Messe Dusseldorf has commissioned a series of global trend reports to be published in the run up to Drupa 2016.
Four surveys, on which the trend reports will be based, will be carried out between early 2014 and the start of the Düsseldorf trade fair in 2016.
Around 65,000 "top decision-makers" listed on Messe Dusseldorf’s database of previous Drupa visitors, will be invited to take part in the surveys.
The questionnaires are currently being developed in partnership with Printfuture in the UK and Swiss market research firm Wissler & Partner and will focus on specific areas affecting the printing industry across the world.
The first will explore what impact the transition to online communication is having on the printing industry as well as the opportunities that it presents for printers. The subject of subsequent surveys, which could examine areas such as cross-media and digital take up, will be decided closer to their publications.
Printfuture managing director Neil Falconer, who is developing the questions and will provide a "deep analysis" of the data, said the new reports could potentially be the most important in the industry yet and the first to give a "true global sense of what is going on in different regions".
"Unlike the smaller, more localised surveys that are quite common in the industry and tend to be around install numbers, this will be on a much larger scale and will focus on specific trends in different geographical regions and how printers are adapting to them," he said.
Alternating with the trend reports will be the Drupa barometer, which will provide data from the same respondents but will be an overview of the state of the industry, investments and global install numbers. The first barometer is due to be published in January with a further three before Drupa 2016.
Messe Düsseldorf president and chief executive Werner Dornscheidt said: "In view of the fundamental structural changes in the print industry, current and comprehensive information and market data is more important than ever."
"With these new tools we can provide our exhibitors and the industry as a whole with important new insights thereby delivering vital information for strategic decision-making."
"I expect these results to also produce concrete, valuable information for the strategic development of Drupa," he added.
Both the Drupa trend and barometer reports, which will be available in print or to download on www.drupa.de, will be free to those that took part in the surveys and to exhibitors, while others will pay €249 per copy.