Throughout the latter stages of 2011 drupa asked all readers of the drupa media partners including Australian Printer why they will be visiting the industry’s most influential exhibition and what they are keen to learn more about. Here are the key findings
Survey participants were from Europe, South America, Asia, Australia, North America, Africa, Middle East and Russia.
The key countries of survey participants were in order or number of respondents: Brazil, Turkey, Greece, India, UK, Germany, Australia and Italy, highlighting the ongoing strong interest of Aussie printers in the world’s biggest trade show.
The top three reasons printers around the world gave to visit drupa are: to look for new opportunities; to learn about market trends; and to get a general overview in combination with networking. Market trends and equipment are the major issues participants are looking to research as they seek to find new ways to develop their businesses, to grow revenue opportunities and to promote added value.
And when the visitors arrive, it is digital printing that is top of most people’s must-sees. The breakdown of top solutions printers are coming to see: digital printing, 68.1 per cent; offset printing, 51.7; automisation/workflow, 32.5; and web to print, 28.2.
The combination of automisation/workflow and web to print results in a staggering 61 per cent, putting it in second place just after digital printing. This indicates how important automation has become as companies seek ways to reduce material costs and order to delivery time. We all know that the industry is facing challenges. The key areas of concernwere: moving the business forward, 63.5 per cent; possibilities for expansion 39.7; and holding on to customers, 24.8. A few participants even stated that they are in survival mode, looking for new ways to differentiate and diversify.
To overcome these challenges, many are investigating how to improve productivity and move to other market areas as well as possible new investments. Innovation is key and as such it is vendors who develop creative solutions with a high level of automation that will be the most popular.
As for equipment investment, there is a whole gamut of interest, driven by the trend for innovation, moving into new market areas and expanding the offering. The good news is as much as 77 per cent of visitors have immediate access to the required finance - mainly through bank loans.
The industry is keen to get social with Facebook, the number one personal route (79 per cent) followed by LinkedIn (46 per cent) in the professional area. Xing is also a popular social network, mainly with the German respondents. The preferred way to communicate is still phone, emails, and then social media with Facebook and Twitter. It is also interesting to note, for some, live contact, rather than virtual, was important.
The most common communication sources that visitors will use to prepare their drupa visit are: drupa web site, 67.4 per cent; trade magazines, 60.1; trade web sites, 36.6; social media, 28.5. On average, printers plan to monitor these once a week during the months before the show.Drupa initiatives are attracting interest with the most popular being DIP (Drupa Innovation Park) with 95.1 per cent followed by the cube.
Some 87.3 per cent of the respondees planning to come to the show are men and the biggest age group is those from 35 to 45 years. Of those planning to come, 52.7 per cent occupy CEO or CFO functions. They are coming from: offset printing, 62.2 per cent; digital printing, 53.2; services, 38.2; and prepress, 36.5.
Having service in the third slot confirms the trend of diversification and expansion while also looking at the annuity versus one-time business profit model. In conclusion, we we can see that while the industry is facing challenges everyone involved in it, no matter where they are geographically based, is working hard to find solutions that fit their business models of today and those of the future.
This year’s drupa takes place May 3 – 16 in the usual venue of Dusseldorf’s Messe Centre. Eastern Suburbs Travel is running a range of tours of either one week, two weeks or short stays, with various airfare and partner options.