Updated: Kodak pulls out of Drupa due to Covid uncertainty

Jo Francis
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Kodak has become the latest big-name exhibitor to withdraw from Drupa 2021.

Kodak's booth at the last Drupa in 2016
Kodak's booth at the last Drupa in 2016

The US-headquartered manufacturer had been due to exhibit in Hall 5 alongside Miraclon, the business formed from the spin-off of its flexographic packaging division.

In a brief statement Kodak CEO and executive chairman Jim Continenza said the ongoing pandemic had caused it to re-think.

“Kodak’s commitment to the safety of our employees and customers during the Covid-19 pandemic is paramount. The continued concerns and impacts of the pandemic make it difficult for us to commit resources for such an event in these uncertain times,” he said.

“Kodak will continue to invest in the print industry, doubling down on digital print and delivering the products our customers need to drive productivity and growth as the industry evolves.”

Kodak had originally intended to exhibit at Drupa 2020, which would have taken place in June, with the message of “Taking Print Further”.

Its product line spans toner and inkjet digital printing with the NexPress, Prosper and Ultrastream presses, as well as workflow and printing plates. 

Rival Fujifilm announced that it would not participate in Drupa 2021, or Interpack, last week.

Swiss gluing systems specialist Robatech, which had been due to exhibit at Drupa in Hall 12, has also pulled out citing safety fears. It was due to exhibit alongside US partner WH Leary, which has also cancelled plans to attend.

In a statement, the firm said: “In Robatech's opinion, there is a residual risk to the health of persons in connection with a visit to a trade fair despite protective concepts and hygiene requirements.

“In addition, there are more difficult conditions for travel and restrictions that strongly influence the trade fair experience.

Robatech will also not be present at Interpack, or the CCE, Interzum and Ligna trade fairs in March and May 2021.

It said it would promote its products via alternative channels instead.

Messe Düsseldorf had not commented on the withdrawals at the time of writing.

The Messe has just issued a bulletin to Drupa exhibitors highlighting the success of the Caravan Salon show – its first show to be held since expos were allowed to run again — and highlighting the various measures that have been take for Covid-secure exhibitions.

The bulletin said: “We receive positive feedback from many exhibitors. For them, Drupa is indispensable and they are doing their utmost to help us make Drupa 2021 a high-quality trade fair experience.

“In Düsseldorf you will experience top-class knowledge transfer, successful networking and gain insights into the most relevant product innovations from exhibitors along the entire value chain. The trade fair's nine days will help decision-makers determine the course their companies will take in the future.”

Drupa 2021 is scheduled for 20-28 April, and is preceded by Interpack, which has some common exhibitors, and runs from 25 February to 3 March.

Earlier this week UK-headquartered PLC Informa, which has a large B2B exhibitions and events business, said that it had extended its postponement plans for physical events in EMEA and North America to “mid-late Spring 2021”.

“This will de-risk the early months of the year, providing a longer period to move beyond COVID-19 disruption, exposure to a second wave of the virus through the winter months in the Northern Hemisphere and the other side of the US presidential election,” Informa stated.



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