What is the aim of the expo?
Gulf Print & Pack 2019 is the leading print technology sourcing show for printers and print service providers (PSPs) from across Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and South Eastern Europe. Now in its 5th edition, Gulf Print & Pack is the MENA region’s premier platform for showcasing the latest technologies and trends in the commercial and package printing sectors. Gulf Print & Pack is best known for connecting companies and key decision-makers within these industries to do business, and for fostering future growth.
How does the expo help exhibitors?
A key objective of the biennial show is to bring the entire commercial and package printing supply chain together all under the one roof; from manufacturers of machinery and products, right through to the brand owner. Exhibitors from not only the MENA region but from around the world, have an unparalleled opportunity to showcase their latest innovations directly to printers and buyers, keen to source new solutions.
Thousands of printers attend the show, a significant percentage of whom manage or influence purchasing decisions within their businesses. Whether for discovering new equipment, learning about technologies or networking with peers to secure new business, the show has, through the years, provided an extremely powerful platform for exhibitors as well as for visitors, to meet and exchange ideas as well as acquire business leads.
The location of the show is also significant for exhibitors. The main reason it takes place in Dubai is the emirate’s strategic location as the business and logistics hub of the MENA region. What’s more, Dubai’s Print City industrial park is now a prominent service centre for an increasing number of exhibitor companies operating throughout the Gulf world and beyond.
What are the current challenges in the printing industry?
The main challenges facing the print industry – not only in MENA but worldwide – include:
- Commoditisation of print
- The growing challenge to print from on-line media
- Rising materials, consumables and labour costs
- Shortage of suitably trained operators
Gulf Print & Pack 2019 offers printers and print service providers solutions to each of these issues. They can learn about new ways to add value and help brand owners bring products to market faster; they can learn about automation of the whole workflow from order-taking to print production, invoicing and logistics; and they can find routes to increase efficiency and reduce waste. New web-to-print and fulfilment workflows in particular are featured at this show. As for moving away from commoditisation, Gulf Print & Pack’s feature areas (see below) demonstrate new value-added models in areas as diverse as digital fabric printing and promotional 3D printing systems.
Gulf Print & Pack 2019 is well timed because the MENA region is currently in the early stages of adopting digital technologies. Although this may be seen as a challenge, it opens up exciting opportunities to enhance business processes and capabilities. The switch to digital platforms and technologies will not only require new investments, but human resources with the appropriate skills.
Do you expect to see an increase in visitor levels compared to last year?
Visitor numbers across all our events in the last few years have increased steadily. The successful launch of our first Gulf Print & Pack Summit in 2018 helped build momentum for this year’s show, and given the new features we are introducing to this show (see below), we expect Gulf Print & Pack 2019 to offer new opportunities for commercial print visitors that will boost the industry across the UAE and MENA region.
We have also expanded our marketing reach to new territories in the region for this show, particularly in Turkey and continental Africa, and this is already paying off. Our pre-registration visitor numbers are up from the previous show and show a strong international trend, with unprecedented interest from the wider region, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Nigeria, Pakistan, China, Egypt, India, Turkey and Germany.
Finally, we are seeing an increasingly international representation among our new exhibitors, including: ATECE Group (Netherlands), Berhalter (Switzerland), Errepi SRL (Italy), Lemorau (Portugal), Meteors (Jordan), OMM Graphic (Malaysia), Pulse Printing (United Kingdom), Rotohouse (Egypt), Tong Shin Pack Co Ltd (Korea) and Winpack Machinery (Taiwan).
These companies will join our long-established exhibitors such as Bobst, Giffin Graphics, Gulf Commercial Group, Lombardi, UPEX, UPM Raflatac, Xerox and Konica Minolta on the show floor.
What are the plans for this year’s event? What are some of the highlights of the event?
Like the industry, this show never stops evolving, and this year is no different. Some of the new initiatives we are introducing include:
The Innovation Trail- this is a journey along the show floor, showcasing the latest technologies through live demonstrations and direct interactions with key exhibitors.
Décor Print Lounge - this presents everything from non-slip flooring, to lampshades, wallpaper, furniture and textiles – all of which will be printed, using technology such as web-to-print and 3D printing.
Who are your key sponsors?
We work closely with Smithers Pira who produce marketing reports in the Middle East region. We also work in partnership with key commercial package printing trade publications including Eye of Riyadh, Arab Print Media Magazine, Print Week MEA and Where to Print Magazine.
For more information about the show or to pre-register, visit www.gulfprintpack.com.