, it’s always a question,” he says. “The return is questionable, and has nothing to do with the change to digital, but it’s more about exhibitions. To quantify afterwards how much was sold is a difficult exercise.”
Markus Haefeli (pictured), managing director of Ferrostaal, is committed to supporting the show with an equipment display. “PacpPrint is an important industry event that we need to support. Times are tough and ouer stand will be smaller than last time but we will be there to meet our customers and show them new technology,” he says. “I think it is a duty as a good supplier to support an industry event such as PacPrint.”
Singapore-based Cyber will continue its push into the Australian marketplace by booking space at PacPrint13.
“We have already paid for the booth space and planning is underway,” says Cyber Australia’s managing director, Bernard Cheong (pictured). “Cyber is committed to the Australian and New Zealand printing industry and PacPrint to us is a premier show for the market. It is also at such gatherings where we can celebrate together with our customers our successful partnerships and friendships.”
Cheong believes Heidelberg’s decision to split from PacPrint13 was based on the company’s overall financial situation, which has been affected heavily by Europe’s economic uncertainty.
“Heidelberg is in financial disaster,” says Cheong. “But both Cyber and Ryobi are financially very sound. We may be the most cash positive suppliers in the ANZ printing fraternity.”