Will the biggest trade show in the industry boost the confidence of print and packaging? - The Noel DCunha Sunday Column

18 halls, 1,500 exhihibitors from 50 nations. 76 exhibitors occupying 4,700 sqm area, set to make India one of the Top 10 national at Drupa.

“The industry expects groundbreaking technologies and product premieres and given this fact, Drupa will be the most significant trade fair of the year for the global print and packaging industry,” says Sabine Geldermann, director Drupa, portfolio print technologies at Messe Dusseldorf, in this interaction with PrintWeek

30 Mar 2024 | By Noel D'Cunha

76 exhibitors from India and approximately 4,700 sqm net, India is part of the top 10 nations at Drupa

During the Indian Drupa Yatra, of which you were a part, it was mentioned that there are 17 halls already spread across 1,40,000-sqft plus space. What is the update on total exhibitors?
Drupa currently occupies 18 halls and by that the entire Dusseldorf fairground. We are have over 1,500 exhibitors from 50 nations and visitor registrations from 130 countries.

How many Indian exhibitors at Drupa?
With 76 exhibitors from India and approximately 4,700 sqm net, India is part of the top 10 nations at Drupa.

A positive development for India?
Yes, both the number of exhibitors and their net space occupied have almost doubled. This certainly underlines the increasing importance and growth potential of the print and packaging industry in India. According to the UN population estimates, India has overtaken China as the world’s populous country which is the most significant shift in global demographics.

Sabine Geldermann, director, Drupa

What role does Drupa 2024 play in shaping the future of the printing and packaging industry, and how can attendees contribute to this vision?
Drupa 2024 will be an indispensable show and customer experience that enriches the competencies of every single attendee. Highly relevant and valuable knowledge transfer, networking, product and technology innovations shown for the first time will provide and grow the competitive advantage of participants. It is a unique opportunity to understand where our industry is developing and a great chance to contribute and co-create the vision of the global community.

Overall, the printing and packaging industry has undergone significant changes between Drupa 2016 and Drupa 2024, with a focus on digitalisation, sustainability, and flexo. How do you think Drupa 2024 will showcase these developments?
Drupa will discuss these global megatrends, new business models and best cases on dedicated stages, forums and touchpoints and concentrate on outstanding keynotes exactly on these important topics. The same will happen on the exhibitors’ side in their press conferences, live demonstrations, and inspirational performances. You certainly can expect – the best of the best in class – and the – who is who – key players driving the global industry in each and every single segment.

The Indian printing industry is one of the most bullish in the world, with a market size of USD 37-billion and expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.5%. There will be a large number of Indian attendees at Drupa.  How can they maximise the most of their experience at Drupa 2024? Any networking and educational opportunities which will be available?
The size of the Indian print and packaging industry in terms of revenues and expected growth is definitely amazing and is reflected at Drupa. We will show our appreciation to all attendees in organising again an Indian Day at Drupa as we did for past editions. There will be numerous networking opportunities organised by us for exhibitors, visitors, media as well as association partners.

Our Drupa Daily (as a print and digital versions) will share valuable information and attendees should make sure to visit our Drupa website regularly in order to get best prepared.

What steps are being taken to ensure the safety and well-being of attendees and exhibitors at Drupa 2024, especially in light of new variants of Covid-19?
We have created a good and safe atmosphere. Constant and sufficient ventilation is ensured by our air-handling systems, the volume of fresh air constantly supplied to the halls exceeds the actual need many times over and the fresh air quality corresponds to the outdoor air. Furthermore, our HEPA filters help to ensure that we can offer all guests the greatest possible protection during our trade fairs. It is the most effective air cleaning technology currently available: HEPA filters remove 99.9% of viruses, bacteria and other particulates from the air and release the cleaned air into the room again. Combined with our high-performance ventilation system, spacious premises and halls, we can minimise the risk of infection. Participants can feel safe when networking, initiating business deals or experiencing innovations in person.

What are the facilities that the Indian visitors can look forward to?
What makes Drupa so unique is not only the high-calibre international exhibitors but also the extensive supporting programme. Thus, Drupa is not only a place for business and networking but also for knowledge transfer. Five Special Forums will turn the fair into a hot spot for new technologies, applications and ideas. The Drupa cube, Drupa next age (DNA), as well as touchpoint packaging, textile and sustainability all pick up on global megatrends, future technologies with growth potential and best practices covering a comprehensive spectrum of themes.

We also offer special guided tours on nine specific topics for our visitors, which can be booked in addition to the ticket. During the approximately two-hour trade fair tours, exhibitors will show innovative products and optimum business solutions.
Outside the exhibition centre, many Düsseldorf hotels, restaurants, retailers and more will participate in the Drupa City campaign, offering special deals to our visitors and exhibitors. For those who would like to explore the city of Düsseldorf after the fair, we recommend the Düsseldorf Card with discounts of up to 100% on around 70 offers such as guided city tours, museums and souvenirs.

What has changed as compared to 2016?
You will need a ticket for travel by public transport to events at the Düsseldorf venue; the Messe Düsseldorf admission ticket does not include free travel to and from the event by public transport.

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