"We are very pleased that we have already exceeded the result of the 2016 edition in terms of area bookings,” says drupa director Sabine Geldermann of event organiser Messe Düsseldorf GmbH. 1600 exhibitors from over 40 nations have already signed up for the world’s biggest print trade show to be held next year (16-26 June) in Düsseldorf. In an interview, Geldermann describes drupa as “a trade fair of superlatives: technologically innovative, but also highly emotional.”
“We are looking forward to more than 400 new exhibitors along the entire process and product chain and have a very good return booking rate of 73 percent,” Gelderman says. “We regard this as confirmation of our concept and the ongoing updating of the nomenclature, with which we pick up on new technology trends. Here in Düsseldorf we are in close contact with our key accounts and experience that they are driving forward the planning of their exhibition stands with impressive commitment and effort. We will see fantastic stand concepts that stimulate all the senses, including numerous impressive two-storey buildings. Logistics planning is also running at full speed. The entire range of technical preparations is on our daily agenda.
"A trade fair of superlatives":
What do you do to attract international visitors to Düsseldorf?
Geldermann: Our analyses show that existing growth potential here lies particularly in the international environment. With this in mind, we are launching another drupa world tour in September together with the VDMA and Print Promotion GmbH. From September 2019 until spring 2020, high-ranking delegations will travel deep into over 30 countries worldwide. At events and various conference formats, they present current technology trends as well as our concept, the content orientation and the programme of drupa 2020. The whole thing is a very large investment and ties up resources for months. But the effort is worth it. We get a lot back from the local participants: Some of them act as true ambassadors of drupa in their home country. We would also like to open up new visitor profiles so that we can welcome visitors from at least 183 nations to drupa City Düsseldorf again in June 2020.
When do visitors find out where to find which exhibitors?
Geldermann: Exhibitor information and hall plans are already available on the drupa homepage and our ticket shop is online so that early bookers can start their trade fair and travel planning now. We have also completely redesigned the drupa App. It offers users a smart matchmaking tool: Algorithms analyse their search queries and interests and derive personalised suggestions for further exhibitors whose product portfolios match the respective search grid. We appeal to our exhibitors to communicate their product information as precisely as possible so that this tool can exploit its full potential. In addition, the app offers an interactive hall plan that shows visitors the shortest route to exhibitors. And our trade fair magazine drupa daily will also be available via the app. We want to ensure that our visitors can optimally plan the eleven days of the fair and use their time effectively.
What highlights can drupa visitors look forward to?
Geldermann: First and foremost, of course, our exhibitors are in the limelight. Exhibitors from Germany took first place in space bookings with over 50,000 square metres, followed by Italy with over 16,000 square metres. But because the majority of Japanese exhibitors register from branches in Europe, our statistics do not reflect the overall picture: without this effect, the current 56 Japanese exhibitors are in second place with an impressive 22,000 square metres. In addition to the exhibiting companies, whose stand plans promise absolute highlights, we have also designed our own supporting programme, which picks up on current technology trends. Among them are our three touchpoints and the conference area drupa cube.
What is behind the drupa touchpoints?
Geldermann: "We are planning the three touchpoints as special exhibition areas with our industry partners and are picking up on particularly relevant trend themes here. On the one hand, we have touchpoint packaging, which will be a real highlight at drupa 2020. Together with a steering committee, which includes global brand owners and well-known suppliers from the packaging and print sectors, we develop packaging solutions for the future in interactive projects with talents from the NABA - Milan Academy of Design. There we will see absolutely unique specimens that are not yet on the market. The aim here is to translate global trends into visionary solutions for the packaging industry. Another highlight is the touchpoint 3D fab+print, which we are realizing for the first time with the Additive Manufacturing Working Group of the VDMA. Here visitors can look forward to a very exciting, inspiring and practice-relevant lecture programme as well as to many innovative exhibitors from industrial 3D printing. In addition, there is a new hotspot: drupa touchpoint textile, where everything revolves around applications in industrial textile printing and in the dynamic growth areas of fashion and interior decoration. Digital printing on textile substrates opens up enormous potential here. We implement this touchpoint with the German Institute for Textile and Fiber Research Denkendorf (DITF). Among other things, a fully networked process chain is planned. In Hall 4, Digital Micro Factory Textile will demonstrate the potential of networked on-demand processes in the textile sector.
|drupa 2020 will include robotic technologies that are revolutionising industry workflows|
Are there any other important items on the programme?
Geldermann: Our two conference areas - the biggest stage is the drupa cube in Hall 6, where keynote speeches, specialist presentations and best-practices address the transformation of business models in the course of digital transformation. I am also excited about our special drupa dna forum, which brings together players in an unconventional setting who rarely meet in everyday life: Talents, start-ups, medium-sized companies and corporations can enter into productive exchanges and develop evolutionary, innovative approaches from the DNA of our industry. In order to offer participants convenient access, we are building the hall ourselves with a modular plug & play stand concept. In this way, the participants can fully concentrate their resources on the content of the work.
3D printing company BigRep will feature an urban habitat installation project printed from recycled materials
Do you already see trends in technology?
Geldermann: Digitalization is the key driver behind the key trends at drupa 2020. In future workshops with industry, we identified four megatrends that are particularly relevant to our industry: Artificial Intelligence, Platform Economy, Connected Customers and Circular Economy. The consistent return of raw materials to recycling cycles is of the utmost relevance to print and packaging suppliers. E-commerce, on-demand solutions and the transformation to industry 4.0 continue to be in vogue. drupa will also focus on brand protection, i.e. protection against plagiarism, because printing and finishing technologies can be an important part of the solution. Industrial and functional print applications are also particularly important and definitely offer further growth potential.
What our exhibitors offer in terms of quality and diversity is unique in the world. drupa sets the pace for our industry. Many exhibitors gear their development to the drupa cycle and present their most important innovations here. As a meeting point for the global community and a trend barometer, drupa serves as an epicentre. Here companies learn which developments are relevant for their markets and which technologies they have to invest in in order to remain competitive. drupa is a trade fair of superlatives: technologically innovative, but also highly emotional. Our aim is to convey positive visions that inspire our visitors - and which they implement in their environment.