virtual.drupa, the first purely digital version of the leading global trade fair for printing technologies, successfully bridged the gap between the previous 2016 and upcoming face-to-face event in 2024. The new format for the print and packaging sector received excellent international feedback.
A total of 212 exhibitors from 35 countries as well as team participations from worldwide subsidiaries presented their product portfolios and innovations within the online showrooms and more than 119 live web sessions with an average of 140 participants. These provided vital stimuli for tapping into new potential, alongside the comprehensive conference program with an additional 113 presentations in the context of five special forums, focusing on key issues as well as global megatrends and their impact on the industry. This is also confirmed by other indicators such as a total of around 600,000 page views and 45,000 unique users. The proportion of international visitors from a total of 155 countries was 82%. This underlines the fact that virtual.drupa has opened up access to customer potential on all continents and is being accepted as a digital platform for international knowledge transfer and networking.
“virtual.drupa was implemented in order to maintain contact within the industry during the pandemic. The figures show that we have achieved this. virtual.drupa enabled exhibitors and prospective customers to strengthen their networks, generate new leads and gather important impetus for their corporate targets, “ stated Erhard Wienkamp, COO of Messe Düsseldorf.
“We are delighted about the positive feedback we have received from participants,” added Sabine Geldermann, Project Director Print Technologies at Messe Düsseldorf. “The overwhelming number of global players – both in terms of exhibitors and visitors – has resulted in an industry dialogue that was particularly important during this time. The wide spectrum of target visitor groups, profiles and areas of interest was impressive. This also applies to the exhibitors and their product portfolios along the entire value chain.” She also noted excitement in anticipation of drupa 2024: “Many participants are already signaling that they are looking forward to this industry highlight and the live experiences.”
Innovations and Knowledge Transfer
The four-day program of presentations in the Conference Area and Exhibition Space offered extensive insights into the issues and challenges currently faced by the industry. They focused on four key topics: Artificial Intelligence, Connected Consumer, Platform Economy and Circular Economy. The Conference Area was opened with four keynote speeches from high-caliber speakers: digitization expert Michael Gale, top designer James Sommerville and sustainability strategist Gabrielle Walker. More in-depth detail, as well as case studies and innovative ideas for the different industry sectors were provided by the five drupa special forums: touchpoint packaging, drupa cube, touchpoint textile, 3D fab + print and dna – drupa next age.
In the Exhibition Space, exhibitors also presented exciting innovations, products and services. In Live Web Sessions, they presented forward-looking technologies and solutions for business development and provided answers to current questions from the print & packaging community.
More opportunities for interaction
Visitors will still have the opportunity to benefit from virtual.drupa. The virtual meeting rooms in for matchmaking will be available for customer and follow-up meetings on Monday, April 26 and Tuesday, April 27. The chat function will remain open until the end of October. In addition, videos, key notes and keynote presentations will continue to be available for on-demand viewing 24/7 in the Video Library starting next week. These, as well as the exhibitors’ virtual showrooms, will remain online until the end of December 2021.
Future industry events
Before the next staging of drupa in in Düsseldorf, Germany (May 28 – June 7, 2024), Messe Düsseldorf’s Print Technologies portfolio will offer numerous other events for the sector to stay in touch: the Print & Digital Convention (Düsseldorf, October 20 – 21, 2021), Indoprint (Jakarta, Indonesia, August 11 -14, 2021), Pack Print International and Corrutec Asia (Bangkok, Thailand, September 22 – 25, 2021 and Pack Print Plas (Pasay City, Philippines, October 7 – 9, 2021). The drupa website will also continue to offer insights into current industry issues and solutions and offer opportunities for exchange, such as another virtual Conference Day planned for autumn 2021.