November 5, 2007 -- Now that the drupa Committee meeting held at the end of January is over, it's official: drupa 2008 will break all previous records. With some 170,000 square metres of net exhibition space (roughly equivalent to 40 soccer fields) and exhibitor numbers topping 1,800, the print media fair to be staged from 29 May to 11 June 2008 will be the biggest ever in its more than 50-year history. This will entail the use of the Düsseldorf Trade Fair Center's full capacity, including all new additions. There were already indications of this trend last year, shortly before the official close of registrations on 31 October. Increases to leading international technology suppliers' space requirements, plus larger-scale joint presentations from Asia in particular were the major factors influencing this result. "The registration figures provide compelling proof that more than substantiates the status of the fair as the world's No. 1 event for the print and media industry," asserted Werner M. Dornscheidt, President and CEO of Messe Düsseldorf. "The complete palette of the global market's offerings and each link in the value chain, from design to the finished printed product, will be showcased in Düsseldorf. Industry leaders and global players will share the floor with small, innovative companies at drupa," continued Dornscheidt.
What's more, the registration results also reflect the industry's development. "What's most striking is the boost in participation by suppliers of digital solutions. Compared to drupa 2004, this focal area will swell significantly and take on a key role in the fair's overall concept," commented Manuel Mataré, drupa Project Director. The guiding principle in implementing the sectoral breakdown is a focus on demand-oriented presentation that takes into account visitors' needs. In other words, organising drupa according to the most intuitive and transparent plan. The two new halls, 8a and 8b, in the north of the fairgrounds have a key role to play as they will primarily house exhibitors whose product portfolios hinge on digital solutions (e.g. Xerox, HP-Indigo, Agfa-Gevaert, Fujifilm). The same thematic focus will also spill over into the closest neighbouring Halls 5 and 9 (e.g. Kodak, Konica Minolta, Ricoh). The other drupa 2008 cornerstones are:
- Halls 1 and 2: Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, Polar-Mohr
- Halls 3 and 4: printing, materials, services
- Hall 6: PrintCity and other international exhibitors active in print finishing
- Halls 10 to 12: paper converting, packaging production (e.g. Bobst, E.C.H. Will, Bielomatik)
- Halls 12 to 14: bookbinding, print finishing (e.g. Müller Martini, Horizon)
- Halls 15 to 17: printing machinery, bookbinding and finishing (e.g. Koenig & Bauer AG, Ferag AG, Windmöller & Hölscher, Kolbus, Mitshubishi, Komori, Ryobi, Cerrutti)
Comprehensive knowledge transfer via a specialist ancillary programme
The clearest possible structure of the offerings is one objective; another is a comprehensive transfer of knowledge. "We want to support drupa visitors – to take them by the hand, in a manner of speaking, and offer them assistance," said Manuel Mataré, outlining the organiser's aims in the extensive specialist ancillary programme. "The launch of the most varied informative events at the last drupa was a great success and confirmed that we are on the right track and should continue in this direction with drupa," explained Mr. Mataré. To this end, plans are underway for the drupa innovation parc, for instance, which will be coordinated by ZIPCON Consulting and serve as a forum for innovative new technologies. With the whole of Hall 7 dedicated to it, the "dip" will not only comprise such building blocks as workflow, publishing, PDF, XML, etc., but also poly-sectoral topics which will be addressed in the "printbuyer integration parc". There, a direct appeal will be made to the print industry customers for the first time. Aside from a comprehensive information programme – which will run on two stages – and tours through the "dip", there will also be a look ahead to tomorrow's media and futuristic production processes. Following the successful debut in 2004, drupa 2008 in cooperation with CIP4 will once again set up a special JDF area. The JDF experience parc and JDF experience theatre will introduce the latest developments in this field. Also in the pipeline are the Compass Sessions, which the Bundesverband Druck und Medien (German Printing and Media Industries Federation) is conducting as an expert start to a drupa day, in addition to the Highlights Tours organised by Deutscher Drucker trade journal.
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