Trade fair consolidation and combinations

Reed acquires PackPlus India, Print and Labelexpo combine for Print Americas

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PackPlus, a portfolio of Indian trade fairs previously owned by Next Events, has been acquired by Reed Exhibitions, a division of RELX. Launched in 2006, the PackPlus group of events consists of an annual event in Delhi, PackPlus South, which is held in Bengaluru and Hyderabad, and the India Packaging Show in Mumbai. The next edition of PackPlus Delhi will take place between 28 and 31 August 2019.

With this acquisition, Reed Exhibitions further expands its presence in India and enhances its portfolio of more than 500 events across 30 countries. Reed Exhibitions will bring its expertise, global reach and resources to the PackPlus brand, its customers and the event team. With the recent acquisitions of Big7 and Mack Brooks, Reed Exhibitions continues to strength its position as a leading, reliable, reputable and committed partner in India.

Gregory Zaraisky, chief executive officer, Reed Exhibitions India says, “For a long time we were intrigued by the evolution and progress of PackPlus, and we are delighted to take the baton and add our global experience, energy and resources to this exciting portfolio. . . . “The acquisition of PackPlus marks our third deal in India this year and an important step in our strategy.

Anil Arora, president of Next Events, said, “My wife Neetu and I are very proud of what we have developed and built. PackPlus was and remains our passion, and we are very happy to see the same passion in Reed Exhibitions. We feel confident and comfortable that the team, the events and the customers will further enrich their experiences from Reed Exhibitions’ global reach, commitment to customer value and investment in technology.”

Print and Labelexpo combine for new Brand Print Americas event

On 16 May 2019, Tarsus Group (owner and organizer of the Labelexpo and Brand Print Global Series of trade shows) and the Association for PRINT Technologies (owner and organizer of the PRINT event) announced that they will combine efforts to launch Brand Print Americas. This will take place in lieu of Print 2020 exhibition event that takes place in the McCormick Centre in Chicago.

The new combined effort called Brand Print Americas will be co-located with the 2020 edition of Labelexpo Americas at the Donald E Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois, which is a suburb of Chicago. It will take place from 15 to 17 September 2020.

Brand Print Americas will apparently offer printers, converters and brand owners access to solutions for their varied printing needs. Brands that have labels and packaging requirements also need to source printed materials to meet their other marketing needs, including point of purchase, collation packs, outdoor advertising, fleet graphics, direct mail and much more. These two events bring together the whole supply chain under one roof, and therefore provide greater synergies and opportunities for printers, converters, manufacturers, suppliers and creatives.

Lisa Milburn, managing director for Labelexpo Global Series and Brand Print, said, “We are delighted to collaborate with the Association for PRINT Technologies on the first Brand Print Americas. By combining efforts where we see crossover among segments, we are strategically connecting the print supply chain. This will give printers and converters access to a huge platform for exploring all of their print needs and finding the right solutions at a single venue.”

Thayer Long, president of APTech, said, “We are thrilled to merge PRINT 2020 into this new event and partner with Tarsus and Labelexpo on Brand Print Americas. This is a strategic response to the market as printers look to diversify their offerings and manufacturers want to maximize their marketing dollars by bringing audiences together under one roof. We are taking a collaborative approach to bring together two well-known brands, two unique audiences and multiple market segments together.”

European editor Ron Augustin comments on trade fairs

These are both survival strategies and consolidation. ApTech is the former NPES, and has merged with PRIMIR, the ICC and the Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation. The latter being a parallel to the old GATF, which was taken over by PIA. One can assume that with a rapidly shrinking base of printing houses in the US, they increasingly lack funds and personnel, and thus, the manpower and expertise to run exhibitions.

Thus, ‘outsourcing’ or selling of trade fairs to the rather successful specialists like Tarsus or Reed seems the logical way to go. Within the trade fair business, it’s the same story everywhere – more effort (i.e., diversification and broadening the scope of individual trade fairs) to keep the same (or less) footfalls. Print Chicago always had the weakness of actually being a rather local fair in a huge territory. This is the same problem the ‘(inter)national’ book fairs have been having in the US.