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FESPA digital printing Europe 2008 opens its doors!

The exhibition season is now in full swing, with ISA in the USA closing after record levels of delegates thronged the aisles and now FESPA in Geneva opens with 40% additional expo space compared to the inaugural event in Amsterdam.

After an official opening ceremony hosted by FESPA President Anders Nilsson, visitors swarmed into Geneva’s Palexpo, where they found a 14,000m2 showcase of the latest in cutting-edge wide-format digital technology. Emphasizing FESPA Digital’s global appeal, almost 300 international exhibitors will welcome a worldwide audience to a unique environment in which print service providers can seek out the innovations that could transform their businesses.

“If the enthusiasm of exhibitors and visitors in the run-up to the show is anything to go by, then FESPA Digital 2008 will be an extremely lively and successful event”, says Frazer Chesterman. “As is always the case with FESPA shows, a number of exhibitors will be launching new products to the marketplace. However, FESPA Digital will once again offer visitors much more than the high-level product launches that are now customary of FESPA exhibitions and we are excited to be introducing a few new highlights here in Geneva.”

One such highlight is the new FESPA Digital Daily Live presentation, which takes place in the foyer of Palexpo every morning at the start of the show. This live interview sees Val Hirst, editor of FESPA World magazine, welcome visitors with brief highlights of the hot topics and news taking place on the show floor.

Other Highlights of FESPA Digital Printing Europe include:

FESPA Trails

Also new for FESPA Digital 2008, the FESPA Trails have been introduced to enable easier identification of innovative and environmentally friendly exhibitors, thus optimising visitors’ available time at the show. In keeping with the show’s alpine setting, visitors will have access to a ‘piste map’ showing FESPA’s Blue and Green Trails of companies whose products or services are either particularly ground-breaking or ‘planet friendly’.

Digital Textile Conference

For the first time, FESPA Digital 2008 is also complemented by a dedicated Digital Textile Conference (Crowne Plaza hotel, 31st March & 1st April). Aimed at textile printers and those venturing into this growth application, FESPA’s Digital Textile Conference enjoyed a very successful first day. Demand for the conference far exceeded expectations, as attendance reached full capacity, with many attendees expressing how the initiative proved commercially beneficial and worthwhile to them.

FESPA Digital Showcase Theatre

FESPA’s ever-popular showcase theatre programme offers visitors a forum in which to concentrate on new technologies, applications and opportunities. Featuring a number of print experts, these free sessions explore areas such as environmental issues faced by printers, achieving flexibility through technology, the DNA of superwide digital printing and digital ink applications.

The Theatre programme also includes two interactive debates. The Green Debate will focus on environmental matters faced by today’s printers, while the Digital Debate will examine digital’s role in the industry. The final session of the Showcase Theatre will give members an opportunity to ask questions further to the InfoTrends Wide Survey pan-European research conducted by FESPA. The session, hosted by Marcus Timson, FESPA Corporate Communications Director, is designed to give attendees a deeper insight into the wide-format printing market, including the latest trends, commercial and technological development and growth areas, with the aim of encouraging better understanding and profitability among printers.

FESPA Digital Printing Awards 2008, supported by HP

Once again, a key feature of FESPA Digital 2008 will be a showcase of the eight Category Winners and overall Platinum Winner of FESPA’s Digital Print Awards 2008, adjacent to HP’s stand. Demonstrating the sector’s creative excellence, the calibre of entries to this year’s Awards clearly reflects the balance of technological maturity and creative innovation which is driving growth this sector.

Selected from more than 300 entries from printers across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the eight Category Winners and overall Platinum Winner will be made public during FESPA Digital 2008, with images of the winning entries displayed on a dedicated area adjacent to the HP stand. [Note to editors: See separate Digital Print Awards winner’s release].

“FESPA Digital 2008 is the culmination of many months hard work by our in-house organisation team”, continues Chesterman. “We are confident that the event will deliver to our high expectations and offer visitors a terrific opportunity to explore what’s new in the world of wide-format digital and discover innovations that could transform their businesses.
“Whether print providers are looking to invest in new ideas, increase digital capability and learn about new applications, or simply be inspired to create more innovative print – we are confident that they will find solutions over the next three days at FESPA Digital 2008”, he concludes.

The FESPA organisation team has also announced dates of the next FESPA Digital event, taking place in Amsterdam, Netherlands from 13th – 15th May 2009. The focussed Digital event format is also being expanded to other geographical markets, with the first FESPA Digital India set to take place in December 2008 in Mumbai. For more information and the latest updates, please visit the FESPA website at http://www.fespa.com/