Industry manufacturers and suppliers that were forced to shelve their plans to attend physical events because of the pandemic, including EFI, Fujifilm, Heidelberg, Kodak and HP, have returned to support Virtual.Drupa, which runs over four days from 20-23 April.
Digital vendors participating include Landa Digital Printing, Xeikon, Riso, Mimaki and Konica Minolta; while manufacturers Komori, Manroland Goss Web Systems, Koenig & Bauer, Bobst, BlueCrest and Muller Martini are also taking part.
Organiser Messe Düsseldorf said it was delighted to have added so many high-profile participants.
“We are very pleased to welcome more outstanding exhibitors and major global players such as HP Inc. and Landa Digital Printing from Israel. Both companies enrich virtual.drupa with their impressive range of innovations in the field of digital printing technologies and their extensive applications, ” said Sabine Geldermann, project director print technologies.
The event involves a conference area with keynote speaker programme, an exhibition space, and a networking plaza.
Specific themes are explored across the four days, including Artificial Intelligence, the Circular Economy, Connected Consumers, and the Platform Economy.
Keynote speakers are Michael Gale of Inc.Digital who will talk about AI, print and graphic designer James Sommerville on “the creative business model of tomorrow”, and Dr Gabrielle Walker whose topic is the implications of the climate megatrend for the printing industry.
Virtual.Drupa’s platinum sponsor is foiling and embellishment specialist Kurz, which is exhibiting with the theme ‘The Nature of Attraction’, and has online seminars planned around its latest digital foiling technology, hot foil stamping and cold foiling with relevance to designers, brand owners and printers.
Fujifilm is to take part with a fresh iteration of its established Real Production Show, “the ultimate edition” involving a live half-hour event on the first day of Virtual.Drupa, when the presenters will also take the wraps off some new developments at the manufacturer.
This will be followed by the chance for an interactive Q&A session with the hosts Taro Aoki, head of digital press solutions for EMEA, and product manager for digital print and press systems Mark Stephenson.
A number of UK manufacturers are also participating including GEW which will showcase its LeoLED UV system in a session on 21 April, Global Graphics Software, Meteor Inkjet, and proofing and coating device specialists RK PrintCoat Instruments.
Just under 390 exhibitors had signed up at the time of writing, with the top three exhibiting countries Germany (127), China (49) and the USA (27).
For more information and to register, visit virtual.drupa.com.
Update: fans of the Drupa song, which in normal times would be played every morning as the expo opens, will be pleased to know that there will be a song to mark Virtual.Drupa 2021. A preview clip can be found on Drupa’s Facebook page, here.
For those wanting to take a trip down musical memory line, you can find past Drupa songs on the Cult of Drupa Songs Facebook page, put together by superfan Mark Stephenson. Enjoy!