drupa 2024 draws 170,000 trade visitors from 174 countries

Messe Düsseldorf summarizes a recently closed trade show, which exceeded visitor expectations and recorded many signed deals.

After 11 days, during which 1,643 exhibitors from 52 nations showcased their innovations, drupa 2024 in Düsseldorf concluded with 170,000 trade visitors from 174 countries. The event exceeded visitor expectations and recorded one of the most signed deals.

The international share of the visitors was 80 percent, with attendees coming from 174 countries - a record figure. After Europe, Asia was the most strongly represented region with 22 percent, followed by America with 12 percent. Asia as well as Latin America and the MENA region are markets with great growth potential, which was reflected in the significant increase in exhibitors' presence and order books.

Many key players, such as Bobst, Canon, Fujifilm, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen, HP, Horizon, Koenig & Bauer, Komori Konica Minolta, Kurz and Landa, reported having signed contracts that significantly exceeded expectations. In some cases, the sales targets set were already achieved in the first few days of the trade fair.

Erhard Wienkamp, managing director at Messe Düsseldorf, said: ‘drupa has underpinned its position as the industry’s leading trade fair and its unique appeal in a remarkable way. The impressive international flair and, above all, the high decision-making competence of the visitors ensured in-depth and well-founded technical discussions at the trade fair stands on the one hand and many direct investment decisions on the other. Our exhibitors told us about large-volume purchase agreements.’

Dr Andreas Pleßke, chairman of the drupa committee, added: ‘drupa stands for new approaches and new technologies like no other trade fair. It is not only the largest but also the most important global platform for our industry because the entire printing and post-press industry meets at the world-leading trade fair. It has been invaluable for generating leads. Nowhere else offers the opportunity to make so many new international contacts from all over the world in such a short space of time in one place.’

Exhibitors praised the high level of decision-making competence of visitors. They, in turn, gave top marks to the range of products and services on offer in the 18 exhibition halls. Around 96 percent of all visitors confirmed that they had fully achieved the objectives associated with their visit. At over 50 percent, most of them came from the printing industry, followed by the packaging industry, whose share has increased significantly, and which was the focus of many exhibitors as a growth driver.

Automation took center stage at this year’s event, with a strong focus on AI and smart workflows, including software. It became clear that digital and analogue technologies ideally complement and benefit from each other. Traditional industry leaders presented a wide range of digital solutions, while digital pioneers integrated conventional components into their offerings. Robotics played an important role in the exhibition halls and illustrated the path towards the smart factory.

‘At drupa 2024, we experienced first-hand just how relevant and resilient this industry is,’ said Sabine Geldermann, director drupa, Portfolio Print Technologies. ‘The community is determined to set the course for the future together. Exchanging ideas with people from all continents and from all areas of the industry was extremely enriching and inspiring. We were able to welcome around 50 large delegations from various nations, and numerous globally active associations and organizations chose drupa as the ideal setting for their conferences and board meetings.’

Technology is the key to achieving sustainability goals - exhibitors at drupa illustrated this with numerous practice-orientated developments. Top priority is given to resource efficiency and the path to a functioning circular economy. In addition, Touchpoint Sustainability from the VDMA, the German Machinery and Equipment Manufacturers’ Association, showcased current state of the art innovations, presented best-practice use cases and gave a far-reaching outlook into the future of a sustainable printing industry.

The next drupa will be held in 2028.