Tracking the Digital Market through Graph Expo Booth Space

Jim Hamilton
Sep 22, 2011

Since 2004, InfoTrends has analyzed the Graph Expo show floor maps as an indicator of market changes. We’ve ranked the exhibitors by the amount of space they have on the show floor. These rankings are compiled by measuring the published show floor map. Initially InfoTrends began conducting this exercise to show the impact of the digital vendors on a trade show that had been dominated over the years by traditional printing press vendors. This point has long since been made. For all practical purposes, as one looks at the list of top vendors in recent years, Graph Expo has become dominated by digital exhibitors. Heidelberg was the number one exhibitor until 2008, when it did not exhibit, and it probably was the top exhibitor for many shows prior to Graph Expo 2004. For the past two Graph Expo shows however, Xerox has been the company with the most exhibit space.

Company 2011 2004
Xerox 1 3
Canon 2 17
Heidelberg 3 1
EFI 4 12
Agfa 5 15
Ricoh 6 Did not exhibit
HP 7 4
Pitney Bowes 8 Not in top 20
Standard Finishing 9 16
Kodak 10 11

Sometimes vendors make acquisitions and then combine show floor space with the acquisition. This is the case with Xerox whose space includes area occupied by XMPie. The same trend also tells the story of Canon and Ricoh’s growth patterns. Océ, for example, had the third largest amount of show floor space at Graph Expo 2010. In 2011 Océ became part of a larger Canon booth that ranked second at Graph Expo. Ricoh, with the addition of IKON and InfoPrint, has gone from having no Graph Expo presence in 2004 to having the sixth largest booth in 2011.

When comparing Graph Expo 2004 and 2011 the evolution stands out clearly, though even in 2004 there were a number of purely digital players in the top 10. What does this mean for future trade shows (particularly for drupa 2012 next May)? One open question for drupa has been whether a digital vendor will take over the lead role at that show from Heidelberg, which typically has occupied two large halls. drupa 2012 may be too soon for that. Heidelberg’s lead will likely continue there, and if that is the case then one reason will be the impact of its industry partnerships with digital companies like Ricoh and EFI.

InfoTrends will publish a more extensive view of this analysis for its clients as part of its post-Graph Expo coverage.

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