Drupa 2021 Canceled, Digital Event Planned; 2024 Event Still On (News & Tech)

December 3, 2020

Article by: News & Tech
Drupa 2021 Canceled, Digital Event Planned; 2024 Event Still On

A scene from drupa 2016.
(Photo: Messe Dusseldorf/ctillmann)
The 2021 drupa trade fair is cancelled, organizers Messe Dusseldorf announced today, citing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The next event will take place as scheduled, from May 28–June 7, 2024, in Dusseldorf, Germany.

During the time drupa, an international trade fair for the printing and packaging industries, was originally scheduled, organizers are offering “virtual.drupa,” a digital event from April 20–23, 2021.

The decision to cancel the live event follows recent announcements from major participants that they dropped out of the 2021 fair, including Konica Minolta, Ricoh, Canon, Screen, Xerox, EFI, Kodak, Fujifilm and HP, the trade fair’s biggest exhibitor.

“The pandemic has caused great uncertainty among exhibitors and visitors regarding participation in drupa 2021. Travel restrictions and budget pressure have increasingly intensified the situation in the print industry,” said Erhard Wienkamp, managing director of Messe Dusseldorf. “We have made this decision together with our partners, who support this step. It was preceded by a detailed process of considering the current conditions and the needs of the industry.”


Launched in October, the drupa preview platform provides an idea of what virtual.drupa will look like. Virtual.drupa will give companies the opportunity to showcase themselves and their innovations virtually, as well as maintain existing contacts and establish new ones via the matchmaking feature, according to a news release from Messe Dusseldorf.

Organizers are aiming to meet demand with virtual.drupa as well as the annual Print & Digital Convention in Dusseldorf, which was developed in cooperation with the Fachverband Medienproduktion e.V. (fmp), until drupa returns as a live event in 2024.

“For all other Messe Dusseldorf events, we are in close contact with the authorities and partners of the respective trade fairs, with whom we will assess the situation in good time and make responsible decisions,” said Wienkamp.

“Our members are telling us that trade fairs to drive their business forward are still in great demand. The value and appeal of drupa remain intact. The decision to suspend it in 2021 is entirely due to the pandemic,” said Markus Heering, managing director of the VDMA Printing and Paper Technology Association. “In the long run, it is important for all of us to maintain drupa as an international platform in Europe, as it displays the diversity of our industry. Two hundred years of expertise are rooted in Europe and must continue. However, we welcome the introduction of the new digital platform as an interim solution until 2024.”

A drupa Q&A can be found here.


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