PrintWeek had been unable to find any major exhibitors that were in favour of the three-year frequency announced last year, and there was a view that the world’s biggest print expo could have been diminished if it had pressed ahead with the plans in the face of opposition from key exhibitors.
Explaining the decision to stick with the familiar four-year cycle, Werner Dornscheidt, president and chief executive officer of Messe Düsseldorf, said the show’s USP was the fact that so much equipment is running at the show.
The amount of equipment running live could have been seriously scaled back if exhibitors had been forced to stretch their marketing budgets to accommodate a Drupa every three years.
“Therefore in the interest of our customers and international markets, Drupa will stick to its four-year cycle,” Dornscheidt stated.
He also said that the decision to shorten the show to 11 days, from 14, had been correct.
Immediately after the news was announced at Drupa, UV integration specialist Integration Technology summed up the feelings of many by tweeting: “Much better idea, like the saying goes "if it isn't broke don't fix it.”
HP Inc is the biggest exhibitor at Drupa 2016. Commenting on the news, François Martin, worldwide marketing director, said: “Drupa 2016 is a huge success demonstrating the value of digital print becoming mainstream. The four-year cycle provides the best platform to bring meaningful innovations to customers. We are pleased by the decision and are committed to further surprising and delighting visitors as we are doing today in Hall 17.”
However, it does mean that the Messe will have to deal with its two biggest shows in the same year. Interpack is already scheduled to take place from 14-20 May 2020. This means that Drupa 2020 will have to take place later in the year, and will run from 23 June to 3 July.
Drupa 2016 runs until Friday (10 June), and around 200,000 visitors from 183 countries have visited the show so far. The overseas visitor figure was described as “extremely high” with some 78% coming from abroad.
Messe Dusseldorf will also redevelop part of the fairground by the time of the next Drupa, halls 1 and 2 are to be rebuilt, with work starting next year.