The U.S. isn’t the only country where some soul-searching—and some hand-wringing—is being done about the future of graphic arts trade shows.
Print21online, an online journal for the printing industry in Australia and New Zealand, reports “Kiwi outrage” over the postponement of Printech, New Zealand’s quadrennial printing trade show, from 2010 to 2012 “due to a lack of support from both sponsors and the industry.”
XPO Exhibitions, owner of the Printech event, recently announced that the decision was made in order to give the show more time to deliver on “the new promise” of a reorganized approach that will emphasize the benefits of print to print buyers and marketers. It claims to have received written commitments to a postponed event from “several large key suppliers.”
According to Print21online, this explanation was echoed in a member newsletter published by PrintNZ, an industry trade association. But the story also quotes Joan Grace, president of PrintNZ, as saying that “there were signs that the show’s future looked shaky for some time” and that “XPO was not able to get the commitments needed to go ahead with a show this year.”
The fact that 2012 is a drupa year could cause “some difficulties” for Printech if it takes place then, Grace also observed.
The story characterizes Kevin Trye, a print industry consultant, as being “irate” at the news. In his blog, Trye asserts that the postponement is because “none of the major sponsors being Heidelberg, Agfa, Xerox, Canon, etc. were willing to front up.” He also claims that PrintNZ “actively campaigned” against the show and that “without PrintNZ blessing, Printech 2010 never had a chance.”
Says Trye, “It will be printers and the local industry that will suffer as a result. Millions in lost revenue and new business.”
“We’re lucky this fiasco happened in little NZ. Elsewhere, it could have ended up in the courts. It might still,” he muses.