The third pre-drupa Media Week to be organised by leading UK-based print and graphic communications consultancy, AD Communications, on behalf of drupa owner and organiser, Messe Düsseldorf, has seen a 130-strong corps of print journalists from around the world descend on drupa city.
The media representatives are being briefed first-hand about the state of arrangements for the greatest show in print this year, as well as the exhibition plans of exhibitors, Heidelberg, Domino, Dalim, Presstek, Ricoh, Screen, EFI, Xerox, Fujifilm, Kodak.
Journalists heard from Messe Düsseldorf president and CEO, Werner M. Dornscheidt, that some 1648 exhibitors (including five from Australia), had booked 173,177sq m of exhibition space at drupa 2008 and that there is a waiting list for any available space.
As expected, Germany is providing the largest number of exhibitors, with 605 (37 per cent), with Italy providing 160 exhibitors. Perhaps the shape of things to come, China is next with a compliment of 121 exhibitors, just ahead of Great Britain with 117.
Dornscheidt commended intending drupa visitors to purchase their drupa tickets online for deeply discounted prices; purchase of online tickets, he told journalists, also availed drupa visitors of the use of free public transport in and around Düsseldorf and from as far afield as Cologne, 45 minutes away by train.
In his welcoming remarks, Albrecht Bolza-Schünemann, president of drupa 2008 and CEO of Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA), reflected on the debut of drupa in Düsseldorf 57 years ago. Despite the widespread development and adoption of new media, "more paper, cardboard, foils and other materials are currently being printed than ever before," he says.
According to Bolza-Schunemann, a total of almost 500 million tonnes of print is produced each year, of which approximately 100 million tonnes alone are for commercial purposes, with a far greater amount for packaging use.
"Global volumes of print climb from year to year by three to five per cent," says Bolza-Schunemann. "In highly populous nations such as India and China, growth is even in the double digits."
He says that even newspaper circulation overall is growing, due to double-digital growth rates in emerging markets, and that the growth of packaging production and consumption is substantial, all of which suggests a continuing bright future for print - and the importance of planning a visit to drupa 2008.
Organisers are expecting 400,000 visitors over the 14 days of drupa 2008, as well as 3500 journalists to report on the event and the trends unveiled.
In addition to official presentations from the organisers, both Heidelberg and Domino gave the graphic arts press corps some idea of what to expect on their stands at drupa 2008 this May and June.
Hei Performance, Hei Value
Heidelberg senior vice president Global Marketing, Adriana M. Nuneva, told journalists that her company participated in some 120 shows globally each year; as a result, Heidelberg has developed an ongoing strategy for handling such events, building on knowledge and experience gained from each successive event.
In addition to its tried and true focus on product solutions, customer care, workflow competence and application marketing, Heidelberg will introduce Business Consulting including running a successful print shop and process calculation to its drupa 2008 presentation on 7800sq m over two halls.
"Our objective with our product and service offerings is to make Heidelberg customers the most competitive," Nuneva explains.
For the first time ever, an entire hall will be devoted by Heidelberg to Packaging Print Solutions, including special applications and very large format as well as integrated packaging production.
A raised Hei Way running through the halls will give visitors perspective over the total range of Heidelberg solutions; everything from the Hei School, through Anicolor, Prinect Integration, One Pass Productivity, Small and Medium Format Solutions to Polar print finishing devices.
Heidelberg will also be showing off its educations services via the Print Media Academy (PMA) as well as its recently re-branded Saphira line of printing consumables.
Domino does digital
British inkjet specialist, Domino Printing Sciences plc is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and looking forward to a successful drupa outing, during which it will launch four new products.
With annual turnover of approximately US$500m, 64 per cent of its output is destined for use in primary packaging, with 11 per cent derived from commercial printing, a segment which Domino is seeking to grow substantially, according to Domino's commercial printing product director, Philip Easton.
This drupa, Domino will launch its Bitjet+ v4.5 which it says sets new standards for binary inkjet; the K150, a third generation drop on demand printer; the L400, a new thermal print head technology developed by Lexmark; and BaseLine, Domino's first offline handling solution.