Ricoh, EFI, Canon and HP withdraw from drupa 2021

Ricoh, EFI, Canon and HP are the next companies to make their exit from drupa 2021, citing caution for employees, customers, prospects and partners following COVID-19 as the reason for withdrawing.

All four companies made their exit from the tradeshow that is due to take place in Dusseldorf, Germany, next April, shortly after Kodak’s announcement to pull out of drupa 2021 as concerns about the coronavirus pandemic continue.

A number of suppliers have also withdrawn from drupa in recent times.

Following its withdrawal from drupa, Ricoh Europe vice-president of commercial and industrial printing Eef De Ridder said the business is renewing its focus on developing increasingly effective virtual client communication via different channels in response to the continuing uncertainty arising from the coronavirus pandemic.

“During the pandemic, we have been building a successful virtual approach to engaging with new and existing clients. We are going to continue to grow this element of our interactivity in tandem with the more traditional ways of launching, promoting and demonstrating our continually expanding portfolio of solutions and services in commercial and industrial printing,” De Ridder said.

“Ricoh has always highly valued the opportunities that drupa has brought us over the years. However, we have taken this difficult decision to withdraw as the continued health, safety and well-being of our clients, partners and staff is our number one priority.”

Among the channels that Ricoh is using to support new ways of working include the Henkaku Live series of virtual events and the Ricoh Business Booster programme in EMEA.
EFI also mentioned that it has and will be increasingly using digital platforms to engage with customers and prospects.
“While EFI is committed to participating in in-person events when the pandemic subsides, in the meantime, the company has also established activities such as EFI Engage – a virtual event for customers held in place of its annual EFI Connect users conference. EFI Engage will feature training, education, new technology news and partner developments for EFI customers from 25 January 25 to 5 February,” the company said.

EFI chairman and CEO Jeff Jacobson said the company’s decision to cancel its planned exhibit at the drupa 2021 tradeshow was a painful one as EFI has had a long-standing history at drupa.

“Our company has a long, positive history with drupa, as do I personally, having also run two companies that have been major drupa exhibitors in the past,” he said.

“The show has always represented some of the best of what can be accomplished at an in-person event for the global print industry.

“But, with the limited amount of knowledge anyone can have right now about what conditions will be for public gatherings early next year, withdrawing from drupa 2021 is an unfortunate albeit prudent decision.

“All of us at EFI look forward to future drupa events beyond 2021 – and to other industry tradeshows once the world has clearly moved past the current pandemic.”

In a statement on LinkedIn, Canon Europe director of graphics and communications Mark Lawn confirmed that Canon has withdrawn from drupa 2021, and that the decision was made considering the concerns and risks involved in travelling and gathering large groups of people at this point in time.

“Drupa has always been an important date in the diary, and it has given us the platform to truly show the full breadth of Canon’s offerings – from our R&D developments in Tokyo and Venlo, delivering cut sheet, continuous feed and large format solutions. We don’t often have those opportunities to show our whole B2B platform,” he added.

“Our business plans have been challenged a lot in 2020. We’ve adjusted projects, refocussed business priorities, and we’ve had to address how we can connect with the print community when face-to-face meetings have been compromised.

“Trade shows have long been a pivotal moment in our calendar, as I’m sure will be the case for our customers, partners and industry peers too. It’s the chance to connect with the industry, have some valuable conversations with people who don’t regularly cross our path, and to demonstrate our product portfolio. It’s also a great chance to catch up with old friends and colleagues.

“We are adamant to make sure this doesn’t leave a gap in our connection to the industry and look forward to seeing drupa’s proposal for its virtual event.”

A HP spokesperson confirmed with Sprinter that the company has withdrawn from drupa 2021 and interpack.

“HP launched a new product portfolio as planned in early 2020 and is experiencing great market interest. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and safety of our employees and customers remains our highest priority and therefore HP will not have a physical presence at interpack and drupa 2021,” the spokesperson said.

The move is significant for drupa organiser Messe Düsseldorf as HP was originally planned to showcase its technology and products in an 8,300sqm space in Hall 17 as it did at the previous drupa held in 2016.

Fujifilm also recently withdrew its participation from the drupa megashow and the interpack tradeshow, while Screen Graphic Solutions announced that it won’t be participating in the upcoming drupa international printing and media trade show.

In July, Manroland Sheetfed and Komori Corporation both pulled out of drupa amidst fears surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, joining the likes of Heidelberg and Bobst, which have ceased their participation at the exhibition.

Drupa has also since extended its digital offering with the upcoming launch of a new online portal that aims to increase communication around the tradeshow.

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