virtual.drupa may provide a semblance of continuity

Konica Minolta, HP, Landa, Heidelberg, K&B, Komori, Kyocera and Xeikon @virtual.drupa – while RMGT, manroland sheetfed, Ricoh & Xerox not there

Not quite the real thing, but the virtual.drupa takes place from 20 to 23 April 2021
Not quite the real thing, but the virtual.drupa takes place from 20 to 23 April 2021

The countdown is for virtual.drupa is on, and some 150 exhibitors and perhaps at a wild guess, as many as 40,000 to 50,000 global print and packaging businesses will tune in to the virtual.drupa from 20 to 23 April 2021. “We are very pleased about the recent registrations of outstanding exhibitors and important global players such as HP and Israel-based Landa Digital Printing. Both companies will enrich virtual.drupa with their impressive spectrum of innovative digital printing technologies and broad range of applications,” says Sabine Geldermann, project director Print Technologies at Messe Dusseldorf.

The commercial print industry on the whole is reeling from poor demand and while packaging is doing much better, the disruption of the pandemic and the postponement of comprehensive and cyclical events such as drupa are disruptive. It is hoped that while the virtual event may not help to bring back print any faster, it may help print and packaging businesses get out of their alternate reality and think about their alternate futures.

Industry pioneer Benny Landa, chairman of the Landa Group and founder of both Indigo and Landa Digital Printing, is looking forward to virtual.drupa, which he says, “is particularly important for our industry in times when face-to-face events cannot take place.”

Heim Levit, general manager at HP Indigo says, “We are very pleased to continue to support our commitment to the printing industry and Drupa by creating an opportunity to connect in virtual.drupa this year. While we miss seeing our partners, customers and friends in the industry in a live show, the need to continue to protect our people and communities is paramount. However, what the last 12 months have proved is the very positive reception of our new NPI portfolio, which continued to drive significant innovation allowing businesses of all sizes to keep growing despite challenging business environments. We encourage everyone to visit virtual drupa and connect with us.”

Ferag, IST Metz, manroland goss web systems, Zund to take part

In addition, several other major long-standing drupa exhibitors have recently confirmed their participation, including Swiss conveying and processing systems expert Ferag, manufacturer of high-performance UV curing systems IST Metz, leading web offset printing solutions provider manroland goss web systems GmbH and global cutting systems specialist Zünd Systemtechnik AG.

virtual.drupa leading event partners

The event partners of virtual.drupa comprise global players, including Leonhard Kurz (Platinum Event Partner), DuPont de Nemours, Electronics for Imaging (efi), Kodak, Komori (Gold Event Partners), BlueCrest, CloudLab, Fujifilm, Hybrid Software, Koenig & Bauer, Mimaki, OQChemicals and Xeikon (Silver Event Partners).

Exhibitor registration

Registration for exhibitors at virtual.drupa is still open and interested parties will still be able to register at short notice. In order to ensure a successful presence, detailed information and checklists about the three pillars – Conference Area, Exhibition Space and Networking Plaza – as well as helpful videos offering tutorials and guidelines on how best to display products in virtual showrooms and undertake targeted lead generation, is available at

virtual.drupa current status

The numbers are looking very promising for virtual.drupa, both in terms of quality and quantity: more than 200 exhibitors from 33 countries confirmed, including nearly all significant global players. European companies make up the largest group with a 46% share. Other than exhibitors from Germany, the leading nations in terms of numbers are China, the USA, Switzerland, Italy and Japan. 890 exhibitor representatives have already signed up for the matchmaking tool, which enables the arrangement of virtual meetings and direct interaction via a chat function prior to and during the event, in order to arrange virtual appointments with attendees.

Customers from all over the world have shown a great deal of interest in virtual interaction, with around 2,400 international visitors having registered for matchmaking and interaction with industry experts. Thanks to PR and marketing initiatives as well as invitations activated by exhibitors, registration is gathering momentum. Messe Düsseldorf has already recorded attendees from 145 countries for virtual.drupa. International participation of 80% and strong exhibitor and visitor nations make virtual.drupa a true reflection of the face-to-face event. Among the leading nations on the visitor side are India, the USA, the UK, Belgium, Italy, Japan, Switzerland and Brazil.

43 hours of presentations and web sessions

virtual.drupa is all about highly relevant and valuable knowledge transfer, which will take place during more than 43 hours of keynote speeches, panel discussions, presentations and exhibitor web sessions. In the Conference Area, the focus will be on current issues, including sustainability, the circular economy, Artificial Intelligence, the platform economy and the connected consumer.

Keynote speakers – Michael Gale, James Sommerville
and Dr Gabrielle Walker

The keynote speakers are the internationally renowned best-selling author (The Digital Helix) and pioneer in digital transformation Michael Gale; designer, consultant and former Vice President Global Design at Coca-Cola Company James Sommerville, who is known for his unconventional, future-oriented marketing ideas; and the prominent presenter, best-selling author (The Hot Topic) and climate change activist Dr. Gabrielle Walker.

Matchmaking tutorials on

In order to facilitate virtual meetings between exhibitors and potential customers, all registered attendees can view relevant tutorials on the virtual.drupa website. It provides an easy guide on how to set up a virtual meeting. Matchmaking tutorials for exhibitors and visitors, ‘how it works’ matchmaking videos and videos about web sessions are available at

Exhibitor database with up-to-date information

The comprehensive database provides daily updates and information about participating companies. Navigating via the Exhibition Space, visitors can quickly and easily access exhibitors corresponding to their field of interest. To obtain an accurate and relevant selection of exhibitors, users can either enter a company name directly, or search by product category or country, for instance. The customized exhibitor profile provides information about the company, contact details, products, services, innovations and presentation formats. At this stage, users can also make direct contact with exhibitors via a digital business card or connect via the matchmaking tool.

About virtual.drupa

The global print & packaging community will meet from 20 to 23 April 2021 at virtual.drupa, promoting networking and knowledge transfer, and mobilizing business based on its three pillars: Conference Area, Networking Plaza and Exhibition Space. Live web sessions and videos complement the event, offering more in-depth information and the opportunity to obtain additional details about the proposed offers. All live web sessions will be available on-demand 24/7 in a video library following the event.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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