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Industry

170,000 visitors reported by drupa

The trade fair has received largely positive reviews from both visitors and exhibitors

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Drupa 2024 took place from May 28th to June 7th in Messe Düsseldorf

Drupa has celebrated the return of its in-person European exhibition following an eight-year hiatus due to the disruptions caused by Covid-19. Messe Düsseldorf has reported a total of 170,000 trade visitors to the show, arriving from 174 countries.

The last eight years have seen the print industry evolve and change, like many other industries, affected by challenges around the world, changes in technology, and increasing costs and pressures.

Visitors are significantly down since drupa 2016, which reported a total of 260,165 visitors from across the world with 75% visiting from other countries and 25% from Germany.

Featuring 1,643 exhibitors from 52 nations, the 18 halls of the 2024 show were filled with visitors, businesses, and industry professionals all there networking, striking deals, and researching the latest technology and solutions in the industry.

Drupa says the international share of visitors was 80% with visitors coming from 174 countries, a record figure for the show. After Europe, Asia was the highest representation with a 22% share followed by America with 12%.

Image: Messe Düsseldorf / ctillmann

Around 96% of all visitors confirmed they had fully achieved their objectives in visiting, with over 50% coming from the printing industry followed by visitors from the packaging industry, whose share has increased significantly since the last show in 2016.

2016 also had a higher number of exhibitors with 1,828 from 54 countries with 54% of visitors there from the printing industry and 11% from packaging.

The visitor numbers decreasing is not a big surprise for the industry, largely due to the number of years since the last show which means there have been huge consolidations, changes, and adaptations in the printing industry.

Though it is evident fewer people are attending large trade shows, exhibitors are still reporting strong quality, positivity, and progress in the industry as new technologies, collaborations, and solutions become the dominant force of the 2024 show.

Iain Clasper-Cotte, managing director at FaberExposize UK, wrote on LinkedIn: “My first drupa and boy do you get your steps in with 18 halls of print temptation - this one covers way more types of print than FESPA though I think FESPA is far more suited for display print […]. 

“Been fascinating seeing production equipment for packaging and even paper cups. Have had two very interesting chats on new printers so have to get the Abacus out and try and get my credit card back from my finance controller!”

While many deals and purchases will have been in the pipeline ahead of drupa, the show did still seem to provide an ideal location for many companies to speak to employees and groups from around the world to share knowledge, success, and innovations to create a buzz around new developments.

 

Companies like HP, Koenig and Bauer, Heidelberg, Canon, Fujifilm, Konica Minolta, and Landa made the most of the large spaces they had taken at the show with large machinery and new presses being unveiled and seen for the first time.

Also speaking on LinkedIn, Simon Cooper, managing director at Solopress UK, commented: “So good to have the Olympics of the print industry alive and kicking again! There was a real buzz in the air, the vendor stands were packed, and I heard from many that they were doing great business!

“We did a little business of our own, placing an order for the first HP Indigo 120K to be delivered into the UK straight after the show.”

Sharon Cohen, chief business officer, Landa Digital Printing, says: “This has been an amazing show for us. I have to say that witnessing the enthusiasm and excitement of visitors - representing businesses of all sizes - while watching a B1 digital press running live, was a great reminder of the immense transformation we are delivering to the market. Drupa has always been a landmark event for the industry, and drupa 2024 was certainly one to remember.”

Touching on the trend of digitalisation in the industry, Christoph Gamper, chief executive officer and co-owner at Durst Group, says: “Digitalisation has fully arrived in the printing industry – not to replace traditional methods, but to offer automated production processes through hybrid systems "on demand" and to complement existing technologies. 

We are thrilled with the response from the high-quality professional audience and say thank you, drupa. We will see you again in Düsseldorf in four years.” 

Visitors and exhibitors have all praised the positive atmosphere and impressive technology on display at this year’s show, but a sticking point that could continue to plague live events and industry shows is the cost of travel with food and accommodation continuing to increase, particularly in Düsseldorf during drupa. 

Drupa hosted a range of talks and attractions across its 11 days

Erhard Wienkamp, managing director at Messe Düsseldorf, concludes: “Drupa has underpinned its position as the industry’s leading trade fair and its unique appeal in a remarkable way. 

“The impressive international flair and, above all, the high decision-making competence of the visitors ensured in-depth and well-founded technical discussions at the trade fair stands on the one hand and many direct investment decisions on the other. Our exhibitors told us about large-volume purchase agreements.”  

Messe Düsseldorf has confirmed that drupa will return in 2028 with new projects and initiatives continuing to be developed in the coming years.

If you’d like to share news or opinions with us feel free to email at news@printmonthly.co.uk or join in with the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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