Well received: new viscom structure a hit
Imagine there's a trade fair and hardly a train traveller gets there: that scenario played out during viscom. Usually, one in four visitors travels to the International Trade Fair for Visual Communication by train. Usually. But the largest strike in German railway history caused massive disruptions. Even though viscom organiser Reed Exhibitions Deutschland operated a live ticker with the latest traffic updates and possible travel alternatives, the massive disruptions affecting the railway did end up impacting the event.
The three-day trade fair, which alternates between Frankfurt and Düsseldorf, had to accept a decrease in visitors for the first time in ten years. The organiser recorded a total of 10,064 visitors (prior event: 12,075), representing a drop of 17% compared to viscom frankfurt 2012. "Many of our customers were unable to come or had to change their travel itineraries in order to get to viscom", says Hans-Joachim Erbel, CEO Reed Exhibitions Deutschland, in summarising the consequences of the tense traffic situation during viscom. In prior years, viscom had seen clear double-digit annual growth rates.
Those who did make it to viscom in Frankfurt this year found the entire world of visual communication awaiting them – from the latest digital printing solutions to innovative digital signage applications to interactive displays and print finishing solutions for packages used in brand communication at the POS. For the first time ever, the altogether 325 exhibitors from 29 nations (2012: 327) occupied both of Hall 3's floors. viscom was able to enhance its profile thanks to the new, clearly structured hall layout with six core segments: large format printing, signmaking, object design, digital signage, POS display and POS packaging. The new appearance was defined by the "main axis" consisting of "digital printing, advertising technology and materials" downstairs and "brand communication, digital signage and illuminated advertising" upstairs.
"The idea of providing better orientation to print service providers and advertising technicians as well as to major brands from retail, industry and agencies was very well received", says viscom Director Petra Lassahn. The new structure aligns with visitors' interest in being able to access each topic in a targeted way. The revamped POS display area, which presented the sector's leading companies under one roof, resonated particularly well with a broad audience. Also very well received was the POS packaging area, which showed print finishing solutions for designing and producing high-quality folding boxes.
The "heart" of viscom was once again the world of inspiration. Taking up 800 m², this special show highlighted best practices from all six of viscom's topical areas, including trends for the point of sale, award-winning packaging solutions, print finishing innovations and the latest digital signage projects. The central theme here was inspiration; trend discussions and workshops were held, including the one hosted by the Packaging Design School showing visitors how designs make it onto the packaging for anything from mass-produced articles like laundry detergents to premium spirits. "This was our first time attending viscom as part of the 'Packaging Design School' cooperation – and we were very pleasantly surprised. We had an excellent response and many visitors, from individual advertising designers to larger agencies, schools and universities. The entire spectrum was represented", says Guido Möller from the Wacom/Packaging Design School. Other world of inspiration highlights included 3D-printed exhibits, microwavable pizza boxes, luxury packaging, multi-touch solutions for walls and tables, POS gesture control solutions and an innovative installation of media blinds.
Once again, viscom served as a stage for numerous innovations, as demonstrated by the awards handed out here in various branches of the visual communication sector. Presented again this year were the viscom Best of Award in the areas signmaking, large format printing, textile finishing, software and illuminated advertising; the Digital Signage Best Practice Award; the SUPERSTAR for new display solutions; the European Wrap Star; and the designmaker Award for creative designs that work on a variety of advertising media.
The upcoming viscom düsseldorf will take place from 4 to 6 November 2015.
Detailed information about the award winners along with print-quality imagery can be found at www.viscom-messe.com.
Visitor, exhibitor and floor space figures of viscom frankfurt are calculated and certified according to the uniform definitions published by FKM – German Society for Voluntary Control of Fair and Exhibition Statistics
"Everyone in our industry comes to viscom to see where the innovations, possibilities and replacement products are. People look to viscom for opportunities to do something new with their business. For us, a top priority here is that we highlight what our innovations are so we can present such opportunities to our customers. Visual communication isn't just printing, it's much more. When we talk about the development of the printing sector, for example, we see very clearly that print is growing: from the replacement of the machines and faster machines to better quality and better materials. So the trends very clearly have to do with quality or – as we at Mimaki call it – with reliability. Of course we'll be back at viscom again next year. It's important for us. We've participated for many years already, and we'd invite anyone who didn't attend this year's viscom in Frankfurt to come to Düsseldorf next year. We'll see you there."
Mike Horsten, General Manager Marketing, EMEA Mimaki Europe B.V.
"By now, viscom in Frankfurt and Düsseldorf has become the established trade fair for advertising technology and signmaking, and it's now even got a truly comprehensive supporting programme for our entire industry. viscom has emerged as a must-attend event not just for manufacturers but also for major distributors in Germany. Of course MUTOH will be in Düsseldorf in 2015."
Volker Lienig, Sales & Marketing Manager, MUTOH Deutschland GmbH
"Our highlight this year is the fastest bending machine. We were able to demonstrate its operation onsite and even received orders right there at the trade fair. Our viscom presence is aimed predominantly at the international audience. We speak no less than five languages at our exhibition stand these days. We're able to reach customers from East Asia, the Middle East, the United States and South Africa, among other regions. The quality of visitors is excellent throughout. You don't meet pen collectors here, only professionals with genuine purchase intentions."
Franz-Josef Münnich, CEO i-concept GmbH & Co. KG
"We believe that future trends in our industry will lean towards increasingly diverse materials. In our case, we currently have products made predominantly from wood and metal, but future paths may well lead us back toward cardboard and paperboard. The first day of the trade fair was very positive for us. We didn't expect quantities to be quite as high. At the same time, visitor quality at our stand was excellent, as well. We'll definitely book again for 2015."
Peter Ohrem, Owner, POS
"viscom was an unmitigated success for dimedis; we had excellent talks and made valuable contacts. The focus of the trade fair is compelling, and we expect higher sales for kompas, our digital signage software solution. Rounding out our positive impression was the fantastic supporting programme with lectures and workshops, plus the Digital Signage Best Practice Award. We look forward to 2015 in Düsseldorf."
Patrick Schröder, Division Manager Digital Signage, dimedis
"This was our first time attending viscom as part of the 'Packaging Design School' cooperation – and we were very pleasantly surprised. We had an excellent response and many visitors, from individual advertising designers to larger agencies, schools and universities. The entire spectrum was represented. Wacom manufactures input devices like pen displays, which play an important role in the creative process. While we can't generate creativity itself, we can help in implementing creative ideas. Even the best idea in my head is useless if I don't have the right tool to put it on paper or, in our case, into the computer. What's important, especially when it comes to creative agencies being productive, is that the creativity they generate, which at the end of the day has to be unique, can be implemented perfectly."
Guido Möller, Sales Consultant Business Solution, Wacom Europe GmbH, Packaging Design School
"viscom is a very important platform for us – a trade fair that's become a fixture in our trade fair catalogue and one we can no longer imagine doing without. The simple reason for that is that we're also able to target the graphic design crowd while we're here. We meet lots and lots of customers here who are looking for graphics products, and of course also for the advertising technology this trade fair uses, so they can learn about trends and developments and see everything live. Of course we'll be back again at viscom in Düsseldorf next year. We're already looking forward to it and will again start making plans early on."
Kay Strucks, Senior Manager Marketing Central Region, OKI Systems
"We're very satisfied with our stand at the world of inspiration. This is our first time exhibiting at viscom, and we've had a number of interesting discussions. We offer exciting topics that help us to connect with people who then stick around and take an in-depth look at our solutions. From that standpoint, we're very satisfied with the results of the last few days. We also saw a wonderful mix of visitors, including some major brands and journalists who came to learn more about our products. Existing customers, who we had approached in the run up to the event already, also came to see us whenever they had a chance to do so. Overall, we had a broad base and a thus a good mix. We were very busy. Both viscom and the world of inspiration are definitely areas that are well suited for us because they allows us to show our highlights."
Peter Désilets, Member of the Management Board, pacoon AG
"viscom is our first trade fair ever. We picked viscom as our first trade fair because reaching a broad audience was important to us. viscom offered that opportunity. This is where you find those awesome young and innovative stands – we fit in perfectly. So we ended up registering, and our expectations were more than exceeded. The feedback is overwhelming. Our stand was well visited the entire time, which kept us busy all day long. We are totally thrilled, and this will definitely not be our last viscom."
Felix Ewald, Managing Director, Trindo GmbH
"Compared to years past, visitor quality has markedly improved this year. We think that's because the print industry and digital signage are located in two separate halls. A trend we've focussed on ourselves this year is interactivity: digital signage with displays depicting advertising is proliferating these days. We count on the fact that customers are increasingly being included in the product presentation and consultation before moving on to a touch system to get more information on their own."
Johannes Ryks, CEO, eyefactive GmbH.