Print & Digital Convention in Dusseldorf takes place

Re-launch in difficult times of annual event till drupa 2024

The Print and Digital annual event till drupa 2024, took place successfully on 20 and 21 October 2021. Image drupa
The Print and Digital annual event till drupa 2024, took place successfully on 20 and 21 October 2021. Image drupa

The fourth edition of the Print & Digital Covention, organized by the Fachverband Medienproduktion and Messe Düsseldorf, came to an end with around 800 participants on 20 and 21 October 2021. For two days, the Congress Center in Düsseldorf once again became the meeting place for media production professionals and decision-makers from industry, trade, marketing agencies and IT.

In addition to exciting exhibits, visitors were able to learn about future-oriented content on the potential of digital printing applications, automated workflows, creative finishing and sustainable packaging solutions. Among the 64 exhibiting companies were numerous international key players such as Antalis, Canon, Esko, FKS, Gräfe Veredlungsgruppe, Horizon, hp, Inapa, Kodak, Koehler Paper, Konica Minolta, Kurz, Landa, Locr, Mondi, Obility, Oki and WerkII.

24 companies (38%) were first-time exhibitors. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the congress trade fair was smaller compared to the previous event in 2019 (94 exhibitors/1,287 participants), and the exhibition space was also smaller at over 800 net square meters compared to 2019 (1,360 net square meters). Despite all the pandemic-related restrictions, around 800 international participants from the DACH region and BeNeLux attended the convention.

The organizers are satisfied with the course of the Print & Digital Convention. “We are very happy about this result and the successful re-launch in the still ongoing covid crisis,” Rüdiger Maaß, managing director of f:mp, sums up. “We are confident that we will be able to realize our full potential again in 2022. About 40 companies that cancelled for 2021 due to corona have already promised their participation for 2022.”

“With its eight theme worlds and impressive conference and workshop programme, the Print & Digital Convention has once again proven that it is an important content hub for the industry,” adds Sabine Geldermann, director Print Technologies Messe Düsseldorf. “This is where active, highly relevant knowledge transfer takes place and the current and future trends of the industry are highlighted.”

8 theme worlds drupa 24
The eight theme worlds of the Print & Digital Convention in Dusseldorf

Eight print themes

The event was divided into eight theme worlds – Interior/Exterior Design, Brand & Product, Value Added Printing, Postpress, Label & Packaging, Printed Electronics, Dialogue Marketing and Sustainable Media Production. The theme worlds examined innovations, trends and visions in marketing realisation, marketing automation and content marketing – across all touchpoints of the customer journey.

In four parallel series of lectures with a total of 48 presentations and workshops, the focus was on sustainable media production, marketing automation/programmatic printing, value added printing and dialogue marketing. The special format ‘Highlight Guide’ presented staged campaigns and best cases that were implemented in partnerships between exhibitors and brand owners.

The Print & Digital Convention will be held annually until drupa 2024 – the fifth edition is planned for 22-23 June 2022, the 6th edition in 2023 (the exact date has not yet been set). The event will then be integrated into the drupa run from 28 May to 7 June in 2024.

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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