However, Drupa 2016 director Sabine Geldermann said that at its heart the show will always be a print technology event and that the new focuses are a part of the show's ongoing evolution over its 60-year history.
“Within four years the industry continually develops, so adding new product categories is logical. The fact that the European graphic arts industries in particular are, perhaps, not in the best environment right now, then, with our partners, it makes sense to include new technologies that cover the whole cosmos of print,” she said.
“Of course our heritage is still in the graphics arts industry and Drupa has always been the place to show cutting-edge technologies in that area, but we will also look at other technologies that will generate some of the opportunities in the future, so that we can continue to be the mirror of the market.”
With this in mind, Messe Düsseldorf has dubbed Drupa “no. 1 for print and crossmedia solutions” and the 31 May to 10 June 2016 event will feature the strapline “touch the future”.
One of the goals of the new focus is to engage with new visitor as well as new exhibitor groups and, to support this, the event has realigned its disciplines to better reflect the industry.
The six redefined categories are: Pre-press/print; pre-media/multichannel; post-press/converting/package printing; future technologies; materials; and equipment/services/infrastructure.
Within these categories, elements such as packaging, multi-channel publishing and the environment will benefit from a higher profile than at previous Drupas.
“These areas of application already featured in previous Drupa shows, but they never acquired an important status in this event’s strategic alignment,” said Messe Düsseldorf president and chief executive Werner Dornscheidt.
“This is where we come in: we will change the position of the Drupa trade fair by introducing relevant activities, events, event formats and systematically addressing the industry’s target groups.”
The new focus was signed off by the VDMA and Drupa committee, which now includes a number of major digital vendors, in February and unveiled at Interpack yesterday (Monday, 12 May).
Exhibitor bookings opened last week and Geldermann said that early indicators were that bookings were strong and that while it was very early days, she was hopeful that Drupa 2016 will fill all of Messe Düsseldorf’s halls and match the 2012 event’s net 165,000sqm or 300,000sqm-plus gross.
“We’re very much in contact with the big players and will hopefully conclude some of those discussions soon,” she added.
Exhibitor bookings will close in late October.