Quid Interpack 2021?

German govt review of containment by mid-November

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Interpack 2017 Photo interpack
Interpack 2017 Photo interpack

Interpack organizers still believe the event may take place physically at the Düsseldorf fairgrounds on the seven days from 25 February to 3 March 2021. Their optimism is mainly based on the fact that Düsseldorf could host the Caravan Salon in September, despite the Covid-19 pandemic crisis and its constraints on travel and mass gatherings. Caravan Salon is a major annual consumer event attended by 107,000 visitors. However, it is a German exhibition, almost exclusively limited to visitors from Germany and surrounding EU member states.

Interpack is an entirely different story. For a large part, Interpack’s viability depends on exhibitors and visitors who have to be flown in from as far as Asia. At the same time, the UK and most of the EU member states have decided on stricter travel restrictions and lockdown measures that are being tightened by the day.

The German government intends to review its virus containment strategy by mid-November. The perspectives are clear: more restrictions will include the closing down of restaurants, cafes, events, and ‘non-essential’ shops. What seems to be clear already is that by February/March, no vaccine nor treatment against the virus will be available, and experts expect that we might face a ‘third wave’ of infections in the first months after the end-of-year vacations. So we are not too optimistic concerning the physical presence of any large international trade fair in this part of the world in the months to come.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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