When we first heard the news of Ipex Digital Middle East, my first reaction was, "What! one more exhibition?". However meeting with the organisers changed our perception- not only would the expo cover the entire digital industry-from signage to production and commercial printing, but the organisers are using novel concepts like Top 100 Buyers Program, to make the show more inclusive. For exhibitions to stop being passed over as 'one more event', organisers need to think out of the box as well as have their ears to the ground to sense the changing scenario in advance.

How well an event is marketed, demonstration of new technology by exhibitors, novel ways of utilisation of machinery and different applications, comparison of technology among competing brands allowing visitors to take an informed decision should be used in novel ways while hosting expos and events.

The printing industry of Oman, though not heavily impacted by the slowdown, affecting other regions, is looking at investments in new machines for specific job requirements.

However fluctuations in prices of consumables and raw materials is forcing the larger print shops in the country prefer to importing and stocking of consumables directly from manufacturers, rather than depend on suppliers from other countries, who according to them invariably charge high prices.