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Wide-format body Fespa has launched Fespa Direct, a new service that allows printers outside of its 37 association countries to access the benefits of membership.
The service, which costs €250 per year, was launched in June, shortly after its main Fespa expo in Hamburg and at the same time as the body launched a new website.
Fespa head of marketing Sarah Farrell said that the opportunity for individuals or companies to join Fespa from countries outside the Fespa network had existed for many years in the Fespa Articles of Association, but until the launch of the new website there had not been a platform to deliver the member benefits.
Fespa general secretary Sean Holt said he was delighted to be able to offer these non-association PSPs the “insight, useful tools and networking opportunities” afforded by Fespa membership.
Fespa Direct members will have access to a suite of benefits including technical guides, planet friendly guides and the Fespa Print Census, along with gaining discounts to Fespa events.
“Our recent membership survey revealed an annual increase of over 1,000 members belonging to our 37 member associations, so the Fespa network is already growing and we expect that trend to continue both within our associations and through Fespa Direct,” added Farrell, who said that the main applications so far had been from printers in Brazil and African countries.  National associations wishing to join Fespa have to meet a set of agreed criteria, which is then approved by the existing associations as part of a full application process.
Farrell also delivered an update on the Fespa Print Census, which kicked off in February 2017 in Bangkok and is due for completion in December 2017.
“The previous edition saw a fantastic response from the industry with some 1,200 completed surveys, and we are seeing this year track favourably against that,” she said.
“The focus this year is on depth of responses per country in order for us to be able to prepare region/country specific reports, which will be especially valuable to our association members.”