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drupa 2012 Stats Reveal Sharp Attendance Decline, Strong Order Activity

May 16, 2012
DUSSELDORF, GERMANY—May 16, 2012—The numbers are in and 314,500 attendees from more than 130 countries came to drupa 2012, which is 75,500 less (19 percent) than for the 2008 installment.

“This drop does not come as a surprise for us and the sector as a whole,” noted Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, president and CEO of Messe Düsseldorf. “In Germany alone, the printing industry lost some 3,900 operations with over 61,000 employees between 2000 and 2011. In the United States, over the same period, more than 7,700 printing operations closed.

“Against this backdrop, it is not surprising that fewer visitors came to drupa 2012. However, and this is the key point, customers now no longer come to drupa as large delegations or on group corporate trips; it is much more top managers who travel to Düsseldorf. drupa is clearly the decision-makers’ trade fair and the trade fair for business,” Dornscheidt added.

drupa 2012 is sending out key impulses for the worldwide print and media industry, the most important being that print has potential and the sector is investing heavily in its future. This trend was already visible at the event’s half-way point and exhibitors reported the conclusion of numerous deals all over the world.

This willingness to invest continued unabated in the second half of the trade fair. Add to this the fact that experts specifically highlight the wealth of innovations and market-oriented solutions for the entire print spectrum.

“drupa was a resounding success for the sector. The trade fair sent out key impulses. Numerous business ideas and innovations were showcased here that all led to high investment. What the 1,850 exhibitors presented here over the past two weeks will strengthen the development potential of the print and media industry long term,” says Bernhard Schreier, president of drupa 2012 and board chairman at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, summing up the drupa 2012 result. “Here in Düsseldorf, business was done and points were set for the future of the sector.”

Attendees come to drupa with specific investment intentions. Nearly 50 percent of all visitors place specific orders, most of which are signed at the trade fair itself. This comes as no surprise as, after all, the proportion of top managers amongst visitors has grown significantly since 2008 (50.8 percent in 2012 compared with 44.4 percent in 2008).

With more than 190,000 foreign visitors, the international focus of drupa continues at a very high level. What is striking here is the high number of trade visitors from India, which— now reaching some 15,000—ranks as the second largest visitor nation after Germany (123,000 visitors). Following behind these two in the country ranking are: Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Great Britain, the United States, Switzerland and Italy.

It is particularly gratifying to see the rising proportion of visitors from South and Central America (8.8 percent in 2012 compared to 7 percent in 2008), and more specifically from Brazil.

The dominating themes at drupa 2012 were automation, packaging printing, digital printing, hybrid technologies, Web-to-print applications and environmentally sound printing. For instance, 40 percent of visitors said they were interested in digital printing machinery and digital printing systems. Also attracting great attention was the future theme printed electronics, which was highlighted at drupa in a variety of fields—at the drupa innovation park, drupa cube, in a Highlight Tour and at many stands of drupa exhibitors.

“Technologically, drupa 2012 was a fair of superlatives. It demonstrated that printing is more alive than ever!” said Rolf Schwarz, president of the German Print and Media Association Bundesverband Druck und Medien. “There were impressive innovations in all printing processes. I was particularly excited by suppliers and machinery manufacturers from upstream supplies, printing and further processing who jointly convinced visitors with workflow and production solutions and outstanding products. Offset and digital print solutions complement rather than compete with each other here.”

Also producing a positive result was the specialist supporting program. More than 20 percent of visitors were interested in the drupa innovation park and drupa cube presented by digi:media. With its over 130 exhibitors in Hall 7, the drupa innovation park (dip) was a hub and focal point for innovations in the digital supplies sector and reported a very successful drupa.

“The innovation park at drupa 2012 is one of the most unique areas because it focuses on new ideas. Many new ideas are not worthy of a huge stand, but they must be presented in some way that people can see and understand them,” explained Frank Romano, professor of Meritus, Rochester Institute of Technology. “drupa is one of the most interesting trade shows because it does this. It finds areas which are not in the mainstream, but will be. So the drupa innovation park is an innovative idea in and for itself.”

While the focus at the dip was technology, at drupa cube, the trendy congress location in Hall 7A, everything revolved around trends in cross-media, print-based communication. The 13-day German-English congress program featuring more than 80 speakers was specifically aimed at print buyers, marketing decision-makers, advertisers, publishing houses and designers.

The next drupa will be held from June 2-15, 2016.

Source: Messe Düsseldorf.



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