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Who’s Going to IPEX?

A major piece of news in recently has been the decision of HP not to exhibit at IPEX. Andy gives his opinion on why he thinks this decision was made.


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By John Zarwan on Jul 10, 2012

While I believe Andy is correct about this being about money not strategy, I also believe he shows as much mis-understanding about HP as he claims HP has about the graphic arts business. PCs and printers have been together and pulled apart a number of times over the years. Now its time for them to be together again. As far as Graphic Arts, well, yes, Andy, you're right. But GA, however important to us, however, profitable, however growing, is still a rounding error in HP. It will always be subject to larger organizational changes and restructuring.


By Joseph Manos on Jul 10, 2012

John I agree with your comments and I would add that as a partner that has worked closely with the HP Graphics Teams across the globe the small regional shows have been a very effective strategy for them (and for partners as well).

The world is changing and large shows aren't always the best strategy for specific regions and I have seen other companies move to the regional strategy as well.

I attended the last IPEX conference and frankly wasn't impressed by the overall activity of the show and I was in the HP booth. Just my opinion but I can fully understand the decision.


By Cary Sherburne on Jul 10, 2012

Having spoken with several people within HP on this subject, as well as the subject of the organizational change, both on and off the record, I would also have to say I disagree with Andy's position, although I do agree that the official statement was marketing geek-speak :-) The fact that Meg, Todd and other key executives spent a day at drupa was a great strategy for IPG and I think it was the fastest way to open their eyes to HP's place, positioning and status in the industry.

With respect to Landa's Ipex attendance, he wrote in an email to me, "We in the Middle East have learned that in a blinding sand storm, it’s better to let the dust settle before running ahead. That’s all we’re doing." I also found Robin Walton's blog post Pandemonium or Landamonium to be cute and informative relative to the Landa drupa results, as well as Jim Hamilton's recent blog post.



By Chuck Gehman on Jul 10, 2012

Whether the reason is as HP formally stated, or the cost-cutting motive that Andy speculates, either one is a perfectly good reason not to go. Everyone needs to watch their costs in the current global economic climate.

I am going with Cary on this one, though, and furthermore having met Meg at Drupa, and having watched her in the past, it seems terribly wrong to mention her in the same breath as Leo Apotheker. She is the SOLUTION to that problem. I realize understanding the graphic arts industry is how you get paid Andy, but let's face it, it is the same as many other businesses. In fact, I would venture to say that it can use some outside perspective, like from someone who built a great e-commerce company, as an example. I think we're in good hands at HP now... in addition to Meg and Todd, there are a LOT of smart people there who DO know GA, starting Christopher Morgan and Alon Bar-Shany!

Finally, it is painfully obvious that there are still too many trade shows in our industry, as we watch the number of establishments go down and the utility of the Internet for gathering information go up exponentially.


By Charles Corr on Jul 10, 2012

Even if you fully agree with the HP explanation the optics are bad given the recent organizational changes and announced cuts.

If HP was planning on introducing new products in 2014 it would be likely to show them at IPEX. It indicates to me that they won't have any new products, that budgets are being cut including R&D. That doesn't bode well for HP or the printing industry.

One can argue about the number of shows but skipping IPEX is, as VP Biden said about Healthcare, "a BFD." IPEX has a long history of showcasing new solutions, well placed between Drupa.


By Pete Basiliere on Jul 12, 2012

While I certainly understand HP's reasoning, my sense is they are missing the point.

Trade shows like drupa, Print, IGAS and IPEX have finally migrated to digital. HP is - with several other tech providers - a leader in the digital print market on several levels.

I am not suggesting that HP show up because as an industry leader that "they must."

Rather, I say HP must be at IPEX in order to demonstrate not only their impressive product offerings but also their latest and upcoming technologies.

That's what leaders do.


By Cary Sherburne on Jul 13, 2012

Pete, I think they already did a pretty amazing job of that at drupa, and a 4-year cycle is reasonable, especially considering the scale of what they had on show in Dusseldorf


By Pete Basiliere on Jul 14, 2012

Yes, Cary, I agree that HP had an amazing exhibit at drupa.

While a four-year cycle may have been acceptable for traditional analog printing technology developments, it is not for digital printing HW and SW advances.

The point is that as an industry leader HP should participate in the major industry trade shows to demonstrate not only its current offerings but also its work on near-term and long-term technology developments.

This is especially true, I believe, as software becomes more and more important to the future success of printing companies than hardware is.



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