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Are you ready for drupa season?

Published on January 12, 2012

Gina Testa, VP Graphics Communications Industry for Xerox, talks about the preparation and expectations for this year's drupa season.

Cary Sherburne:  Hi, Cary Sherburne and Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com and I'm here with Gina Testa who is Vice President of Graphics Communications Industry from Xerox Corporation.  Welcome.

Gina Testa: Thank you, Cary.

Cary Sherburne:  So we’re almost too fast approaching drupa 2012 and we’re kind of interested, this is Xerox, will be Xerox’s fourth drupa.

Gina Testa: That is correct.

Cary Sherburne:  And I think you launched the iGen in 2000 at drupa.

Gina Testa: In 2000, yes, we did.

Cary Sherburne:  So maybe you could talk a little bit about why you think drupa’s an important show for an exhibitor, and from the attendee perspective.

Gina Testa: Well, drupa is very important because of its global aspect.  And you really get a very eclectic mix of customers who come there, and of course, as you know, Xerox is a global company.

Cary Sherburne:  Right.

Gina Testa: And by being there in Dusseldorf, what we have found is there is a tremendous attendance from the Asian markets, obviously Eastern and Western Europe, huge contingent from the Americas, both North and South America.  There really is no other show like it.  And for those that have been to a drupa, you’ll know what I’m talking about, the numbers are huge, it spans a good two-week period of time, so therefore, it gives you plenty of time to see what you need.  But it’s something the people need to plan for and start thinking about now, because guess what?  It’s May 3rd.

Cary Sherburne:  Yeah.  Well, it’s coming right up.  And so for exhibitors obviously you get the exposure to that global audience.  For people who are attending, you know, why should they take time out of, especially from, you know, North America, why should they take time, that much time out and all that expense?

Gina Testa: Well, the important thing and the reason why you want to go there is one, the ability to actually network with your peers, is tremendous.  And for anybody that’s in the graphic communications industry, as you know, we are in a global economy now and people can source their work, their solutions, their graphic communications jobs, from pretty much anywhere.  And, you know, maybe you need to be over there and see what others are doing, because the US is not always the first to market with a particular solution, etc.  Quite often, we’re behind.  You know, great example is QR codes.

Cary Sherburne:  Right, yes.

Gina Testa: Today you see them everywhere.

Cary Sherburne:  Yeah.

Gina Testa: But we know that they were in the Japanese market, for example, for years, before it came to the States.

Cary Sherburne:  Exactly.

Gina Testa: So I think it’s a way for you to actually see leading edge technologies that might have grown up in countries that had other demands and other requirements based on their customer’s needs and at the same time compare, you know, what we’re doing.  There is so much to see, so you really have to plan, what are you going to be investing in the future, where you think you’re going to take your customers.  My personal advice would be, before you go to drupa, why don’t you engage in a survey with your customers.

Cary Sherburne:  That’s a great idea.  That’s a great idea.

Gina Testa: Why don’t you do a couple focus groups and find out where they’re taking their business, so you can  narrow your focus, because there is a lot to see.  And a mistake that maybe some have made is they just get overwhelmed.  There’s hall after hall.  Do you even know how many of them are in there?  There’s 10, 15?

Cary Sherburne:  There’s 21 this year.

Gina Testa: 21 halls.

Cary Sherburne:  There’s too many halls.

Gina Testa: I mean, you would be walking miles if you actually saw it all.

Cary Sherburne:  Right.  1.8 million square feet or something like that.

Gina Testa: So you really have to plan, what are you looking for, what do you want to achieve and accomplish and approach it really with a strategic plan.

Cary Sherburne:  And drupa, on their website, they provide a lot of great tools.

Gina Testa: They have great tools.

Cary Sherburne:  And then also, if you have key vendors, you should probably make appointments, right?

Gina Testa: Absolutely.  Because for us at Xerox, for example, we really have a very elaborate hosting scheme.  We want to know where you’re coming from, what country, we have hosts from the various countries, so that if you’re comfortable and you want to actually have a tour or talk to someone in language, we can do so. 

Cary Sherburne:  That’s great.

Gina Testa: It truly is an example of an international show at its best.

Cary Sherburne:  Right.  And then the other thing I always find very interesting is the innovation part.

Gina Testa: Yes.

Cary Sherburne:  I think that they’ve done that the last couple, three years.  Where you can find innovative, small companies get a chance to display their wares.

Gina Testa: Right.  And I think it’s a great place to get new ideas.  A lot of companies, even though maybe an idea or a solution or a product is not quite ready, we’ve done it every year that we’ve gone.  Sometimes we’re giving you a little peek into the future, kind of stir up the juices.  Obviously solutions that you can buy today, because we want people to be ready for real business.

Cary Sherburne:  Sure.

Gina Testa: Obviously it’s about growing your business.  But there’s nothing like also kind of sparking the imagination to see what is that next new thing that’s going to take over.

Cary Sherburne:  Yeah, I know, last time you had, you showed the inkjet heads that ultimately ended up on your production this year.

Gina Testa: Yes, we did.  

Cary Sherburne:  Correct?

Gina Testa: Yes.

Cary Sherburne:  I remember that.

Gina Testa: So, they’ll be a continuation of that, seeing the solutions and addition of more applications.  One of the things that we are very much focusing on, though, and I think we have for the last four drupas, too, is trying to show an end-to-end solution.

Cary Sherburne:  Right.

Gina Testa: So that it’s not just about an engine, it’s not just about the work flow, it’s also about the business tools you need to train yourself for this market, truly making it so that if you want to add a new revenue stream to your business, we will, you know, kind of give you the formula of how to do that.

Cary Sherburne:  That’s great.  Well, I will look forward to seeing you there.

Gina Testa: Thank you, Cary.

Cary Sherburne:  Maybe we can have a glass of beer. 

Gina Testa: I think we have to go to the beer hall together.

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By Don Piontek on Jan 18, 2012

Actually, DRUPA has never hosted large numbers of visitors from North America. U.S. attendee's average between 4,000 - 6,000, a fraction of total attendance. I'm predicting overall attendance will be down for this DRUPA (but I could be wrong). Lots of Asian attendee's, maybe more from South America (Brazil is doing well).

I can speak with some expertise on this, having attended the last FIVE DRUPA's.


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