A move by Fespa to reschedule its Global Print Expo, which was due to take place in Madrid this week, to October 2020 has been slammed as an irresponsible move by one of Australia’s most respected wide format printers and regular attendee, Keith Ferrel.
Fespa has announced the Global Print Expo, the European Sign Expo and Sportswear Pro tradeshows will now be held at the IFEMA – Feria de Madrid – from October 6 to 8 this year after the events were postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak in mainland Europe.
Ferrel, the founder of leading wide format printer Cactus Imaging which is now owned by oOh!media, says the decision to set a new date just six and a half months away and in a location that is one of the epicentres of the pandemic in Europe is irresponsible and premature.
“Quite frankly I think it is irresponsible and I think they are on the road to disaster. If they believe that people are going to fly to Madrid in October with the current situation I think they are kidding themselves,” Ferrel told Sprinter.
“I think it is far too premature to be able to come up with a date for anything, even Christmas. Even Santa Claus might not leave the North Pole.
“Who in their right mind is going to travel to Madrid which is one of the epicentres of the problems in Spain in six months time has got me beat.
“I think it is ridiculous what they have done. I find it incredulous that they seem to be able to predict how this virus is going to end up. London has just gone into total lockdown and Spain is one of the epicentres of this virus.”
Fespa CEO Neil Felton has issued a statement saying there had been overwhelming demand from the global community to hold a Fespa platform in 2020.
“Despite the ongoing impact that the coronavirus is having on the speciality print sector, we’ve been overwhelmed by the strong demand from our global community for a Fespa platform in 2020. Therefore, we are extremely pleased to confirm that our shows will be going ahead on these re-scheduled dates and we’re very grateful to IFEMA team, who have been fully supportive of our decision under the extraordinary circumstances,” Felton said.
“Throughout this difficult time, we remain in close dialogue and consultation with our exhibitors to establish how Fespa is able to best support their 2020 product launches, engage with existing customers and nurture new prospects in the speciality print sector to fuel their future growth. We remain confident in the unique value of Fespa Global Print Expo for our specific stakeholder community.”
Felton says Fespa will provide further updates regarding the events in due course.
The announcement comes after the printing megashow, drupa, was also forced to postpone from June 2020 to April 2021.
Tradeshows all over the world have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic with Visual Impact on the Gold Coast and next year’s PacPrint shows also postponed. Packaging specific trade show, interpack, has also been postponed to early 2021.
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