Drupa organiser Messe Düsseldorf, currently focused on this month’s virtual.drupa event (Apr 20-23), says a third wave of the coronavirus has forced it to postpone the Print & Digital Convention, a physical trade show that had been planned to take place in Düsseldorf this June.
Germany has tightened its borders as new Covid-19 cases hit 20,000 a day. There are fears the country could see 100,000 new infections a day if a third wave of the coronavirus continues to spread.
“Due to the ongoing pandemic as well as national and international lockdown measures and associated travel restrictions, the PRINT & DIGITAL CONVENTION congress and trade fair originally planned for June will be moved to 20-21 October 2021,” says Messe Düsseldorf in a statement.
The co-organisers of the event, Fachverband Medienproduktion (f:mp.) and Messe Düsseldorf, say they are now counting on better general conditions in [northern] autumn and an extended planning horizon for participants.
“We have a responsibility to the health of our visitors and exhibitors,” says Rüdiger Maaß, managing director of f:mp. “Against the background of the current Corona pandemic and continuing restrictions, it is unfortunately not guaranteed that we will be able to hold the PRINT & DIGITAL CONVENTION at the Düsseldorf exhibition centre in June.
“Our exhibitors' confidence in our decision is documented by the fact that 95% of the exhibitors who have already booked will also be present in October. We see the congress as a platform for interaction focusing on selected highlight projects and knowledge transfer while placing a strong emphasis on interactive experiences. We therefore consider it important to hold it as a face-to-face event as soon as the framework conditions permit.”
Sabine Geldermann, director print technologies at Messe Düsseldorf, adds: “Even if virtual formats are the measure of all things in these times, our customers recognise, based on the experience of the last twelve months, that face-to-face events are indispensable, especially when it comes to the haptic experience of technologies and their applications. That is why we are confidently looking ahead to October 2021.”
The PRINT & DIGITAL CONVENTION focuses on the presentation of innovative technologies in projects that not only showcase individual machines or tools, but also demonstrate overall solutions oriented on practical requirements. In addition to exhibits and expert advice at exhibitor stands, visitors can expect an extensive programme of lectures on all aspects of corporate communication and print and digital technologies. “In this way, as an established annual event in the industry, the congress and trade fair – together with virtual offerings such as virtual.drupa and drupa's global Print Technologies trade fair portfolio – bridges the time window until the next drupa in 2024 and offers an important platform for knowledge transfer, exchange and networking,” says Messe Düsseldorf.