Kickstarting the Love for Print Once Again
Looking at the Gulf Print and Pack 2022 show
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The past two-and-a-half years have been difficult for the global economy, with almost every sector of business being negatively impacted by the pandemic and in-person interactions being curtailed to the barest minimum. As the economy gradually emerges from this forced isolation and starts to find its feet in this new state of normalcy, the demand for contact has started to be felt. The printing and packaging industry is by no means excluded.
Until recently, trade shows demonstrating the latest developments in print and packaging solutions were unable to take place, and manufacturers couldn’t show off their latest developments. The isolation pushed manufacturers into an almost-forced state of research and development. That all came to a head when the Gulf Print and Pack event was held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from May 24th-26th, 2022 (three years after its last event). For the systems manufacturers, it offered the opportunity for them to show off the fruits of the past two years of product development and testing. As a result, several shiny new firsts were released, announced, and demonstrated at the show.
|Three years later, face-to-face interaction returns to GPP.|
Gulf Print and Pack is the largest show in the region addressing commercial printing, label, and packaging production. It attracted over 135 companies eager to showcase their equipment, solutions, and technology to the more than 7,500 visitors who came to see the latest developments from these leading suppliers. Although this number of exhibitors and visitors is smaller than in previous years, the enthusiasm among the participants on both sides of the transaction was dramatically increased. A wide breadth of technology was showcased, including conventional and digital printing and packaging solutions. The exhibitors covered all of the fastest-growing market segments, including educational and children’s books, photobooks, direct mail, posters, banners, digitally-printed textiles, as well as display graphics.
Gulf Print and Pack 2022 was a celebration of printing and packaging technology and a love of the industry shared by all who participated. In addition to the vast array of innovative and improved solutions that were demonstrated, the exhibition presented exhibitors and visitors with the opportunity to reconnect with their counterparts, colleagues, and even competitors from around the world. Such was the level of enthusiasm and excitement at the new technologies being demonstrated and relationships rekindled that sales exceeding 25 million AED were concluded at the show. This equates to more than $6.8 million USD and gives a clear indication of the demand for new solutions from the visitors who attended the exhibition.
Digital technology played a major part in attracting the attention of visitors with Kodak, Canon, and Ricoh all launching new solutions at the show and achieving sales on the debut of their devices. Expectations were exceeded by the number of leads created. It was especially impressive to see the Kodak Nexfinity at the show for the first time, demonstrated with Kodak Prinergy Workflow. Labels, substrates, software, wide format printers, and digital embellishments were all on display, and many samples were given away. Direct-to-Packaging printing created a lot of interest at this year’s show as this technology allows fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies to make their packaging more sustainable. Labelgraff displayed a new system for short-run packaging, with a vacuum conveyor and single-pass inkjet head to print directly on bags, boxes, packages, and other packaging materials.
Gulf Print and Pack primarily addresses the markets of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), although many visitors from Europe and other parts of the world used the exhibition to see the latest solutions on offer from large and small exhibitors alike. The show plays a vital role in informing and educating the MENA markets that contribute in no small measure to the global print and packaging market. The MENA market is expected to achieve sales of around $545.7 million USD by the end of this year. If the success of Gulf Print and Pack 2022 is anything to go by, this number should be readily achievable and is a good indication of the resurgence of the printing and packaging market internationally.
After a three-year hiatus, Gulf Print and Pack has shown that, despite the devastating effects of the pandemic, the global printing and packaging industry is still very much a contributor to the economy of the world. The industry is as resilient as it ever was and can ride the waves of adversity and emerge strong and united.
In closing, Barry Killengrey, Event Director of Gulf Print and Pack 2022, said, “On the show’s return after a three-year hiatus, we’re delighted to have provided the industry a great platform to do business and jump on a path towards recovery and growth. There’s a lot of optimism that we can carry forward to the next edition of the show.”
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