In these post Coronavirus times, all eyes turn to major industry events so we can try to draw conclusions about the prevailing mood and levels of confidence.
Well, if this year’s FESPA Global Print Expo in Munich is a good barometer, we have cause for optimism.
The appetite for meeting, greeting, and yes investing was palpable along the thronged aisles and stands.
On the Ricoh, textile-oriented, stand, the atmosphere was as upbeat as anywhere. Throughout the four days last week, there was a steady stream of visitors – textile creatives and other specialists, Print Service Providers, partners, journalists, and analysts keen on seeing for themselves how Ricoh’s offer to the garment printing industry is evolving through both Direct to Garment and Direct to Film solutions.
We were delighted to demonstrate a range of solutions. Some established, some brand new, and welcomed all the constructive feedback. Co-creation is one of our guiding principles.
It wasn’t just DTG and DTF though as there were many conversations about Ricoh’s inkjet print head expertise and how it could enhance manufacturers’ production capabilities.
Our partners Fruit of the Loom and Russell Athletic made Ricoh’s booth a truly collaborative venture.
It was very clear that these brands’ all-encompassing commitment to sustainable garment production echoed our own environmental philosophy. And that the partnership is founded firmly on shared values.
Perhaps though what will live longest in memories will be our celebrated Manga artist, Uchida, painting, over the course of the show, a wonderful Manga scene. She attracted crowds of onlookers who watched the picture emerge on the three by two metre canvas. Many of them then chose an individualised printed T shirt with their preferred Manga design to take away as a memento.
So, I and my Ricoh colleagues can now reflect fondly on a great experience at FESPA. It was successful for us but also of course very importantly, it worked for our industry too.