3D Printing exhibitions and trade shows seem to be springing up around the globe. I’ve attended RAPID, a technical conference from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers for many years, but the recent spate of shows I’ve attended had much more energy and excitement than the average gathering of engineers and 3D Printer manufacturers.
So with the proliferation of 3D Printing conferences, how would the upcoming 3D Printshow in New York February 13 – 15 be different, I wondered. To find out I tracked down show Founder and CEO Kerry Hogarth at her office in London.
Since discovering 3D Printing at a UN Conference in Geneva in 2011, Ms. Hogarth had a vision to build a platform where the technical and design worlds collide. She explained, “While the uses of industrial 3D printed parts are amazing, to look at the device itself, often does not adequately demonstrate the power of 3D Printing. But art does. And as 3D Printing becomes mainstream, what interests consumers are the end results. Our show floor has individual places where people can be wowed by the possibilities.”
When Ms. Hogarth started to research fashion or jewelry designers using 3D Printing, there was little content. That was then and this is now. For the Metropolitan Pavilion event there is a waiting list of designers to get into the show that include a VIP Catwalk event, an art gallery and other specialized areas that take the traditional trade show to a new place.
What seems to have transpired is that 3D printer manufacturers and artists are collaborating. It provides good marketing and promotion vehicles for the business but also gives designers access to more affordable 3D Printing options. Doors are opened for both parties, a true win-win in growing the industry. Companies have big roles in the show, and Adobe will be showcasing the live Catwalk.
Of course there are also the usual vendor booths but they are grouped by topics, and seminars are also segmented for specific interests. Vendors are encouraged to have interactive, live demos and throughout the halls are educational centers with details on how 3D Printing works. In addition, there is an education day for kids, and at the other end of the spectrum an investors’ summit.
Ms. Hogarth is expecting at least 6,000 attendees for the 3D Printshow’s first foray into the US market, after 2 successful shows in London and 1 last year in Paris. She is finding that “in New York there is much more desire for people to learn about how 3d Printing can impact their lives. That the seminars booked so quickly shows how people are looking to jump into 3D Printing, especially to start a business or generate new ideas.”
Ms. Hogarth sums up the 3D Printshow as an “experiential event”: a merger of education and entertainment that is technically dazzling and visually beautiful. I’m looking forward to experiencing all 3 days, where 3D printing is positioned to capture the imagination and the heart, as well as the intellect.