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Ipex owner Informa Exhibitions is moving the show to London's Excel exhibition centre, ending its 30-year association with the NEC.

The change of venue also involves an earlier date for the show, which will take place from 26 March to 2 April in 2014, in order to avoid Easter and the May bank holidays.

Exhibition director Trevor Crawford said: "All the time we were at the NEC there had never been another real choice, but the development of phase two at Excel took it up to 100,000sqm of space and made it a genuine alternative for us to look at."

The attraction of London to Ipex's all-important international visitors is one of the prime reasons behind the switch. The number of non-UK attendees increased from 40% in 2006 to 48% of the total at Ipex 2010, and is expected to breach 50% next time around.

The Ipex team also engaged specialist engineers Knapp Hicks to carry out a structural survey of Excel due to concerns about whether the venue's floors were strong enough to carry working printing presses.

Public transport links to Excel are being improved as a result of infrastructure changes linked to the London 2012 Olympic games