Mixed reactions from Aussie printers about cancelled drupa

The world’s largest printing and packaging trade show, drupa, has been cancelled due to the continuing coronavirus pandemic and some Australian printers say even though the decision is no surprise, not having the show will negatively impact the industry.

Carbon8 director Kenneth Beck-Pedersen

Carbon8 director Kenneth Beck-Pedersen said with the industry evolving and changing so rapidly, it’s “a significant loss” to the print industry to have lost drupa entirely for a cycle.

“It’s truly disappointing that drupa has been cancelled completely for this cycle but it is understandable with everything going on this year and likely into next year. It would have been my preference to see the schedule moved to starting every four years from 2022, but there are likely many moving parts to consider in these changes,” he told Sprinter.

“Who knows that the industry will look like in 2024? The prospect of a digital exhibition does not really interest Carbon8 to be honest. Our medium is all about tactility, experience, consultation and innovation and I just can’t see how a virtual trade show will provide us with a lot of what we normally get from these shows.”

Rawson Print Co. director Lachlan Finch

Rawson Print Co. director Lachlan Finch told Sprinter the cancellation of drupa is a “terrible shame” given its significance but given the current circumstances of the situation, is necessary to ensure the safety of businesses and their staff.

“With regards to drupa, I think it’s a terrible shame that for the first time in drupa’s long history it will be cancelled,” he said.

“However, I definitely think it’s the right decision under the circumstances. I believe there has always been great value in attending drupa and I’m sure it will bounce back bigger and better in 2024.”

Cactus Imaging general manager of operations Keith Ferrel

Cactus Imaging general manager of operations Keith Ferrel said with many vendors pulling out of the physical tradeshow this year, and with the coronavirus pandemic still being of global concern, the move to cancel drupa 2021 was expected.

“I don’t think it’s any surprise especially when the majority of the big manufacturers like HP have pulled out from the tradeshow,” he said.

“It would have been unlikely that people from Australia and New Zealand would have been able to travel and with all the possible restrictions form other parts of the world, it wasn’t viable to proceed. I wouldn’t be surprised if Fespa went the same way.

“As for what it means for the industry, I think that the manufacturers would be looking to run some aggressive promotions around equipment sales in the near future (some already are) as they would need to make up sales numbers they would have been expecting from drupa.”

Imagination Graphics director Emmanuel Buhagiar

Imagination Graphics director Emmanuel Buhagiar said there is a silver lining to tradeshows being cancelled and having a digital version in place.

“It is good to see that if conferences are cancelled, it’s not a total waste as organisers have plans to launch the shows as a digital experience. I can understand organisers cancelling global events as I don’t think too many people will be traveling internationally for quite some time,” he said.

“Making it digital will at least give us, as business owners, an opportunity to still see what new products are coming up and becoming available on the market. I personally am always interested in new technology and equipment and look forward to what’s to come.”





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