Organised by ESMA for the third time, TheIJC opened on the 5th of October 2016 with a post-review of the latest drupa show, presented by its director, Sabine Geldermann. Just as the significance of inkjet grows for the world’s biggest printing fair, the cooperation between TheIJC and drupa thrives. Once again, drupa supported the conference as the enabling partner and MS Italy was the event’s main sponsor. One day before the official opening of TheIJC, a series of six free inkjet workshops took place at the same venue with Global Inkjet Systems and Sun Chemical as sponsors.
“The unique blend of ESMA past experiences in industrial printing applications enabled by screen techniques has built a solid foundation for a conference at which we learn about inkjet entering new industrial segments. This third edition of TheIJC has proven that organising a successful event is based on constant improvements of its concept to ensure its current place in the tight agenda of so many printing events”, said Peter Buttiens, CEO of ESMA. “It is the only possible way to serve a fast moving technology such as inkjet, where certain areas are moving faster as others, and it is only at TheIJC that we bring everything together. This can be the potential of glass nozzle plates or market reports on the potential of inkjet in packaging. The technological approach of the conference is an excellent breeding ground for networking, new ideas and projects – those present at TheIJC are indeed those who build the future”, added Steve Knight, Co-Founder of TheIJC.
Organised on yearly basis, TheIJC remains a magnet for new companies who enter the digital field with their expertise. In 2016, the tabletop area accommodated 17 companies which decided to exhibit for the first time. Out of 131 companies which sent their delegates to the conference, 53 did it for the first time and on the individual level, 151 delegates were newcomers. One of them was Thomas Young from Polywatt who commented: “I have been enjoying my exposure to the world of inkjet printing”. Mark Hinder from Konica Minolta evaluated TheIJC as “An excellent mix of education and networking. It was well planned and I look forward to next year. As a newbie to this event, I can say it was one of the best I have ever attended.”
All conference participants were provided with access to a dedicated mobile app and they used it as an opportunity to engage in the conference sessions by asking questions and rating each presentation. At the end of day one it were Paddy O’Hara from Industrial Inkjet (talk on “Inkjet solutions for in-line packaging”) and Angus Condie from Xaar (“An analysis of different ink recirculation architectures and their benefits”) who received the highest number of votes and were presented with a “Best Speaker Award”. The awards of day 2 went to Debbie Thorp from Global Inkjet Systems (“Ink delivery systems – design options and troubleshooting”) and Dr Nick Campbell from Inca Digital (“Practical issues in the design of single pass industrial inkjet printers”). Considering the origins of the four companies awarded, the Cambridge cluster once again demonstrated its leading role in the inkjet world.
Besides the quality of presentations, all attendees praised the networking opportunities. The tabletops in the networking arena were kept busy and business meetings extended far beyond the coffee and lunch breaks, culminating during the seated networking dinner in the evening of the first conference day. “I haven’t ever had so many questions from so many different people and I ran out of business cards!”, exclaimed Dr Steve Hoath from University of Cambridge. “We had a very good response”, added Jim Taylor from Inca Digital, “In terms of generating useful contacts it was on par with being at drupa.” Wolfgang Hey from Print-Concept summarised: “Conference like TheIJC will not replace big shows but will become increasingly important. The investment in participation has more value than having bigger booths at less important shows.”