Screen becomes latest Drupa withdrawal

Richard Stuart-Turner
Thursday, September 3, 2020

Screen Graphic Solutions has become the latest high-profile exhibitor to pull out of Drupa 2021.

Screen had been due to show the PacJet FL830 at Drupa 2020
Screen had been due to show the PacJet FL830 at Drupa 2020

In a statement posted on its website, the Japanese manufacturer said it has made the decision not to participate “based on sensible precautions after considering the current circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic and the growing opportunities for virtual experiences provided by new communications technologies”.

Screen added that with both market and social conditions undergoing drastic changes, the company believes it “is essential to accelerate timely communication with our customers and partners”.

“We are continuously creating both virtual and physical communication opportunities designed to ensure the best possible experience,” the statement continued.

Known for its digital high-speed inkjet printers, label and packaging presses, wide-format industrial machinery and pre-press systems, Screen had lined up a range of new technology to show at Drupa 2020 before it was delayed due to the pandemic, including the PacJet FL830, an inkjet press aimed at the flexible packaging market that uses water-based inks.

August marked a critical phase for Drupa organiser Messe Dusseldorf, with exhibitors required to confirm their stand requirements by the end of the month.

In early July, Heidelberg, which had a big presence in the new Hall 1, announced that it was pulling out, following in the footsteps of Xerox and Bobst who both said in May that they had decided not to exhibit at the expo, which will now take place from April 20-28 2021.

Italian post-press equipment specialist Sitma, Japanese press manufacturer Komori and Germany-headquartered but UK-owned manufacturer Manroland Sheetfed have also all recently said that they will no longer exhibit.

During July the Messe Düsseldorf published new guidance around how future trade fairs will run in a ‘Covid-secure’ manner, with its first expo since it pressed pause on shows due to open its doors tomorrow.

One longstanding Drupa attendee and exhibitor told Printweek: “Aside from all of the issues around travel and social distancing, the big question has been will enough visitors show up to make it worthwhile being there? What could you do with all that money [to exhibit at Drupa] to directly address your customers and potential customers?"

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