Fespa scrubs 2020, moves global event to March

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The big wide format show Fespa Global has been moved again – this time to March next year, from its October date. It is also in a new location, swapping Madrid for Amsterdam, as the organisers battle with the impact of Covid-19.

Vibrant programme: Fespa
No 2020 show:Fespa Global

The annual Fespa Global was originally scheduled for Madrid in March this year. But it was postponed once the virus hit, only until October, a move that many at the time thought ambitious. Cactus Imaging director and long-time Fespa attendee Keith Ferrell was among those slamming the move, saying it was "ridiculous decision". Fespa has now bowed to the inevitable and rescheduled for next year.

In effect, it means Fespa has canned its 2020 event. It was due to hold Fespa 2021 in May anyway, and this will now not take place then. The trade show world has had an terrible 2020, the big US show Printing United has also just scrubbed this year's event, slated for October, moving it online.

Early next year will be a crowded time on the global print expo calendar: interpack is due to take place early March, now Fespa 9-12 March, with drupa at the end of April.

Fespa Global is now effectively competing directly with drupa, as all its exhibitors would be expected to have major booths at the giant German trade show. The last time Fespa was at the RAI Centre in Amsterdam was 2016, also a drupa year.

Under normal circumstances, Fespa would attract around 25,000 printers, drupa 10 times that number, both with a sizeable contingent from Australia and New Zealand.

Neil Felton, CEO at Fespa said, the development of Covid-19 had been "dynamic and unpredictable" but acknowledged both exhibitors and potential visitors had major doubts as to the viability of the October show. “At this point in time we cannot be confident that we could match exhibitor and visitor expectations of a Fespa event if we were to go ahead in October this year," Felton said.

“Early March 2021 offers the strongest alternative, giving our exhibitors and visitors time to recover and ourselves time to prepare fully for any new operational requirements.

“Feedback from the market indicates that, having faced the considerable commercial challenges of 2020, our community will welcome Fespa Global Print Expo in March 2021 as an important platform for business recovery and forward progress early next year.”

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