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Print shows in Shanghai 2015/6 - will you be there?
By Colleen Bate
Why do we attend overseas print shows? Is it to seek out new product opportunities and widen our horizons at the same time? Perhaps to attend seminars and sharpen our skill sets? Or is it to simply find a really good bargain? Sourcing equipment has never been easier thanks to the internet, but it doesn't come close to actually attending a show - being at 'one' with the industry, feeling that you are part of the bigger picture and taking in the action right there.

It is a special kind of camaraderie that can be addictive.  Add to this the experience of a new culture and country mixed with some personal travel at the end of the show .. and it just adds to the flavour. For intrepid Kiwis and Aussies, this is always alluring. It is exotic to visit places where the population is greater and the infrastructure so different.

Shanghai is such a place.  

With a population of more than 24 million, this up and coming global financial centre with excellent facilities and transportation connections is the largest Chinese city. The name Shanghai simply means the "City on the Sea", and that is exactly what it is. Situated on the Yangzi River Delta at the point where China's main waterway completes its vast journey to the Pacific, it boasts a frenetic sea and river port.

Shanghai-20311It is a well-known fact that the Yantze River Delta is one of the three major (and rapidly growing) printing industrial belts in China. It is home to an enormous number and variety of printing companies, providing employment for approximately 14,000 workers in the industry.  

Not surprising then that most of the print shows in China are held in Shanghai and that attendance figures at the majority of these shows are steadily on the increase. 

As a trade magazine journalist, I have attended many design and print shows both locally and overseas. Over the years I have spoken to a number of exhibitors and visitors about their experiences at these shows. The general consensus seems to be that trade shows are viewed by decision makers as one of the most important resources in assisting them during the purchasing process. 

Apart from the benefit of sales, sponsorship and market research opportunities, exhibitors generally seem to enjoy the connection of one-on-one contact. It's also seen as a way of promoting brand loyalty, demonstrating products and industry knowledge, launching new products, attending seminars and checking out the competition. 

Visitors I have spoken from time to time have indicated a preference to see, touch, smell or in some cases, even try products before they buy them. They also enjoy the quality that international business to business events offer at such shows, the opportunity to network with like-minded industry people, having direct access to suppliers, researching new product offerings from around the world, being at the forefront of product launches, and discovering international and regional partners, importers, agents and distributors. For the most part, keeping up to date with new to market technology holds a lot of appeal to visitors, as does the prospect of potential business opportunities. 

It goes without saying that the culture of the country at which the trade show is being held will influence the business carried out as well as everything else that goes with it - including the kind of things we can sometimes take for granted in our homeland, like the registration process, language, etiquette and food. 

Not having visited China myself, I can only imagine that the experience of attending a print show in the vast, vibrant and diverse city of Shanghai would be nothing short of unforgettable.  

Conect Enterprises' Paul Coniglio was visitor to such a show in 2010 -  Sign China, which was held in Guangzhou. WFOL published his experiences in a page long article but in a nutshell, he was overwhelmed by the span of exhibition halls, and the sheer number of visitors and exhibitors at the show. He also had to learn a whole new etiquette when it came to registration, finding his way around, the assertive sales approach he was confronted with and the never-ending queue for lunch ... to name just a few! 

For those of you in the industry that are game enough to endure a visit to a print show in Shanghai, there is plenty on offer in the next 18 months. We've provided some valuable information and insights on four upcoming shows. We've also examined international .. and in some cases, Australian ... attendance at these print shows, touched on their differences and in one case, their collaboration with each other. (*Note: while we could not ascertain the degree of competition between the shows, research revealed a focus and prominence on the size of the areas they will be exhibiting in.) 

Sign China

Sign China banner

Sign China is held in conjunction with LED China 2015 and LED Lighting China 2015)

Where:  Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC), recent relocation from Guangzhou.

When: 16 - 19 September 2015

Organiser/s: Parent company, UBM group with operations in over 30 countries.


Sign China pictureOfferings : Provides a single comprehensive sourcing platform for the sign industry since 2003. Showcases the latest products and innovations for indoor and outdoor format printers, engravers, exhibition and display equipment, as well as LED displays, components and lighting. Innovations in 2014: EFI VUTEk GS3250lxr Pro by EFI, which held its first SuperFlex Printer launch in Asia Pacific  Claim to fame: This 13 year old show "firmly establishes itself as one of the highest-profile and influential sign events in the world" and has the edge over other sign shows because it includes LED products. 

Last year, Sign China welcomed 12,773 new and regular visitors from over 166 countries and regions and achieved a 38% growth in international visitor numbers. These countries and regions include USA, Canada, Japan, Germany, UK, India, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Russia, Singapore, Korea and Australia. In total, there were 11.97% of visitors recorded from abroad and of these, 300 Australian visitors attended the show. 

UBM Trust's Yan Zheng describes Sign China as "a showcase of the most complete industry chain for the sign sector, and says that it is “truly the 'weather vane' that guides and influences the industry’s development,"
At Sign China 2015, 1800 international exhibitors and brands will be spread across 130,000 sqm in 12 halls, showcasing the latest in sign technology and service.


Where:  Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC),

When: 21-23 October 2015

Organiser/s: FESPA and CSGIA (China Screen Printing and Graphic Imaging Association) - FESPA's associate member in China.


Offerings : innovative brands, suppliers and distributors within the screen, digital and textile print industry.
Claims to fame: (1) FESPA has a global reputation to grow the existing CSGIA event and add a new dimension by attracting major digital players looking for a platform to do business with Chinese printers. (2) An important focus of all FESPA events is education and knowledge share
First launched in 2013, FESPA China & CSGIA attracts an extensive line-up of over 400 exhibitors, offering their latest products and technology developments, inks and substrates to enter the market.
Over 9,500 visitors attended the inaugural FESPA China 2013 exhibition from 77 countries. In 2014, attendance grew to 15,166 from 91 countries. After mainland China, the largest visitor delegations were from India, Japan, Korea and Malaysia, with printers also travelling from Hong Kong and Taiwan as well as Australasia, Europe, USA, Africa and South America. There were 50 Australian attendees at FESPA China 2013 and 41 at FESPA China 2014.
Interestingly, FESPA China 2014 was promoted ahead of the event with a presence at the APPP Expo in July 2014 in Shanghai, demonstrating a camaraderie between the two exhibition organisers.
Under the event theme ‘Find Your Key To Success’, FESPA China 2015 will provide visitors with the inspiration and skills to unlock their business potential through the latest industry launches, product innovation and content led features. FESPA China 2015 currently expects to fill over 12,000sqm of floor space – an increase of 13% since the last event in Shanghai in 2013. 

APPPExpo 2016

Where: National Exhibition and Convention Centre (NACC) Shanghai

When: 9 – 12 March 2016

Organiser/s: Shanghai Modern International Exhibition Co., Ltd, a member of UFI


Offerings : Exhibits scope vary from ad & sign, printing & packaging, LED screen to lighting technology and convertech. 

Apppexpo pictureClaims to fame: (1) Industry giant (2) Show is held at the largest single block building and exhibition complex in the world with a total construction area of 1.47 million square meters, of which 1.27 million square meters are above ground.
Over a span of 24 years the advertising and sign event APPPEXPO has become the industry giant of 200,000 show areas, over 2,000 exhibitors and about 130,000 professional visitors. Every year, the show features exhibitors from more than 30 countries and opens its doors to visitors from nearly 100 countries.

APPPEXPO 2016 will highlight six topical areas, including trends for point of sale, packaging solutions, print finishing innovations, dynamic digital signage and the latest in inks, printable materials and wide-format inkjet printers.

All in Print China

All in Print banner

Where:  Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC)

When: 18 - 22 October 2016

Organiser/s: Printing Technology Association of China, China Academy of Printing Technology, and Messe Düsseldorf (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. Together with Shanghai Printing Trade Association


Offerings : All in Print China 2016 will bring the latest technologies of drupa 2016 to China after half a year, attracting more exhibitors and companies to witness the fast growing market in Asia-Pacific. 

Innovations in 2014: Canon displayed its “Digital Printing, All in Canon” digital strategy, and published eight digital printing products covering multiple product lines; Fuji Xerox presented the Versant 2100 Press colour digital printing system, Fuji Film released the JetPress720SB2 inkjet digital printer;and  Konica Minolta released its bizhub PRESS C1100/C1085

Claims to fame: (1) All Print China is considered to be one of the most influential printing exhibitions in China and the world. (2) Serving as a platform for communication ideas and demonstrating new developments, the show contributes greatly to the progress and the future of China's printing industry.
Initiated in 2003, All in Print China 2016 is now in its 6th season. While not exclusively targeted at the Sign and Wide Format sectors of the printing industry, it will demonstrate the latest offerings from a variety of printing technologies and keep abreast of market updates.
At the All in Print China 2016 press conference held in Guangdong on April 9th, 2014, the theme of “Discover the Future of Printing,’ was announced for the impending show. More than 600 enterprises and 100,000 professional visitors and buyers from home and abroad were invited to push the developments and operations of printing industry. 

Exhibitors at All in Print China 2014 had this to say about the show: “Owning the largest booth at the All in Print China 2014, Canon showed its commitment to deeply engage in the digital printing industry via such large-scale participation. At the exhibition, both the number of customers interested in Canon and the market’s acceptance of Canon products were beyond our expectations. We participate in a very good and even the best exhibition, so to speak,” - Welbert Verheyen, Vice president of Canon Inc. (China) and person-in-charge of Professional Printing Products Department

“HP pays great attention to the Chinese market. The All in Print China 2014 is of great significance for HP. At the exhibition, our achievements in the first two days exceeded our goals. I believe that HP will gain more at the exhibition.” - Gido Van Praag, Vice president/general manager of Graphics Solution Business for Printing and Personal Systems Group, HP Asia Pacific & Japan 

“Fuji Xerox is the most faithful exhibitor of All in Print China, having participated in the exhibition for five times, and I am honored to take part in the exhibition for the fifth time, too. This time, we join hands with 16 partners and provide end users with comprehensive solutions.” - Deng Guojun, General manager of Fuji Xerox (China) 


Travel, accommodation, customs and business protocol
Whether or not you plan to attend one show or all of them, a trip to Shanghai is sure to be an education in itself. There will be so much to do, share and learn. To help you with planning we have provided the links below on Shanghai, travelling to China, obtaining a visa to visit China, accommodation, and doing business in China.
Happy Travels!
Travelling to China
Visa for China  
 About Shanghai
Tips on doing business in China