The world’s largest printing and packaging trade show, drupa, has been cancelled and will now be held in 2024 following the usual cycle of the exhibition which showcases new printing technologies to the world.
The coronavirus pandemic forced the postponement of the eagerly anticipated show from June 2020 to April 2021 but as COVID-19 cases surge across Europe that has also been scrapped with the new date set for May 28 to June 7 in 2024.
To maintain momentum until then, Messe Düsseldorf is hosting a ‘virtual.drupa’ on April 20 to 23 2021 during the timeframe the show was originally scheduled for.
Exhibitors who had pulled out of the original drupa due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic are still able to exhibit in the virtual.drupa. To read a full Q&A about this event, please click here.
“The pandemic has caused a great deal of uncertainty among exhibitors and visitors in terms of their attendance at drupa 2021. Travel restrictions and budget constraints have further exacerbated the situation in the printing industry”, Erhard Wienkamp, COO at Messe Düsseldorf, said.
“We have taken this decision in consultation with our partners, who are entirely supportive of it. It was preceded by a detailed process of considering the current conditions and the needs of the industry.”
Sabine Geldermann, Project Director Print Technologies, adds: “Our primary goal remains to support the industry in any way we can to keep in contact at a national and international level, further develop their network and generate leads.
“To this end, we will be holding an interim event from 20 to 23 April, providing our exhibitors and visitors with an additional sales channel and allowing them to make reliable plans.”
Claus Bolza-Schünemann, Chairman at König und Bauer and president of drupa, welcomes this approach: “A virtual event is exactly the right format in the current time”, he says. “Attending drupa under the usual parameters was just too great a risk for many exhibitors, given declining export and turnover figures, as well as significant travel restrictions, which would also affect visitors.
“The new digital forum is a virtual platform, providing a reliable pillar and an opportunity to maintain valuable communications within the industry until 2024.”
The online platform for Drupa was first launched in October this year and provides an impression of what virtual.drupa looks like.
This offering gives companies the opportunity to showcase themselves and their innovations virtually, as well as maintain existing contacts and establish new ones via a matchmaking feature.
“Our members are telling us, that trade fairs to drive their business forward are still in great demand. The value and appeal of drupa remain intact. The decision to suspend it in 2021 is entirely down to the pandemic,” said Dr Markus Heering, Managing Director of the VDMA Printing and Paper Technology Association.
“In the long run, it is important for all of us to maintain drupa as an international platform in Europe, as it displays the diversity of our industry. 200 years of expertise are rooted in Europe and must continue. However, we welcome the introduction of the new digital platform as an interim solution until 2024.”
Comment below to have your say on this story.
If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at [email protected]
Sign up to the Sprinter newsletter