2024 Drupa Preview: 11-Day Global Trade Fair for Print Technologies Starts May 28

The printing industry is alive and changing. Commercial print-service providers have used digital printing technologies to forge new business models and develop new products and services to replace the declining demand for high volumes of printed magazines, newspapers, catalogs, and marketing collateral. Some printing firms are bringing new interactive-print capabilities to omnichannel marketing or getting into industrial segments such as packaging, textiles, apparel decorating, or printed electronics.

Some of the newest, more industrial, and sustainable advances in digital printing technologies will be highlighted at the drupa global trade fair that runs from May 28 through June 7, 2024 in Düsseldorf, Germany.

The dupa trade fair will feature 1420 exhibitors from more than 50 countries in 18 exhibit halls with a net area of approximately 140,000 square meters (more than 1.5 million sq. ft.) .

The exhibitors will demonstrate the state of the printing industry’s art and technologies plus innovations that will shape the future of printing.

Many sessions and exhibits will showcase how the digitalization of printing processes can complement analog processes in both commercial printing and industrial environments.

entrance to drupa trade fair
The drupa trade fair is typically held every four years. Because drupa 2020 was cancelled due to the Covid shutdowns, this will be the first in-person drupa trade show since 2016. (Photo copyright: Messe Düsseldorf / ctillmann )

Five Focused Forums

The drupa forums will offer updates on all facets of printing technologies, provide networking opportunities for start-ups and small businesses, and examine some of the latest developments related to package design and printing, as well as textile manufacturing and printing. Sustainability efforts within the printing and paper industries will also be featured.

Topics such as automation, artificial intelligence, the platform economy, and connectivity will take center stage within each forum.

Drupa Cube. This trends-oriented forum will feature more than 50 educational sessions and five keynote sessions. Industry thought leaders and visionaries will will address broad questions such as:

  • Why is printing more important than ever in the digital age?
  • Why do customers not always perceive printed products as sustainable?
  • How do you calculate your carbon footprint?

The “Business Booster” sessions in this forum will cover a mix of topics such as:

  • printed electronics solutions for sustainable, smart packaging
  • how to generate ideas and launch new products
  • simple strategies for navigating environmental regulations
  • how to grow market share by unlocking your power as a trusted advisor
  • the role of substrates in flagging brand values
  • what Gen Z and the creator economy means for printers

Drupa Touchpoint: Sustainability. This forum will highlight some of the challenges, solutions, and visions for greater sustainability within the printing and paper industries. Although the print and packaging industries are already using manufacturing procedures that save energy and resources, drupa will highlight evolving trends that can help achieve the goal of a circular economy.

Some of the questions to be addressed include:

  • How can the use of material and printing ink be reduced to a minimum?
  • How can energy and resources consumption during production be reduced?
  • How can inks of all kinds be recycled?
  • How can finishing processes be implemented in an environmentally friendly way?

Drupa Touchpoint Packaging: This forum concentrates on visionary, intelligent packaging solutions. It brings brand owners together with designers, print service providers and converters.

Students and young talents will partner with exhibitors to consider unique packaging solutions for folding boxes, labels, flexible packaging and corrugated cardboard. Important questions about sustainability and e-commerce will also be discussed.

  • What is important when designing sustainable packaging concepts?
  • How is AI becoming a driver of innovation in packaging production and design?
  • What are some of the megatrends of sustainability and digitalization?

Touchpoint packaging was designed as an inspiration hub with five subject areas:

  • Neo-ecology focuses on the circular economy and sustainability;
  • Connectivity examines cutting-edge technologies;
  • Glocalization offers ideas on balancing global efficiency and local relevance’
  • Consumer Mind will present the most important consumer trends; and
  • Future Regulations will provide information on dealing with new sustainability requirements.

Drupa Touchpoint Textile: Drupa attendees can see how inkjet technology has opened new business possibilities within the apparel, fashion, interior design, architecture and automotive sectors.

By demonstrating what’s possible with short-run, on-demand manufacturing, digital textile printing has become a driving force of business innovation and growth within the global textile and apparel industry.

Tne world’s first digital textile micro-factory will be displayed the Touchpoint Textile forum. The micro-factory will be a fully connected, integrated process chain – from digital simulation to design and from animation and virtual rendering to production.

Drupa DNA: This “drupa-next-age” forum caters to young companies that find it difficult to make the right contacts to bring innovative solutions to market. Newcomers, young talents, start-ups and established companies can network to find partners for cooperation or exchange innovative business ideas. For some participants, this is the first chance ever to present their businesses to an international audience of experts.

For details regarding the program, partners and speakers of each special forum, see: https://www.drupa.de/de/Programm

For More Information

drupa 2024 is open from Tuesday, May 28 through Friday, June 7, 2024. A 1-day ticket costs 60 euros, a 3-day ticket 165 euros, and a 5-day ticket 255 euros. Information about parking tickets and tickets for public transport is also available at the ticket shop: www.drupa.de/1130.

For more information, see www.drupa.de. The drupa blog is available at: www.drupa.de/de/Media_News/drupa_blog