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FESPA Managing Director- Exhibitions and Events – Mr. Neil Felton, visits Mumbai
Category - Industrial News(SPAI - FESPA)

 Neil Felton who took charge of his position in May 2011 and is responsible to direct FESPA’s international portfolio of exhibitions, which includes the flagship FESPA 2013 event (London), FESPA Digital 2012 (Barcelona), FESPA Asia 2011 (Singapore), FESPA Mexico (2011, 2012, Mexico City) and FESPA Americas 2012 (Miami), was on his first visit to India, from 19-21 Sep 2011.
He is a highly experienced exhibitions director having most recently held the portfolio of business-to-business events in the food and drink sectors, which included the UK’s largest food-led event, attracting in excess of 40000 visitors.
To introduce Neil Felton to the Indian printers, SPAI had arranged for a get together of various printers and SPAI Board in Mumbai on 20 Sep 2011. During this gathering he met with all those present and interacted very freely.
When he addressed the gathering, he said “The first place I wanted to go after taking charge at FESPA was India, to understand the vast market that it is which may be better than some European market”.
Having visited a couple of top class companies like Classic Stripes & Spectrum, he feels that he has got the feeling that the Indian printers know what their customers want.
“FESPA’s growth in the last six years has been phenomenal, yet in several regions and market segments this is only the tip of the iceberg. Undoubtedly there are still untold opportunities for FESPA to bring together print service providers and their suppliers, and to create environments where the community can share, its collective technical and commercial knowledge and expertise.
I look forward to meeting with exhibitors and visitors in the coming months to find out how FESPA can continue to meet their evolving expectations.”
While FESPA maintains a global perspective, being a federation of 36 national print associations, he feels Asia in general is a growth market and has not suffered much in the recent economic crisis, to the extent that American & European markets have. He says there is a broad sense of optimism when talking to printers from the Asian Region and their representatives in the FESPA’s member associations from the region.
India, as one of the Asian countries he feels, has a great potential. With manufacturing moving from most western countries, to take the advantage of low cost space and labour here, Industrial printing is on a growth trajectory and graphic print to support the packaging, Indian printers can do wonders with knowledge & information, to adopt new technologies and transition from manual to semi-automatic or automatic machines.
He is quite upbeat about the SPAI-FESPA Cross Country Table Top Exhibitions (CCTTE), which started off in April 2011. He says the idea behind doing the road shows is to provide printers across India, with a platform where they can connect with each other, find out information on a wide variety of topics. From FESPA’s perspective, it does not want to be known only as an Exhibitor company.
We would like to take it to the next step, to hold more conferences, seminars & road shows, providing more technical information & knowledge to printers of all levels, to transition to higher level of activities. We see these road shows as a start to the way to engage with printer community and the road shows are as important as the exhibitions.
Through the road shows, people who have been using conventional methods are getting to know about new technology. Manual printers are amazed with the new technology, equipment & products. He said he would be quite to keen to be at some of these 62 shows that are being planned around India.
Apart from the road shows, we are planning to engage printers at a higher level. Following my visit to the two printers, I have come to realise what printers in India can do. And if we can engage these top printers with some of the top printers of the world, I believe we can get a better and proper networking, one that would be mutually beneficial to all.
I would like to see more printers from India to visit the FESPA shows around the world, which will help printers to find inspiration or practical solution to many of the challenges and opportunities facing their business.
Mr. Madhu Kumar Doshi, one of the founding members & ex President of SPAI, handed over a memento to Neil, as a token of appreciation for his visit to India.
Click here to see photos of Neil Felton’s visit.