drupa, the global printing and packaging megashow held in Germany every four years which attracts tens of thousands of visitors and exhibitors, has been postponed until April 20 to 30, 2021 as the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to spread with significant increases in Europe.
The tradeshow which draws visitors from all over the world was due to be held in Messe Düsseldorf , Germany from June 16 to 26 but organisers have postponed the event on recommendations from the German federal government and a general ruling by the city of Dusseldorf prohibiting major events with more than 1,000 participants present.
“The decision was taken in close consultation with our advisory boards and sponsoring associations,” said Werner M. Dornscheidt, Chairman of the Board of Management of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, adding the decision also reflects the wishes of individual industries.
“As their partner, we are currently doing everything in our power to reduce the economic losses suffered by our exhibitors.”
The decision to postpone was also made taking into account the principles of the Robert Koch Institute when assessing the risk of major events.
“The city of Düsseldorf is following the instructions of the state government. Our aim is to slow down the spread of the corona virus so that the health system can continue to function properly,” said Thomas Geisel, Lord Mayor of the state capital of Düsseldorf and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Düsseldorf trade fair company.
The Robert Koch Institute stipulates measures to reduce the risk of transmission at major events, including ventilation of the venue appropriate to the risk of infection, the exclusion of persons from risk groups and the comprehensive installation of entrance screening, were practically impossible to implement. Comparable measures were and are unreasonable in view of the unforeseeable rapid development and the size of the various events with up to 60,000 participants.
drupa president Claus Bolza-Schünemann said: “A postponement of drupa was unavoidable after the latest developments. The decision is therefore right and responsible. Many exhibitors start their logistical preparations middle of March – today’s announcement of the postponement enables all those affected to react now, reschedule and prepare for the event date in April 2021. The excitement for ’embrace the future’ remains undiminished – also in 2021”.
A number of industry associations have also welcomed the announcement given the risks presented by the virus.
“drupa is the most important meeting place for the international printing industry,” says Dr Markus Heering, managing director of the Printing and Paper Technology Trade Association of the VDMA.
“True to the motto ’embrace the future’, it is characterised by personal, international contact and live product presentations. The risk of infection would simply be too high at present. We therefore support the decision to postpone the event and look forward to the date next year.”
The Düsseldorf hotel industry is also sending out an important signal through its umbrella organisation DEHOGA (Trade Association for the Hospitality Industry): “We appeal to our members and the entire industry to be flexible when it comes to rebooking by exhibitors and visitors. The Düsseldorf trade fairs such as drupa play an enormously important role for the city, the hotel industry and the catering trade. It would be counterproductive not to show goodwill in this situation,” as both DEHOGA-Representatives Giuseppe Saitta (Chairman Düsseldorf/District Group Rhein-Kreis Neuss) and Rolf D. Steinert (Düsseldorf/Rhein-Kreis Neuss Hotels and Tourism Group) emphasise.
Werner M. Dornscheidt is pleased about the general consensus and encouragement in this special situation: “We would like to thank all partners for their excellent cooperation in making these difficult and time sensitive decisions. We are pleased that together dates were found so quickly in order to provide all those affected with reliability in planning.”
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