Digital large format printing, brilliant colours, iridescent film effects for interior design, innovations in textile finishing and even a world premiere were the hallmarks of Europe's trade fair for visual communication in Düsseldorf. The new concept with its focus on participation and experience and innovative layout planning was well received by exhibitors and trade visitors alike. However, the high quality of the discussions and deals concluded could not hide the fact that the quantity could not be maintained at the level of the previous year. With 7,160 visitors, there were about as many as in 2017.
Although the combination of PSI, PromoTex Expo and viscom on the world of advertising and sales has a stimulating effect on the trade fair, many exhibitors would have liked to see more visitors. "We have been here for 20 years and have also done good business. The first day, however, was a little slack in terms of frequency", says Lars Bendixen, Segment Manager Advertising Technology at cutting machine manufacturer Zünd. Boris Buhl, Sales Manager for the DACH region, also comes to a mixed conclusion. "The concept is right. It's a good idea to expand the workshop as a central interactive area and guide visitors through the hall in routes. But the human factor is still being added. It is obviously difficult to get more visitors to come to viscom from PSI and get involved. Nathalie Eichner, Marketing Director at Trotec, would also like to see the three events dovetail even more closely: "Without the merger it would certainly be even more difficult for viscom, but the synergies could have an even more tangible effect. The fair has met our expectations, but not exceeded them".
International Trade Visitors
The trade visitors were definitely international and interested in high-quality products from European production. "We are at viscom for the first time because we want to expand our business. We used to be active in Iran and now we also have locations in Germany," report Kourosh Sairy and Azadeh Dashti. They travelled from Iran to find a printing company with which they can cooperate in future. Garcia Fulgencio came to Düsseldorf from Spain in search of new business opportunities. His company has been successful in the market for more than 35 years. Up to now the focus has been on customer relations outside Europe. "Now we want to position ourselves more strongly in the European market. That's why we are visiting all three trade fairs. I hope there is enough time today. There's a lot to discover everywhere." Petra Erasmi and Bernd Jacobs, Managing Directors of Chic Belgique, are looking for new ideas for their customers. "We are particularly interested in innovations in textile finishing, as this is our core competence." Both want to visit the fairs to get a general overview of the industry.
A world premiere
Exhibitor Volker Lienig was satisfied. "We had the world premiere of our new Xpertjet 461UF printer here and it was very well received", Mutoh's Sales and Marketing Manager emphasized. For him, the quality of customer conversations is the main focus. He sees the high level of interest in the successful staging of the event as one of the reasons. "The asymmetrical architecture of the hall design ensures a very relaxed exhibition experience. The visitors take considerably more time". This impression can only be underlined by Uwe Niklas as sales manager of Mimaki. "We wanted changes and we got them. The connection between the fairs is good, the workshop is very successful. But the little plant needs time to grow and we should all give it time.
Petra Lassahn sees another reason for the decline in visitors in the complex environment. "In a highly competitive year it is not easy for a viscom to hold its own", emphasises the Director of viscom. Following the successful premiere in 2019, the concept has deliberately developed into a participatory fair. "With an innovative layout we have tried to create a new experience. The Barber Shop, for example, was a very attractive attraction for many visitors". Master hairdresser André Lichtenscheidt has trimmed almost 30 men's beards and hair in this salon. For many, the nostalgic ambience was also a journey through time. "Here we are in the glorious 1920s, only this time in color. People can switch off very well here and I enjoy it so much that I will definitely be back next year." Outside, sign painter Frank Chaki designed the façade - traditionally by hand. "This simply has more soul and is much more individual. If you look closely, you can see every brushstroke." But for him viscom was also a success apart from the lettering. "My lecture was well attended, there was a lively exchange of ideas and I made some good contacts.
Mark Busche has also newly networked during viscom. "We successfully presented our system here at viscom and at PromoTex Expo I discovered some sustainable textile manufacturers that could be of interest to us as suppliers", stresses the Managing Director of Shirtful. Together with his business partner Thomas Drees from smake he has digitised the production chain for individualised textile finishing and made it cost-efficient. Visitors were able to test the system on site during operation, design their personal shirt and take it with them. "That worked very well. Most of them picked up their orders and we met many customers. From our point of view it was a success."