WrapFest heads for Silverstone amidst backdrop of booming vehicle wrapping industry

The inaugural event, taking place from 26 – 27 April 2023 at the Silverstone racing circuit, Northamptonshire, will bring together wrap professionals and enthusiasts from across Europe
Wrapping expert Justin Pate is one of the judges for the event

Despite being around since 1920, it is only in the last 20 years or so that the vehicle wrapping industry has exploded. In 2021, the global automotive wrap films market size was valued at a staggering USD 4.76 billion and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.2% from 2022 to 2030[1].

Vehicle wrapping has cemented itself as one of the most popular digital print applications. Demand for both vehicle personalisation for decorative reasons, made popular by a number of celebrity-wrapped cars, and for advertising and branding purposes, has proliferated in recent years largely owing to its aesthetic appeal, simplicity, protective qualities and cost-effectiveness compared to vehicle paint. The result is the emergence of a thriving industry characterised by innovation and creativity, that, unphased by the pandemic, continues to go from strength-to-strength.

It is against this backdrop that WrapFest arrives, the brand-new event dedicated to the vehicle wrapping, vinyl installation and detailing community. The event, organised by FESPA, will run for the first time from 26 – 27 April 2023 at the Silverstone racing circuit, Northamptonshire, UK – the iconic home of the British Grand Prix. Attendees will be treated to a content-rich event experience with internationally recognised brands showcasing their market-leading products, live demonstrations from the industry’s hottest names, Wrap Talks, the launch event’s intimate speaker programme, the regional heat of the UK and Ireland World Wrap Masters, and much more.

The latest innovations in wrapping, all under one roof

Occupying Halls 1 and 2 of the new Silverstone Wing will be prominent global brands showcasing their products for custom vehicle wrapping and detailing, including graphic, colour-change and paint protection films, window tints, digital printing and laminating equipment, vinyl cutting and finishing, design software, cleaning products, and accessories and tools. The exhibition will be a hotbed of innovation, with wrap professionals and enthusiasts able to view, touch and try products at every stage of the wrapping process, furthering their knowledge of the market, and enhancing their own careers and ambitions in the industry.

For instance, Pole Position sponsor HEXIS will be exhibiting its SKINTAC high performance cast wrapping film and BODYFENCE paint protection film (PPF), with the two products featuring in the company’s live demonstrations from the pit garages. Attendees will also be able to view its new high performance cast wrap colours which include #HX30SS22B Galactic Iridescent Ultra Gloss Limited Edition, #HX20NMYB Mystery Black Metallic Gloss, #HX20VNAS Naiade Green Metallic Satin, and possibly some additional surprise colours specifically for WrapFest. Additionally, there will be a range of new wrap and PPF installation tools for visitors to try, from S.H.A.G.Tools, Fusion Tools, WrapGlove, PID Pro Series (Paint is Dead), YelloTools, Lidco, Banana Buffers / Monkey Stripes, Olfa, IK Sprayers and Steinel Heat Guns.

HP will be exhibiting its highly flexible, cost-effective HP Latex water-based ink, including HP Latex White Ink: the whitest white ink on the market. This innovative ink helps to overcome the traditionally tricky problem of printing vibrant white on coloured, metallic, and transparent media, and as with all the inks in the range, eliminate the issues associated with hazardous air pollutants and volatile organic compounds. Meanwhile, ADAPT, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of roll media, ink and wide format machinery, will partner with Profilm and Epson UK to showcase their latest products available to the market, including a selection of Epson’s large format printers such as the SureColor SC-R5000 and SureColor S80600.

When it comes to vehicle wraps and films, as expected, there is no shortage of variety, nor innovation. Surfex, the leading supplier of self-adhesive vinyl film, is planning to unveil its new product catalogue for 2023, in addition to running live demonstrations at the event. Its Surfex Interior is high quality self-adhesive wrap that looks like real wood, stone, concrete and other desirable materials and has been used by famous global brands including Chanel, Disney, and Virgin to remodel hotels and offices. The company is aiming to meet new partners and distributors who can further extend the film’s worldwide availability and usage in the fast-growing wrapping sector.

If one thing is certain, the show will be a one-stop shop for paint protection products. Johnson Window Films is a family-owned and operated distributor of best-in-class automotive and commercial solar control window films and paint protection, with over 40 years plus experience. It will exhibit its Johnson Paint Protection – unique paint protection film crafted with an industry leading top-coat that is more resistant to scratches and scuffs.KDX, one of the largest window film manufacturers, will present a number of products including its KDX LUMI Paint Protection Film. This self-healing, durable and transparent film effectively prevent scratches, rock chips, wear and tear traces, oxidation, aging, and yellowing of the original paint surface. Additionally, Star Vinyls, having recently become the sole distributor for Luxe Lightwrap in the UK, will be showcasing its range of headlight and tail light vinyls, which come in dozens of colours, textures and tints, are highly compatible and easy to install and remove.

And if it’s tools to help further your wrapping career and ambitions, then you’re in luck. Signgeer offers a range of high-quality performance tools and equipment for newcomers to the trade as well as the experienced professional. Those who stop by the stand will be treated to an array of tools to aid their wrapping activity, including ‘Surfacework’ – a range of industry standard cleaning and preparation fluids – and Wrap-U-Ezee by Yellotools, the highly popular and innovative tool for vehicle wrapping.

Live demonstrations from globally recognised brands

Following an overwhelmingly positive response from the industry, 11 globally recognised brands have signed up to sponsor the event. HEXIS, 3M, ADAPT, Avery Dennison, APA, Grafityp, Spandex, William Smith, Surfex with FlexiShield and Teckwrap, HP and Metamark will each deliver exclusive, bespoke wrapping demonstrations to attendees. Over the course of the two days, the companies will present 60-plus live demonstrations, providing audiences with a unique opportunity to watch the world’s most advanced wrapping professionals execute their skills, pick up new techniques and learn about the latest materials that are driving the industry.

Pole Position Sponsor HEXIS will deliver live car wrapping demonstrations involving its aforementioned market-leading products HEXIS SKINTAC WRAPand BODYFENCE PPF.. The HEXIS HEX’Pert training team, comprising James Steane, Stewart Cochran and Luke Brotherton, will deliver many wrapping and PPF installation demonstrations. Visitors to the demonstration will be able to gain exclusive insights and the possibility of also participating in a quick teaser lesson on one of HEXIS’ demonstration vehicles.

Representing 3M will be experienced trainers Russell Urmston, Gavin Swallow and Ryan Travis. Urmston will discuss and demonstrate the nuances of how to wrap 3M™ Paint Protection Film, Swallow will demonstrate wrapping with 3M™ Print Wrap Film IJ280 and show the benefits of this film, including repositionability and flexibility for deep recesses, while Travis will talk through preparation and application of colour change 3M™ Wrap Film Series 2080, using 3M™ Knifeless Tape.

Meanwhile, ADAPT, in partnership with Profilm, the cutting-edge Window Film and Paint Protection (PPF) company, will run live demonstrations by its Head of Technical Services, Eugene Voigt. Attendees will be able to see up close the exceptional finish of the freshly laid products, including the Gloss, Matte and ProColor series, and gain valuable insights harnessed through his 20 years of experience and installation knowledge.

APA, the self-adhesive film manufacturer, is expected to dazzle attendees with its brand-new limited edition colour at WrapFest, the latest of 20 wrap colours from its UltraJet Line, developed over the last year, and facilitated by its market-leading “Ultra-Jet System” technology. Finally, representing Metamark will be Paige Walton, a vinyl installer of 11 years, who will provide a wrap demonstration using Metamark’s innovative range of products, including  MetaCast® MCX, a new product offering wrap professionals the ultimate performance for full vehicle wraps. Combining MetaGlide® air-release technology and backed by our MetaSure™ warranty, it offers up to 12-years durability. MetaCast® MCX has a contemporary colour range which includes Metamark Inspire Colours™, developed to reproduce some of the most desirable OEM paint colours in a wrap film.

Meanwhile, partnering with Surfex is Flexishield and Teckwrap, who, led by James Clarke, Head Trainer, Flexishield, will demonstrate the preparation process of wrapping and the limitations and techniques of wrap application and heating.

Additionally, The Wrap Institute, the event’s official Training Partner, will organise sessions on behalf of FESPA in its own pit garage. The organisation, an online learning community with 2,000+ instructional videos for vinyl wrap installation, production, design and business, was founded by legendary wrapping trainer and installer Justin Pate, who alongside fellow Avery Dennison wrapping trainer Rainer Lorz, are sure to offer attendees new perspectives and insights on wrapping simply not possible elsewhere.

Exclusive insights from big industry names

Hall 1’s show floor will play host to Wrap Talks, the event’s speaker programme. Free for all visitors, the programme’s interactive format, ranging from energised fireside chats to influencer interviews, will invite some of wrapping industry’s most recognisable names to share their unique perspectives and insights on the industry, while also giving visitors the opportunity to ask questions in an intimate setting.

So far, confirmed speakers include celebrity wrapper Yianni Charalambous (Yiannimize), automotives influencer and wrapping enthusiast Archie Hamilton, livery design specialist Joshua Stedford (Livery Magic), wrap entrepreneur Corey England (WrapCapital), and a series of Wrap Institute trainers – including Justin Pate and Rainer Loz – two of the most technically gifted wrapping specialists around.

Stedford, in a talk titled ‘The Art and Science behind Livery Design’, will discuss the creative process of developing a livery, including tips on logo and decal placement, how to create a stand-out colour scheme, and how to use a car’s body shape to your advantage.

Pate will deliver a series of talks, touching on a variety of wrapping topics. These include deceptively simple selling tips for sign shops and installers, the art of upselling car wraps, and why interior wraps are the future.

Regional World Wrap Masters to descend on Silverstone

WrapFest will also play host to the inaugural UK & Ireland World Wrap Masters regional heat, in which 24 skilled wrappers will compete in a series of timed wrapping competitions for a chance to qualify for the World Wrap Masters final at FESPA Global Print Expo 2023 in Munich, Germany (23 – 26 May 2023).

The event will host the most gifted and exciting wrapping talent, with the competitors’ wrapping prowess tested to the limit in a series of technical challenges and creative rounds over the course of the two days. To secure their place in Munich, they will have to impress some of the most recognised and respected wrapping experts, with Ole Solskin, Justin Pate, Kiss Lajos and, for the first time, Ivan Tenchev, announced as judges.

A trade show like no other

The vibrancy and colour of the wrapping community is unlike any other. To reflect this, WrapFest will take on a different look and feel to a typical trade show, with a ‘festival forecourt’ where international food trucks and music in the racecourse paddock area. At the end of the first day (Wednesday 26th – 17:00 – 20:00), the festival forecourt will play host to the Wrap Party. With live DJ sets and a beer tent, the party will offer visitors and exhibitors the perfect opportunity to wind down after a long day of sourcing, networking and learning.

Furthermore, there will be a number of exciting competitions for wrappers to try their hand at. Firstly, the Show and Shine competition offers a limited number of visitors the chance to bring their own wrapped cars to display within the ‘festival forecourt’ which will then be judged each day to find the ‘coolest’ wrapped car. The People’s Choice Award will be voted for by the wrapping community based on the look of the wrap, while the Judge’s Choice – will involve a panel of special guests and esteemed judges who will consider the aesthetics and beyond. The winner will be announced at 3pm on each show day.

‘Wrap Warrior’ battle, hosted by The Wrap Institute, will provide another opportunity for visitors to test their wrapping skills. This competition, open to anybody, will invite competitors to take part in one of three contests – Bing Bing Plate, Chance of Clouds and Wrap the Dots. It will offer many participants a unique opportunity to demonstrate and hone their skills using a variety of different tools and equipment, plus the chance to win some cool t-shirts.

Duncan MacOwan, Head of Marketing and Events, FESPA, said: “Vehicle wrapping has long been one of the most colourful and eye-catching attractions at our FESPA exhibitions. The growth of the industry over the last 20 years has been impossible to ignore, and it is only right that there is now an exclusive event that serves the need of this community.

“It’s not an exaggeration to say there has literally never been anything like this before in the UK. The launch event has been designed to appeal to the diverse wrapping community, as well as those who are interested in learning more. From live demonstrations and Q&As with leading wrapping figures, to wrapping competitions and live music, there is something to cater to everybody in this diverse, unique community.”

For more information, including how to register for a ticket, visit the WrapFest website:https://www.wrap-fest.com/

For discounted entry to WrapFest, use promo code: WPFM303

Eye on Display Industry Directory
Author Image


Author Image


Author Image


Author Image


Author Image

Grafityp UK Ltd

Author Image


Vehicle Graphics
Author Image


Author Image


Author Image

William Smith

Related posts

Latest stories