Q&A with Werner Dornscheidt, Messe Düsseldorf board chairman
As the countdown to the world’s largest printing exposition begins, Messe Düsseldorf Chairman Werner Dornscheidt provides his thoughts on what visitors should expect for Drupa 2008.
There are already indications that Drupa 2008 will surpass the record-breaking Drupa event back in 2000. In what respects?
WERNER DORNSCHEIDT: Drupa’s history goes back over 50 years, but it has become clear that Drupa 2008 will be the largest yet. The exhibition grounds are totally booked up, with some 170,000 square meters of show space and 1,800 exhibitors.
There isn’t even one square meter of space left in the newly built Hall 8b, next to Hall 8a at the north end of the convention grounds. For an idea of the total show space, just imagine an area the size of about 40 soccer fields. What’s more, we are expecting 400,000 visitors, more than 50 percent of them from outside Germany.
What will be different at Drupa 2008 with regard to the exhibitors and the layout?
DORNSCHEIDT: We want to make Drupa as clearly structured and visitor-friendly as possible. The halls presenting “Digital Solutions” play a key role in this context. This area has been expanded since Drupa 2004. Hall 8a and the new Hall 8b, as well as the adjacent Halls 5 and 9, are primarily reserved for exhibitors from this field, including companies such as Xerox, HP Indigo, Agfa-Gevaert, Fujifilm, Kodak, Konica Minolta and Ricoh. When an exhibitor like Canon reserves 1,000 square meters of additional space for its booth at Drupa, it clearly indicates the relevance of this segment.
The growth of digital technologies is obviously a central theme, so can Drupa still be referred to as a printing trade fair?
DORNSCHEIDT: More than ever! Because people are printing more than ever. Digital solutions couldn’t exist without conventional printing methods. As the leading trade fair for the printing and media industry, we are presenting the interaction and co-existence of these technologies. We show the entire added-value chain, from design all the way to the finished print product. Drupa is the very best “seismograph” for detecting new trends.