Fespa 2021 postponed for a third time to October 2021

Indians keen to show their stuff at Fespa Amsterdam in October

Fespa 2021 postponed for a third time to October 2021 (Image: Fespa)

Fespa has postponed its 2021 Global Print Expo and the co-located European Sign Expo from March until October 2021 while remaining at the RAI exhibition center in Amsterdam, in The Netherlands. The latest push is the third try for the organizers who first moved the show from Madrid in March to Madrid in September this year and then again to Amsterdam in March 2021.

All international exhibitions in the RAI calendar have been moved out of Q1 and re-scheduled into Q2 or later. The ongoing uncertainty over Covid-19 related travel restrictions and visitor quarantine arrangements in The Netherlands and Europe continues as elsewhere. On 3 December, Messe Dusseldorf finally recognized the impossibility of holding interpack and drupa in February and April 2021 and canceled both as live events. Those shows have moved to 2023 and 2024. On the other hand, the Fespa organizers and RAI presume that the pandemic will be under control by Q2 of 2021. It could happen since
several vaccines have come into play and could ramp up in the first half of 2021.

One of the significant Indian exhibitors at Fespa is optimistic about participating in the October 2021 Fespa event. Although he will decide in Q1 of next year, he says it is an essential show for several Indian manufacturers.

The Fespa events are now scheduled on 12-15 October 2021 in the same halls of the RAI, enabling the organizers to transition the current floor plan to the new dates. The delay to October has strong support from the exhibitor base, who understand the travel restrictions would have eliminated some of the large contingents from outside Europe.

Neil Felton, Fespa CEO, said, “The decision to push the event back by seven months doesn’t dent our exhibitors’ enthusiasm for a live Fespa exhibition as the engine for business recovery. Nor does it reflect any concerns about delivering a Covid-secure event. Rigorous health and safety protocols are in place with the RAI, and we’re confident of protecting our exhibitors and visitors to the best of our professional ability.”

He added, “However, the situation regarding cross-border travel into The Netherlands is uncertain at this point. . . Our exhibitors are now at the point of having to make detailed logistical plans and commit further costs to be at our events. [Hence] we believe that the right step is to move to our October 2021 contingency dates, enabling us and our participants to plan with greater confidence.”

According to the organizers, the majority of Global Print Expo and European Sign Expo exhibitors are expected to transfer their contracts to the alternative dates. Several suppliers whose company policies precluded them from participating in March 2021 have indicated that they would be keen to exhibit at an Autumn event.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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