A revamped Graphispag will focus on service and finished graphic products

Graphispag is changing and adapting to the new needs of graphic companies and other users of printed applications. At its next edition – on 21-24 March 2017 at the Gran Via Exhibition Centre – the International Printing Industry and Communication Exhibition will be focusing on services and finished products, integrating, for the first time at the trade show, specific printing solutions for packaging, retail, the publishing world and the textile industry. Graphic companies will also find a wealth of information and advice on business models, technologies and innovative products and services with which to modernise their businesses and attract new clients. 
Organised by Fira de Barcelona in collaboration with the Graphispack Association, Graphispag 2017 is intended to provide a platform of permanent contact with the market with the capacity to provide every actor in the value chain of printed products with business, knowledge and networking opportunities. In doing so it brings together manufacturers and suppliers of technology and supports, printers and companies that provide graphic and visual communication services along with professionals from other sectors on the demand side, not only during the days of the show itself but also at a variety of different forums and touring events held between editions.
The challenges posed by the demand sector
The director of the Industrial Technology and Packaging Business Unit of Fira de Barcelona, Xavier Pascual, notes: ‘We want to expand the natural ecosystem of the graphic industry, bringing in influencers and professionals from the sectors that use all kinds of printed products. The demand side will put forward their true needs at Graphispag, which will pass these challenges on to print suppliers and hence drive innovation.’
In this respect, Graphispag is aiming to become the showcase for the most advanced graphic applications and all the communication potential that the print world has to offer. ‘Visitors will be able to examine finished products, real examples of what the graphic industry can achieve with the latest technology and supports on display at the show,’ explains Pascual. As well as the graphic side, the show will also feature original advertising and theming along with brand new printing products, inks, materials and finishes.
Areas with sector-oriented solutions
Graphispag has already started making contacts and holding meetings with different collectives involved in the packaging, retail, interior decoration, publishing, design, wide-format advertising and graphic services sectors to ascertain their needs and get their support to link them up with the supply side of the graphic and visual communication industry. This has involved the formation of working groups made up of suppliers, printers and representatives of the end consumer to define the content of the show’s spaces and activities, as well as planning the agenda of meetings and events that will take place before and after Graphispag itself.
Graphispag 2017 will include four spaces to showcase specific print solutions: for the packaging and labelling sectors; for the retail trade and the decoration of stores and hospitality establishments; for the publishing industry; and for the textile sector. Xavier Pascual upholds the choice of these particular sectors: ‘These are the sectors most able to quickly incorporate the innovative value-added propositions from the graphic sector, because they are regular users of their products, but we need to give them the chance to discover and understand these products and this is Graphispag’s mission.’ These four zones will be supported by a programme of presentations on trends, success stories and printing challenges presented by end user clients, and an area for networking to encourage contacts between the demand sector and printers and suppliers.
Graphic services companies
Graphispag is also revamping itself in terms of its adaptation to the new situation of graphic arts professionals and companies, the traditional visitors to the show. In this respect, it is preparing tailor-made training content and networking sessions geared towards revealing new business models, different uses of machinery, and added-value products and services that represent an opportunity for growth. This includes the Graphispag Talks on issues related to management, marketing, trends and commercialisation. There will also be an area on communication and design featuring design and management software and specific activities for designers and marketing and advertising professionals, as well as an area displaying graphic innovations for industry, such as functional 3D printing, amongst others.
All of this will be complemented by advice and guidance from the suppliers of machinery, technology, supports and consumables to the graphic industry taking part in the show, who are supporting the new exhibition format being promoted by Graphispag which will entail a change in their relationships with clients by means of presenting real applications and creating a platform for sharing information, contacts and experience among all the agents in the value chain of printed products, from the generation of content through to the final demand. With this approach, Graphispag expects to attract more than 200 companies and occupy 10,000 square metres of the Gran Via Exhibition Centre.
Reflecting this new value proposition for the graphic industry, Graphispag is delocalising its actions in terms of both geographical location and time, extending them beyond the actual days of the trade show. The show will continue to promote interactions between manufacturers, printers and demand sectors by organising sector meetings and events in different cities and taking part in monographic trade shows. Its most immediate projects include the creation of a graphic services area aimed at the publishing industry within the Liber trade fair and a retail and interior decoration section for the hotel and restaurant sector at Hostelco. In both cases, suppliers and printers will be exhibiting graphic and visual communication applications designed for companies in these specific sectors, as well as holding conferences on the possibilities that the graphic industry offers to both these sectors today.
Xavier Pascual concludes: ‘We believe that this Graphispag could be a turning point, becoming a permanent platform that showcases all the sector’s potential and bringing together everyone involved in the value chain of printed products. With it, we hope to drive innovation and contribute to the growth of the graphic communication industry.’
Barcelona, July d2016