That’s a wrap: Virtual Trade Show closes its virtual doors

Visual Connections has declared its Print, Sign, Display & Graphics Virtual Trade Show – which ran for four months to fill a gap left by the postponed Visual Impact show – a success with nearly 13,000 visitors walking through its virtual doors.

Now the suppliers’ association is gearing up for PacPrint in Melbourne in September 2021, while the organisation is also looking at hold a virtual show for the labelling and packaging sector in the interim.

Visual Connections’ CEO Peter Harper said: “The show was born of necessity, with COVID-19 interrupting the normal trade show circuit, so we wanted to create a platform for both suppliers and industry businesses to connect, engage and explore solutions to help them survive the current challenges, and be there on the other side.”

Visual Connections CEO Peter Harper

In all 25 exhibitors displayed their wares in a virtual setting with a number of show specials on offer, as well as a full program of webinars.

The show opened in June this year and in the first week alone it clocked up 1,600 visitors which then after that remained steady at about 1,000 a week.

“At the moment, a virtual offering is the only realistic option, but looking a bit further ahead we’re confident that Australia, New Zealand and the surrounding region is looking good for an ‘in-person’ event later next year,” Harper said, adding that PacPrint will perhaps be the most important Visual Connections has ever organised.

“Not only will it be the first physical expo for two years, it is perfectly timed to feature new releases from both FESPA in March and drupa in April – plus updates from LabelExpo, which is due to run in Brussels in early September.

“We’re looking forward to getting back to a more traditional format but, having said that, it’s likely the response to the virtual expo, and our learnings from that, will drive new initiatives to run side-by-side with – or even as part of – our physical trade shows.

“It’s not hard to see, for instance, how the format could be used to expand the reach of future shows, or to facilitate involvement from the global networks of our suppliers into the local expo platform. So, we’ll look at innovations, as we always do.”

Perhaps the most positive outcome of the show for Harper, however, is the confirmation that businesses across the sector are keen to review, rebuild and renew their businesses.

“Whether it’s in the virtual or the physical sphere, we’ll do everything in our power to ensure they have the information and connections they need to build their future success.”

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