(L) Ford Bowers, CEO, Printing United Alliance and (R) Sabine Geldermann, director Print Technologies at Drupa

On the first three days of the show, some people we spoke to were wondering whether this would be the last or last-but-one drupa. Due to the 2020-21 pandemic, show organizers have encountered big losses. After the previous show in 2016, many of the major machine manufacturers announced that they would drastically reduce their trade fair presence in the future.

For the past 10 years or so, attendance at the mega-trade fairs has been steadily decreasing. It seemed logical that at some point drupa would have to reinvent itself as well. Many new exhibitions are gaining traction in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The future paradigms could be fragmentation, or perhaps cooperation, collaboration, and consolidation. However, the route to both dissolution and consolidation could be long and arduous.

Perhaps, as a first step, came the announcement today that the organizers of drupa, Messe Düsseldorf Group, and the organizers of the US’s main printing show, Printing United Alliance, have entered into a strategic partnership to bolster the reach of each show throughout the industry. Both organizations are trying to make their events more relevant and beneficial to their attendees and exhibitors.

Sabine Geldermann, director Print Technologies at drupa, comments on this partnership, “Printing United Expo’s one-roof approach aligns very strongly with what drupa has brought to the industry over the last seven decades. Showcasing the many applications printing technology has these days, not only in the graphic arts field but in packaging, industrial and textile is what our attendees appreciate.”

And Ford Bowers, CEO, Printing United Alliance, added, “Our partnership with drupa underscores our commitment to advancing the entirety of the printing industry. Together, we will be able to deliver even more opportunities for growth and collaboration to all who participate in the marketplace of events. We look forward in the coming months to sharing our conversations on how this partnership will unfold and the benefits to all our partners.”

The next drupa has been scheduled for 2028, whereas Printing United Expo 2024 will be held in Las Vegas from September 10-12 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

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