Fujifilm cans Drupa and Interpack plans

Part of the Fujifilm booth at Drupa 2016
Part of the Fujifilm booth at Drupa 2016

Fujifilm has scrapped plans to exhibit at next year’s Interpack and Drupa shows because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Both expos are held at Messe Düsseldorf, with Interpack running from 25 February to 3 March, and Drupa from 20-28 April.

In a statement, Fujifilm said: “Under the circumstances where Covid-19 has become a global epidemic and the spread of infection has not yet come to an end, Fujifilm has made this decision of withdrawal from these exhibitions as a result of giving top priority to ensuring the health and safety of all visitors and employees.

“As the society moves to adjust to a ‘new normal’, remote communication and more efficient way of working at manufacturing sites will be increasingly required in the printing industry.”

At Drupa, Fujifilm had been due to exhibit in Hall 8b, one of two so-called ‘digital halls’ at the north end of showground.

Adjacent Hall 8b exhibitor and former partner Xerox had already pulled out, meaning that two of the three biggest exhibitors in that hall – the other being Konica Minolta – will no longer participate.

Messe Düsseldorf is currently in the process of reformulating the Drupa hall plans, based on exhibitors’ revised requirements that were submitted at the end of August.

Speaking as part of a panel discussion at yesterday’s Visual Media Conference, Sabine Geldermann the director of Drupa and Print Technologies at Messe Düsseldorf, said the organisation faced understandable challenges but had been buoyed by the success of the recent Caravan Salon event – the first event to be held there since expos were halted due to the pandemic –  with some 106,000 visitors attending.

“We continue working on 2021. Some key accounts unfortunately decided due to Covid they are going to quit, but the number is still high in terms of exhibitors,” she said.

“And the key facts are that we have to go on. The industry itself needs a vision and needs a platform to reconnect and to restart the business.”

A number of other exhibitors have reiterated their support for Drupa, with Landa Digital Printing founder Benny Landa stating that the company still intends to exhibit provided the Covid-19 situation allows it to do so.

Italian book finishing specialist Meccanotecnica has also affirmed its support for Drupa, as has German web-to-print software firm Obility. 

Fujifilm said it would use a variety of other channels to communicate with customers during its absence from face-to-face events. The manufacturer had already announced plans to run a live, multi-country virtual event next week – The Real Production Show – inspired by what it would have shown at Drupa 2020 had the show taken place this year.

Drupa has also launched its own online event, Drupa Preview