Graphispag 2019 prints a greater digitalisation for the graphics industry

The recent edition of Graphispag, organised by Fira de Barcelona, left a great impression on exhibitors and visitors. The fair demonstrated a greater digitalisation of the graphics industry in technology, work flows and the automation of processes. At the same time it reflected the creative and business potential that personalisation, design and new printing formats open, not only to graphic service companies, but also to a multitude of graphics and visual communication solutions user sectors.

“Reception by exhibitors and visitors was positive and the atmosphere that was experienced at the fair indicates an improvement in the graphic communication market. Business was done at Graphispag and, in addition, new applications were discovered which bring added value to the printed products thanks to the increase in activities and contents that we proposed this year”, indicates the Director of the fair, Jordi Magre.

With a slight increase (+2%) compared to 2017, Graphispag registered 22,491 professional visits, 7% of them international, mainly from Portugal -which constitutes 38% of foreign visitors-. The fair also attracted professionals from Germany, France, Italy and Andorra, amongst other places. From outside Europe, the countries that contributed the most visitors were Algeria, China, Nigeria and the USA.

Visitor class
In the national visitors section, Catalonia is the Autonomous Region with the highest representation, followed by the Valencian Region, Madrid, Andalusia, the Basque Country, Aragon and the rest of the regions, thus confirming its position as a benchmark fair in Spain for the graphics and visual communication industry.

By sector, according to data from the accreditation system, 34% of the visitors carry out their activity in the area of graphic services; 20% in the world of design and communication; industrial sectors, manufacturers and distributors made up 36%, while brands and final users made up 6%. The remaining percentage corresponds to other groups (training, entities and associations, consultancy, the press, etc.)

This edition of Graphispag brought together a total of 192 exhibitors of machinery and graphic technology, finishes, software, printing formats and materials and 400 represented brands, such as Agfa, Digidelta, Epson, Heidelberg, Roland DG and Soficat-Xerox, partners of this edition, which boasted exhibitors from 12 countries. The fair occupied a total net area of 9.500m2 in Hall 2 at the Gran Via venue.

The exhibitors rated the standard of the business contacts made positively, which could boost new sales and orders in the coming months. In addition, in line with the results of the previous edition, there was a good attendance from professionals from other high-demand sectors (editorials, packaging, decorators, interior designers, retailers, publicists, as well as leading consumer brands). The increase in prescribers must be highlighted, especially those linked to the world of graphic design, thanks to the holding of Grada&CongresGràfic. In this way, Graphispag has linked the value chain of the graphic product with users of printing products and applications.

At the same time, Graphispag directly invited, thanks to the collaboration of the exhibiting brands, 800 VIP visitors for their purchasing power, and organised a schedule of interviews with a wide range of professionals selected for their specific investment projects through the fair’s purchaser programme.

Extensive follow-up of activities
In general, visitors proved to be satisfied with the representativeness of the commercial offer of Graphispag and positively rated the increase in contents and events areas at the fair. In this regard, more than 6,500 people took part in the proposals for these spaces. The activities with the greatest following were: Graphispag Personalization, Graphispag Talks and Graphispag Wrapping, showing the interest of the visitors in issues relating to the increase in value added of graphic products.

Additionally, the organisation highlights the good reception of the Graphispag Process space, a demonstration area for complete graphic production processes where one could see the equipment and machinery that operate in the production lines of package printing and large format printing in operation. Special mention goes to the Graphispag Experience, a new area that brings together different techniques, systems and applications used throughout the history of visual communication and which also advanced connection with the digital world. Similarly, functional printing, electronic and 3D printing had their own spaces at the fair to promote new opportunities to the sector.

The President of the Graphispag organising committee, Xavier Armengou, highlighted the good attendance and interaction achieved in the activity areas and especially in the conferences: Visitors were able to discover specific processes such as personalisation, wrapping, packaging and large format printing, functional and 3D printing, as well as aspects related to sustainability, digitalisation and business management that they can put into practice in their daily lives. Armengou also referred to the involvement of technology and materials manufacturers in these areas that allowed the presence of their brands to extend beyond the stands and, in a collaborative way, to show the trends that push graphics and visual communication and which make the sector grow.

It is also worth highlighting the holding, within Graphispag, of Grada&CongresGràfic, an event aimed at graphic designers and professionals linked to creative disciplines whose conference sessions and workshops received more than 1,300 participants. “It is very important that these groups attend because they are prescribers to the technologies, formats and finishes that are exhibited at the fair”, explains Armengou.  Grada&CongrésGràfic boasted recognised speakers including Félix Beltrán, Cuban Designer and Artist and creator of the Che Guevara poster; Fernando G. Baptista, Graphics Editor at National Geographic and one of the best Infographic Designers in the world; Gabriel Campanario, Founder of the “Urban Sketcher” movement and Martina Paukova, Slovak Designer who works for global brands.

Institutional activity
Graphispag was the stage for the presenting of the Líderpack Awards 2018. In this edition, 18 awards were given in the packaging speciality, seven in the POS section and one in the “Young Design” category, reserved for students.

Similarly, Graphispag 2019 rendered particular homage to several people linked to the graphics industry. The fair recognised the trajectory of around ten companies, who this year celebrate their anniversaries, as well as the work and dedication of several members of the organising committee. At the same time, Graphispag thanked the brands that were global partners in this edition for their confidence and the involvement and support of around twenty companies, professionals and entities that made this fifteenth holding of the emblematic graphics fair in Barcelona possible.

Graphispag 2019 was inaugurated by the president of the Catalan Government, Quim Torra, accompanied by the minister for Enterprise and Knowledge, Àngels Chacón, who visited several stands, taking an interest in the reality and the evolution of the graphics industry. Precisely to analyse the moment of transformation of the sector, Graphispag held a day in which representatives of Neobis, Finat and the Graphispack Asociación shared several studies that confirm the impulse of the activity of the sector, boosted by activities relating to packaging and label printing, large format printing and an increase in the demand for catalogues and printed advertising and the editorial industry. And yet, the graphics sector is still undergoing a reinvention, aiming to increase its value with its products, adding new applications to its business that go beyond paper to print everything.

The next edition of Graphispag will take place in 2021.

Barcelona, 4 April 2019

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