Messe Frankfurt – offline events comeback

India remains a very important market for Messe Frankfurt

Raj Manek, managing director, Messe Frankfurt Trade Fairs India
Raj Manek, managing director, Messe Frankfurt Trade Fairs India

Physical events have managed a very strong comeback this year and the recovery is expected to continue in coming months underpinned by demand from visitors and exhibitors, Raj Manek, managing director, Messe Frankfurt Trade Fairs India told Indian Printer and Publisher during Media Expo Mumbai 2022.

“Offline events are back strongly both in India and globally. Apart from China, which is under lockdown at present, every other region in the world is showing buoyancy when it comes to physical events. This year the market demand has been strong. There is pent-up demand, both on the visitor and exhibitor side, to get back to normal. We organized multiple expos in Mumbai along with Media Expo and the response to all of them has been rocking,” says Raj Manek, managing director, Messe Frankfurt Trade Fairs India.

PrintPack Show Daily

Manek says that studies done by the industry and Messe Frankfurt show that a very large majority of companies want physical events back. “One thing we learned from the Covid is that virtual events cannot take the place of physical events. Yes, virtual events definitely add some value, but nothing beats face-to-face interaction as physical events give you the touch and feel experience,” he says.

Messe Frankfurt at Media Expo Mumbai 2022

The Media Expo Mumbai 2022 was a very attended event, and Manek talks about two major takeaways. He says that there has been a proliferation of digital signage printing and there are a large number of new companies entering the market.

Visitors at Media Expo Mumbai 2022
Visitors at Media Expo Mumbai 2022

“There is a huge increase in the participation of companies involved in digital signage printing in the 2022 edition of Media Expo Mumbai compared to the previous edition. This shows that innovation is very strong in the industry. Also, I see a lot of new companies this year compared to the previous Media Expo. These new companies are trying to localize their manufacturing. This means entrepreneurs see a lot of opportunity in the industry,” Manek says.

Messe Frankfurt sees growth in the signage industry

Manek believes despite the disruptions caused due to Covid, the Indian signage industry is poised to grow at a robust pace in the years to come.

“Indian signage industry has a bright future as it is linked to the growth in the Indian economy, which is recovering fast. A wide spectrum of industries is growing very fast in India and this should boost not only the signage industry but the over media and print industry. I see 10 to 15 years years of real and strong growth in the industry,” he says.

Manek adds that Messe Frankfurt will also continue to invest in the Indian market. “India is our top market and we will continue to invest here. Covid hit our operations very hard and our immediate aim is to bring the business back on level footing,” he concludes.

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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– Naresh Khanna

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