“I was asked to do it some time ago and initially I said no, but I was fortunate enough to be asked again and thought, actually, I would like to do it, and hopefully add some value in terms of where Ipex is heading,” said Martell.
“I’ve been saying for some time that Ipex needs to focus on how to use print, rather than how to print. By combining marketing services and print we’ve shown just how impactful print can be. That’s what we’ve focused on at St Ives and that’s where I think I can help in terms of my presidency at Ipex.”
The prime function of the role will be chairing the Ipex 360 Committee, the show’s new ‘visitor focused steering group’.
The members of the 360 Committee are being finalised now, with the first meeting scheduled to take place in late September-early October. According to Ipex event director Trevor Crawford, the committee will be made up of six-to-eight representatives across the whole value chain, including large and small printing firms, marketing agencies and print buyers.
“My input, I hope, will be focused on the broader challenges and things that print can bring rather than just a narrow focus on print in isolation,” said Martell.
He added that shows like Ipex still have an important role to play in shaping the future direction of the print industry.
“We also need to attract the users of print to these shows as well as the providers of print,” he said.
Martell became chief executive of the £330m-turnover St Ives group in 2009, having joined as an apprentice in 1980 and worked his way up. In his tenure as chief executive he has overseen the group’s ongoing evolution from offering purely print into a fully fledged marketing services group.