drupa 2024 focuses on key future themes with special forums

Düsseldorf Exhibition Center, 28 May to 7 June 2024

drupa 2024 focuses on key future themes with special forums
The next drupa will be held at the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre from 28 May to 7 June 2024.

They provide a deep dive into tomorrow’s print and packaging industries, connect technology leaders, newcomers and users, and specifically focus on the top trends in the industry: the five Special Forums of drupa 2024 will open up new perspectives. 

Being the biggest leading trade fair for print technologies, drupa is associated with innovations and novel approaches like no other. This is why again five Special Forums are planned for next year that will then turn into hot spots for new technologies, applications, and ideas. The drupa cube, drupa next age (DNA) as well as touchpoints packaging, textile, and sustainability all pick up on global megatrends, future technologies with growth potential, and best practices covering a comprehensive spectrum of themes. 

The experts among partners include DITF Deutsche Institute für Textil- und Faserforschung Denkendorf (German Institutes for Textile and Fibre Research), epda (European Brand and Packaging Design Association), ESMA (European Specialist Printing Manufacturers Association), The Marketing Cloud UK as well as VDMA (German Engineering Association).

In times of continuous change, disruptive processes and the resulting new business models our Special Forums provide important guidance and are indispensable for the sector,” says Sabine Geldermann, director drupa, Print Technologies Messe Düsseldorf, and underlines: “Jointly with our partners, we bank on impressive industry expertise and on the topics defining the future for our target groups.”

drupa is the largest printing equipment exhibition in the world, held every four years by Messe Düsseldorf in Düsseldorf, Germany.

drupa cube

The drupa cube stands for Thought Leadership and will serve as the central stage for pioneering content in 2024. Keynotes, expert panels and workshops ensure knowledge transfer and interaction. The conceptual and strategic partner is the British agency The Marketing Cloud, which was in charge of program implementation at the previous editions.

drupa dna

The Special Forum drupa dna is the innovative technology driver for connecting industry newcomers, young talents, start-ups, and well-established companies. dna offers scope for networking at eye level and gives a preview of tomorrow’s technologies setting the pace for the industry. Focal themes include, among others, additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, business intelligence, new materials, platform economy, predictive maintenance, printed electronics, remote services, new business models, and process design.

Touchpoint packaging

touchpoint packaging (TPP) focuses on visionary packaging solutions and introduces brand owners to designers, material suppliers, print service providers and converters. The involvement of students and young talents such as NABA, Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti (New Academy of Fine Arts Milan) in partner projects with exhibitors promises to deliver smart packaging solutions for folding boxes, labels, flexible packaging and corrugated cardboard. Furthermore, important questions regarding such focal themes as sustainability or e-Commerce will be discussed. The participating companies will represent the complete process chain.  

Responsible for the Special Forum is the European Brand and Packaging Design Association (EPDA), Europe’s leading association of brand and packaging design agencies. MINTEL Germany, an innovative enterprise in the area of consumer research will be the content partner of this project and is guaranteed to provide insights into consumer trends and their impact on the industry. The TPPenjoys the additional support of the EHI Retail Institute Cologne as a representative of retail.

Touchpoint textile

The textile industry offers cross-industry technologies for many sectors –touchpoint textile brings these companies together providing a space for cross-sector cooperation, new projects as well as product and manufacturing ideas. In cooperation with industry partners DITF, Deutsche Institute für Textil- und Faserforschung Denkendorf, will set up a digital textile micro factory at drupa and, hence, a fully connected, integrated process chain ranging from the buyers’ requests and design through to large-format digital textile prints. Many exciting projects such as the efficient, personalized production of sportswear and outerwear from sustainable materials in one consistent digital workflow or a creative competition for young and upcoming designers feature on the agenda here. touchpoint textile is supported by renowned partners such as Assyst, Brother, d.gen, the Albstadt-Sigmaringen University, KURZ, Luxion (KeyShot), Mey, Mitwill, Multiplot, Vaude and Zünd.

Another partner responsible for the lecture program at touchpoint textile is ESMA. Speakers from research, development, and industry will address questions related to print and finishing technologies, workflows, market developments or sustainability, to name but a few. The focus is also on trends and applications that tap into ever-new potentials through the interplay between digital printing and textile print substrates.

Touchpoint sustainability

Touchpoint sustainability is the “port of call” for learning more about the circular economy and sustainable print production. This Special Show comes care of the VDMA as a longstanding partner of drupa. Visitors can look forward to best-practice examples as well as innovative solutions associated with the sustainability theme: How can energy and resource consumption be reduced by using optimized techniques in manufacturing processes? How are materials and printing inks reduced to a minimum in new low-threshold areas? And how is finishing applied in an environment-friendly manner? For these and many other questions, touchpoint sustainability will provide a central platform and stage for high-caliber knowledge transfer.

The next drupa will be held at the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre from 28 May to 7 June 2024. Interested exhibitors can still apply for participation at all Special Forums and introduce their products and solutions to a high-quality target group.

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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