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Interview with Frank Romano About the Upcoming drupa Trade Fair Next Year

Published on September 29, 2011

Cary Sherburne interviews Frank Romano about his expectations at the upcoming 2012 drupa and why it's so important for members of the industry at any level to attend. For more information on drupa 2012 click here.

Cary Sherburne:  Hi, I'm Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com and I'm here with Frank Romano who needs no introduction but I'll introduce him anyway; Professor Emeritus at R.I.T, Rochester Institute of Technology, School of Print Media.

Frank Romano:  Emeritus is Latin for unemployed.

Cary Sherburne:  Unemployed and you had the whole name on your shirt, so it was earlier for me to remember.

Frank Romano:  That's right.  So anybody can see its R.I.T.

Cary Sherburne:  We're here to talk about drupa 2012 and I think Frank, that you might have been to a few drupa's.

Frank Romano:  This will be my tenth drupa.

Cary Sherburne:  Oh, bless your heart.

Frank Romano:  The first one was in '72; it was in the old fairgrounds and only one building had been built in the new fairgrounds and that was the Heidelberg Building.

Cary Sherburne:  Oh, my gosh.

Frank Romano:  And they must have had a hundred GTO presses running at the same time with a wall -- now in those days it was 35mm slides.

Cary Sherburne:  Of course.

Frank Romano:  So they had a projection thing with like hundreds and hundreds of projectors, projecting images that form various things.  And it was just mind-boggling.  But the -- it was great when it was ---

Cary Sherburne:  So that was the 35mm slide drupa and now we're up to the Inkjet drupa and now what.

Frank Romano:  I think that this drupa coming up is going to be the Inkjet drupa on steroids.

Cary Sherburne:  Okay.

Frank Romano:  I mean, that will be the main thing.  I'm -- by the way, many small companies have been contacting me; they can't get in to the show.  It's sold out.

Cary Sherburne:  The exhibitors?

Frank Romano:  Yes.

Cary Sherburne:  Yeah.  Back in February, Manuel Matare said he already had a waiting list.  Yeah.

Frank Romano:  So some smaller Inkjet companies now have a real problem.  So I envision we're going to be getting invitations for companies downtown and wherever, on boats, on rafts, who knows what it will be.  But it's going to be, I think, one of the best drupa's ever because remember the last one, it was the first one where they got a lot of people coming from Eastern Europe because they literally drive there and I think that's going to expand because they've been doing relatively well in printing.

Cary Sherburne:  Yeah.  And I was talking with Hamilton Costa earlier and he said he expects a big contingent from Latin America.

Frank Romano:  Because Brazil is doing phenomenally well right now.

Cary Sherburne:  Right.  Even Columbia, the GDP in Columbia is over six percent.

Frank Romano:  So in those places, print in growing and therefore there's a need for equipment.  As you know, we're going to do some gig for the Brazilian's coming up the next year.  Again, that's where the action is right now.  Now Asia, of course, is where the action is as well.  There's a drupa for Asia as well that they've created, but I think that the traditional drupa in Germany is going to do very, very well and we are going to be very busy talking to companies about new technology.

Cary Sherburne:  That's great.  So are you planning on going to 2016?

Frank Romano:  If I'm alive.  We'll figure that one out.

Cary Sherburne:  We certainly hope you will be.

Frank Romano:  Again, by the way, getting a room was the hardest job I think.

Cary Sherburne:  Yes, yes, of course.

Frank Romano:  I didn't want to be a boat again.

Cary Sherburne:  Oh, yeah.  I stayed -- the first year I stayed in a private home and that was a great experience and then last year the Hilton and this year we have a home that we're renting that nobody's living in, so.

Frank Romano:  I see.  Well in any case I think -- and those of you who are thinking of drupa, it would be a worthwhile trip.  I know it's an expense but that's where you see the stuff before other people see it and I'll tell you, it's the technology that's going to create the new business of printing.

Cary Sherburne:  That's great.  Thank you.

Frank Romano:  You're welcome.

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