Following close consultations with exhibitors and partners, the live, in-person 2021 edition of drupa, the world’s leading tradeshow for printing technologies originally set for April 20 – 30 in Düsseldorf, Germany, will be cancelled due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. To maintain the momentum until then, organizers will instead offer a “virtual.drupa” – a four-day digital event from April 20 – 23, 2021. The next live, in-person tradeshow will take place as scheduled from May 28 – June 7, 2024.
“The pandemic has caused great uncertainty among exhibitors and visitors regarding participation in drupa 2021,” said Erhard Wienkamp, Managing Director of tradeshow organizer Messe Düsseldorf. “Travel restrictions and budget pressures have increasingly intensified the situation in the print industry. We’ve made this decision together with our partners who support this step. It was preceded by a detailed process of considering the current conditions and the needs of the industry.”
Sabine Geldermann, drupa Project Director for Print Technologies, added: “Our primary goal remains to support industry members in any way we can to keep in contact at a national and international level, further develop their network, and generate leads. To this end, we’ll hold an interim event online from April 20 to 23, providing our exhibitors and visitors with an additional sales channel and allowing them to make reliable plans.”
Claus Bolza-Schünemann, Chairman of Koenig & Bauer and President of drupa, also welcomed this approach. “A virtual event is exactly the right format in the current time. Attending drupa under the usual parameters was just too great a risk for many exhibitors, given declining export and turnover figures, as well as significant travel restrictions which would also affect visitors. The new digital forum is a virtual platform, providing a reliable pillar and an opportunity to maintain valuable communications within the industry until 2024.”
Launched in October, the drupa preview platform has already offered an impression of what a ‘virtual.drupa’ will look like. It’ll give companies the opportunity to showcase themselves and their innovations virtually, as well as maintain existing contacts and establish new ones via the drupa online matchmaking feature. In addition, the conference schedule of the five drupa ‘hot spots’ will provide key incentives and set the agenda for an online transfer of knowledge. For instance, international speakers from vertical markets will present success stories of Future Technologies in the Cube, outlining the future of our industry.