Fespa delays India show after Mumbai attacks, as Fespa Thailand ‘toned down’

The show is now scheduled for 28 February to 2 March 2009.

Fespa managing director Frazer Chesterman (pictured) said: “We are sorry for any inconvenience caused by this decision, but Fespa believes it is essential to show a responsible approach in the current circumstances.”

When PrintWeek India spoke to exhibitors, who remained positive about the delay, one key exhibitor, on condition of anonymity, said: “Its makes perfectly good sense to postpone. Our Principals in Europe – some of whom who have stayed at The Taj or The Oberoi – felt the climate was unhealthy to host a trade show.”

Other exhibitors said this was a “sensitive and appropriate” approach.

Chesterman added: “The events in Mumbai last week were tragic and shocking, both Indians and foreigners died together, it was a threat to freedom!” He maintained: “We are not cancelling the show, but merely postponing it.”

Fespa sponsor HP has also backed the postponement.

Fespa India was fully booked, with a waiting list. The organisers do not envisage any issues regarding the continuation of the event. The NSE show venue has offered Fespa a larger hall and more space in 2009.

Chesterman said: “Fespa will continue to run events in India, we already have our main event in Delhi planned for December 2009. We believe whole-heartedly in the importance of the wide-format market in India and will continue to support the marketplace with regular events and re-investment in projects.”

Meanwhile Fespa in Thailand was toned down due to the shutting of the two main airports in Bangkok. In spite of the political crisis in Thailand, preventing many visitors (including PrintWeek India) and exhibitors getting to Fespa, organisers claimed the inaugural launch show attracted 5,247 visitors from 35 countries.

Fespa event director Marcus Timson said: “Successfully running a show in these challenging conditions is a great achievement. The event still delivered significant value for the 140 exhibitors who were able to exhibit at the show. We know that a number of exhibitors sold machines and generated business opportunities from the event.”

Timson estimates that at least 2,000 international visitors were unable to get to Thailand due to the occupation of both of Bangkok’s main airports by protestors. He concludes: “We will be hosting the next edition of Fespa in 2010. Next time, without travel problems.”

Read the original article at www.printweek.com.

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