Investing in future potential of print

drupa 2012 sent out an important message: 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.

“drupa was a resounding success for the sector,” enthuses Bernhard Schreier, president of drupa 2012 and board chairman at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG.

“Numerous business ideas and innovations were showcased that all led to high investment. What the 1850 exhibitors presented here will strengthen the development potential of the print and media industry long term.”

A total of 314,500 experts from more than 130 countries came to drupa – a figure 75,500 less than in 2008.

“This drop does not come as a surprise for us and the sector as a whole,” explains Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, president & CEO of Messe Düsseldorf.

“In Germany alone the printing industry lost some 3,900 operations with more than 61,000 employees between 2000 and 2011. In the US over the same period more than 7,700 printing operations closed. However, customers now no longer come to drupa as large delegations or on group corporate trips; it is clearly the decision-makers’ trade fair for business.”

With more than 190,000 foreign visitors the international focus continues. What is striking 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). Following behind are: Belgium, France, Netherlands, Great Britain, US, Switzerland and Italy.

The organisers say it is particularly gratifying to see the rising proportion of visitors from South and Central America (8.8% in 2012 compared to 7% in 2008) – and more specifically from Brazil.

The dominating themes were automation, packaging printing, digital printing, hybrid technologies, web-to-print applications and environmentally sound printing; 40% of visitors said they were interested in digital printing machinery and systems. Also attracting great attention was the future theme printed electronics. The next drupa will be held from 2-15 June 2016.