Drupa 2021 has been dealt another major blow after German printing press manufacturer Manroland Sheetfed announced that it is pulling out of the printing industry’s leading exhibition, normally held every four years in Dusseldorf, Germany.
“Exhibiting at Drupa, or any other trade fair for that matter, makes absolutely no sense during the current coronavirus pandemic,” the company's group managing director Rafael Penuela-Torres said. “....it is regrettable, as we would have been exhibiting with live demonstrations of both our recently launched Roland 900 Evolution press and the new Roland 700 Evolution Elite, but unfortunately it is just not practicable in the current circumstances."
Instead, Manroland Sheetfed will be holding a series of live webinars by year end, just like other major companies that have pulled out of the show.
Drupa 2021 faced its first blow when Xerox and Bobst announced that they will no longer exhibit at the industry’s flagship event citing "continued uncertainty around holding large events during a pandemic". The next blow came in the form of an Heidelberg announcement, which stated that the world's largest press manufacturer would be dropping out of all international exhibitions next year.
Recently, Japan's Komori also followed suit after mounting concerns regarding the spread of the contagion and cited uncertainty. However, the company has not ruled out new product launches or services.
Drupa 2021 had already been postponed from June 2020 to April 2021 due to the Covid-19 crisis.
Meanwhile, Messe Dusseldorf, the organiser of Drupa, have released an extensive new hygiene and infection protection concept designed for "safe and successful trade fairs" during the pandemic.
“Enterprises need platforms now to present themselves and their innovations, to network and jointly chart the course for the future,” said new Messe Dusseldorf CEO Wolfram Diener. “With our leading international trade fairs, we deliver second-to-none prerequisites for doing so. Our hygiene and infection protection standards ensure that the safety and health of our exhibitors, visitors, partners and members of staff are protected in the best possible way. We are ready.”
Messe Dusseldorf recorded sales of USD 430 million in 2019, with 29,222 exhibitors presenting products to 10.4 lakh trade visitors at events in Düsseldorf. Drupa 2016 had more than 2,60,000 visitors.