As virtual.drupa, taking place from 20 to 23 April, is approaching, exhibitors are starting to design their online showrooms; video and live presentations as well as virtual meeting rooms are in preparation. Registration for exhibitors has been open since the end of January, and the current booking status is very positive, with around 100 exhibitors from 23 countries, as well as 5,000 pre-registered visitors from all around the world already preparing for the virtual industry event.
What virtual.drupa has to offer
The Exhibition Space section is now continually providing an overview of registered exhibitors of virtual.drupa. A number of national and international key players, including Bobst, Esko, Kama, Konica Minolta, Kyocera, Müller Martini, Windmöller & Hölscher, as well as Platinum Event Partner Leonhard Kurz and Gold Event Partner DuPont de Nemours, have already confirmed their involvement. Exhibitors will be able to enhance their digital presence at virtual.drupa in their own online showroom, where they will showcase their core competencies, technologies and products, as well as innovations. In addition, experts will stage and present them in live web sessions, offering visitors from around the world the opportunity to interact directly, ask questions and learn more about their products and services.
For a more individual approach, virtual meeting rooms will be available at the Networking Plaza, where up to four participants will be able to have a more in-depth, personal exchange. Lead generation in particular will be promoted through customisable matchmaking: from mid-March, visitors will be able to conduct a targeted keyword search in order to contact exhibitors and make appointments 24/7 throughout the four-day event and beyond, as the matchmaking function will remain in place until the end of October 2021. An intelligent algorithm will learn from individual searches and hits, supporting contact searches and offering suggestions for connecting with relevant companies and contacts. The Conference Area offers exhibitors and visitors an additional high-quality, 2,160-minute programme based on global trends and pertinent industry topics. International industry experts, brand owners and speakers from vertical markets will deliver presentations in two continuous live streams, providing valuable knowledge transfer using case studies, keynote speeches and insights. Global best-selling author and consultant Michael Gale and British designer James Sommerville, who has substantially influenced the iconic Coca-Cola brand, will launch each Conference day with inspirational keynote speeches. These will be followed by presentations of the five drupa special forums: “drupa cube”, “touchpoint packaging”, “touchpoint textile”, “drupa next age” and “3D fab+print”. The four hot topics of Artificial Intelligence, Circular Economy, Connected Consumer and Platform Economy, which will continue to have a decisive impact on the industry, will serve to guide participants through the four-day event. Since there is such a broad range of inspirational topics on offer, visitors will be able to plan their personal agenda early, from mid-March. Just as they would at a face-to-face event, visitors will have the flexibility to dip in and out of the virtual special shows and then attend Live Web Sessions in the exhibitor showrooms.
Exhibitors put emphasis on awareness
Last week, exhibitor Leonhard Kurz has registered as exclusive Platinum Event Partner for the virtual event, sending a clear message for an in-depth industry dialogue at virtual.drupa. “drupa has been the flagship trade show for the graphic arts industry since 1954. With our participation in the virtual.drupa 2021, we are profiting from its charisma. We are pleased to use this platform to bridge the too-long gap between the last real drupa and the next one. Kurz has big news to report that is relevant to the industry right now. At the same time, the international nature of drupa allows us to present our innovations to companies on all continents worldwide. Visitors to the virtual.drupa will find, among other things, real, implementable solutions for Circular Economy and PET recycling at Kurz. In addition, we will present groundbreaking developments in Digital Embellishment. We will be showing a machine from the Kurz Group that revolutionizes digital embellishment with high-end functions that are very easy to call up,” explains Walter Kurz, CEO of Leonhard Kurz Stiftung & Co. KG Joerg Hartmann, President and Managing Director at Konica Minolta Business Solutions Germany and Austria, agrees: “In times when face-to-face events (which we all miss) are not possible, we are very pleased that a virtual platform has been created. These formats offer manufacturers, suppliers, producers and interested parties the opportunity to exchange ideas and shape the future of print together.”Hermann Veismann, Head of the Printing Division at Windmöller & Hölscher also sees this virtual industry meeting as an unmissable opportunity for visitors and exhibitors: “drupa was, and remains, the industry’s international meeting point. It brings people, exhibitors and innovations from all over the world together – even digitally. W&H will be presenting innovations focused around ‘efficient production, sustainable products and Packaging 4.0’ at virtual.drupa. In addition to W&H CI flexo and gravure printing presses, visitors will be able to learn more about the latest automation and assistance systems. We are looking forward to having a lively exchange.”François Martin, Head of Marketing and Communication at Bobst Group, provides an outlook of innovative applications in packaging production and design: “BOBST intents to share its vision for the packaging world and to present solutions across the industries we serve. We believe that the future of packaging production will be based on 4 key pillars: connectivity, digitalization, automation and sustainability. During the conferences we will hold, and by visiting our virtual booth, visitors will be able to understand where we want to go with them. virtual.drupa provides an opportunity for all traditional exhibitors to share their vision for the industry and to outline major innovations that support printers and converters to meet the needs and demands of their customers in a targeted manner.”