Harrogate remains home to successful industry showcase
The decision to stay in Harrogate follows what Trevor Crawford, Director of the Informa Print Group, describes as "comprehensive research into exhibitors' and visitors' attitudes to every aspect of the show, including the possibility of a new venue. The results confirm our initial belief in the wake of the successful 2011 show that Northprint is well and truly back and set for a strong future, and that at the present time Harrogate is still the best place for the show. Asked whether a move to Manchester would affect their attendance, 75% of exhibitors and 70% of visitors said it would either have no effect or would make them less likely to attend.
Other headline findings of Informa's post-Northprint research confirm strong support for a continuing major print exhibition in the North, with Northprint's northern location clearly the key influence on visitors' decisions to attend an event that 70% of visitors regard as a very or quite important exhibition, and 56% rate as excellent or good. Northprint occupies a creditable third place on visitors' ranking of their preferred exhibitions, behind Ipex and drupa, and its 19% approval rating comfortably exceeds the next ranked UK show (4%). Among exhibitors, 84% view Northprint as very or quite important to their business, 62% rate it as excellent or good, and 53% think it is better than other trade exhibitions.
James Goody, Director of Direct Sales for Konica Minolta Business Solutions (UK), sums up the views of many exhibitors: "Northprint is a highly strategic event for us. We're proud to be exhibiting and are looking to showcase our print production technologies, services and solutions."
Last May's Northprint 2011 bounced back strongly from a disappointing recession-hit 2009 show, recording a 40% rise in attendance. Exhibitors praised the seniority and decision-making status of the 2,350 visitors plus exhibitors, press and repeat visitors who were drawn from all parts of the country - around 60% from the North and the remaining 40% from the Midlands and the South. As part of Informa's strategy to reinvigorate the show, visitors were offered a comprehensive range of free features, including workshops, case studies and industry debates in the Printers Profit Zone, financial advice from the BPIF, and presentations from industry experts in the Litho Technology Theatre.
Trevor Crawford says that Informa is already working on the programme of features at Northprint 2013. "Last year's show demonstrated that Northprint is a very important industry showcase for the whole of the UK print community. One key finding of our research was that visitors want to see Northprint grow, in size and breadth of coverage, and this year we will be working to do just that."