As virtual.drupa approaches, which takes place from 20 to 23 April, exhibitors are starting to design their online showrooms; video and live presentations as well as virtual meeting rooms are in the pipeline. Exhibitor registration has been open since the end of January, and the current booking status is very positive: around 100 exhibitors from 23 countries and 5,000 pre-registered visitors from all over the world are already preparing for the virtual industry event.
What virtual.drupa has to offer
The Exhibition Space section now provides a continuous overview of the registered exhibitors at virtual.drupa. A number of national and international key players, including Bobst, Esko, Kama, Konica Minolta, Kyocera, Muller Martini, Windmöller & Hölscher as well as Platinum Event Partner Leonhard Kurz and Gold Event Partner DuPont de Nemours, have already confirmed their participation. Exhibitors will be able to strengthen their digital presence at virtual.drupa in a dedicated online showroom, where they will present their core competencies, technologies and products as well as innovations. In addition, they will be staged and presented by experts in live web sessions. Visitors from all over the world will thus have the opportunity to interact directly, ask questions and learn more about their products and services.
For a more individual approach, virtual meeting rooms are available in the Networking Plaza, where up to four participants can conduct an in-depth, personal exchange. In particular, lead generation will be promoted through customisable matchmaking: Starting in mid-March, visitors can use a targeted keyword search to contact exhibitors and set up appointments around the clock during the four-day event and beyond, as the matchmaking function will remain in place until the end of October 2021. An intelligent algorithm learns from individual search queries and hits, supports contact searches and offers suggestions on how to get in touch with relevant companies and contacts.
The Conference Area offers exhibitors and visitors an additional high-quality, 2,160-minute program geared to global trends and relevant industry topics. International industry experts, brand owners and speakers from vertical markets will give presentations in two continuous live streams and provide valuable knowledge transfer with case studies, keynotes and insights. Global best-selling author and consultant Michael Gale and British designer James Sommerville, a major influence on the iconic Coca-Cola brand, will open each day of the conference with inspirational keynote presentations. This will be followed by presentations from the five drupa Special Forums: 'drupa cube', 'touchpoint packaging', 'touchpoint textile', 'drupa next age' and '3D fab+print'. The four hot topics Artificial Intelligence, Circular Economy, Connected Consumer and Platform Economy, which will continue to have a decisive impact on the industry, will guide participants through the four-day event. Because the range of inspiring topics is so broad, visitors can plan their personal agenda as early as mid-March. As with an in-person event, visitors will have the flexibility to drop in and out of the virtual special shows and then participate in live web sessions in exhibitors' showrooms.
Exhibitors focus on awareness
Last week, exhibitor Leonhard Kurz signed up as an exclusive Platinum Event Partner for the virtual event, sending a clear signal for an in-depth industry dialogue at virtual.drupa. "drupa has been the leading trade fair for the graphic arts industry since 1954. With our participation in virtual.drupa 2021, we will benefit from its charisma. We look forward to using this platform to bridge the too-long gap between the last real drupa and the next drupa. 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 around the world. Among other things, visitors to virtual.drupa will find real, implementable solutions for Circular Economy and PET recycling at Kurz. We will also be presenting groundbreaking developments in the field of digital embellishment. We will be showing a machine from the Kurz Group that revolutionizes digital embellishment with high-end functions that can be called up very easily," explains Walter Kurz, CEO of Leonhard Kurz Stiftung & Co. KG
Jörg Hartmann, President and Managing Director of 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 happy 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 printing together."
Hermann Veismann, Head of Printing at Windmöller & Hölscher, also sees this virtual industry gathering as an unmissable opportunity for visitors and exhibitors: "drupa has always been the international meeting place for the industry. It brings people, exhibitors and innovations from all over the world together - also digitally. W&H will present innovations around the topics of efficient production, sustainable products and Packaging 4.0 at virtual.drupa. In addition to the W&H CI flexographic and gravure presses, visitors will be able to find out about the latest automation and assistance systems. We are looking forward to a lively exchange."
François Martin, Head of Marketing and Communication at Bobst Group, gives an outlook on innovative applications in packaging production and design: "BOBST intends to share its vision for the packaging world and present solutions for the different industries we serve. We believe that the future of packaging production is based on 4 important pillars: Connectivity, Digitalization, Automation and Sustainability. During the conferences we will be holding and by visiting our virtual booth, visitors will be able to understand where we want to take them. virtual.drupa offers all traditional exhibitors the opportunity to share their vision for the industry and outline key innovations that will help printers and converters target their customers' needs and requirements."
Visitors can already register free of charge at https://virtual.drupa.com/ and get an initial overview of the exhibitors' product ranges. This will enable them to plan their participation in the virtual event as efficiently as possible and with a focus on their individual interests.