By Andreas Weber | Click to access german version
Seldom has the run-up to drupa as a global trade fair for printing and paper technology been so exciting. Seldom have we been able to conduct so many interesting talks prior to drupa as now. There is hardly any exhibitor who can still afford to have a silo mentality (“My Innovations — My World”). It is rather more a question of “How do we align ourselves in an interlinked world marked by digitalisation?”
Industry leader Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG was one of the first exhibitors to express this when it revealed its new drupa motto “Simply Smart” at its year-end press conference held at the beginning of December 2015. Smart means: Making interlinked, relevant, consistent and interactive new solutions possible for the communication of printed matter at various levels. (See my commentary and real-time report “Heideldruck 4.0: Zurück in die Zukunft | Back to the future”.)
The smartly chosen highlight themes of drupa 2016 point the way ahead. And emphasise a greatly expanded range of products to be exhibited: In addition to the “standards” Print and Packaging as well as Green Printing, there are now 3D Printing, Functional Printing and Multichannel.
If you thoroughly reflect on these themes, you will come to the realisation that they do not introduce a new silo mentality. On the contrary. Multichannel pervades all the themes of drupa 2016, since it is what defines the basic principle of how innovations need to be staged. Packaging, 3D Printing and Functional Printing open up completely new business opportunities that make the drupa this year more attractive than ever for new target groups. The novelty: The new opportunities call for a new type of cooperation among technology providers, their users and their customers (brand companies/commercial enterprises, organisations, etc.).
“Time for a Change: Touch the Future NOW!”
Our focus in the coverage and commentary will be oriented to the above-mentioned new understanding of drupa 2016. First, with a 100% multichannel approach in trade communication through ValuePublishing. Second, through addressing new target groups in the culture and creative industries — with annual revenues of €146 billion — as the key innovation drivers for the economy as a whole.
We will be providing highly topical content in real time on all the drupa highlight themes. As for the technology trends in print and packaging, the latest digital printing applications will receive our full attention. Finishing and innovative solutions in paper technology are also relevant when it comes to the success of print in the communications mix.
We are having an exciting time analysing the types of themes and activities that certain exhibitors will be able to muster up. There are bound to be some surprises in this area. That HP with its Graphic Solution Business division, for instance, may end up for the first time being the biggest exhibitor. Or that, if we consider our analyses from the Canon Expo 2015, imaging specialist Canon may very well be the only exhibitor to cover all six drupa highlight themes!
It will also be extremely revealing to know what impact the split of the Xerox Corporation into two companies will have and how its claim to leadership will be represented. In any case, with its subsidiary XMPie, Xerox is the trendsetter in multichannel innovations.
We already published a series of extraordinary conversations with leading multichannel experts. Please click and read:
- ValueDialog with Jacob Aizikowitz, XMPie President:
Multichannel leads to sustainable business success in the digital age!
- ValueDialog with Christian Kopocz, Multichannel Entrepreneur und Executive Director XMPie User Group (XUG): Multichannel ensures relevance!
- ValueDialog with Patrick Donner, TraffiC Print Online Solutions GmbH:
New take on multichannel communications: “There is no either/or!”
- ValueDialog with Renato Vögeli, Vögeli AG Medienproduktion & Druck:
Multichannel turns communication into a personal experience!
More and up-to-the-minute news coming soon. The excitement is growing – and we’re excited, too, because: drupa ante portas!
Our pre-drupa coverage highlights are as follows:
- Daily tweets/posts on LinkedIn, XING (German Section Digital Printing Forum) Facebook, Google Plus as well as Twitter via @ValueCommAG and @zeitenwende007.
- Weekly overview of global innovations in print and publishing, in association with our ValuePublishing partner Mike Hilton, Editor-in-Chief, Graphic Repro On-Line via the ValueBlog. See:
- A series of dozens of exclusive interviews with top-class drupa exhibitors. (See sample, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, Harald Weimer, Member of the Management Board).
- Expert commentary and talks on trends and prospects from the trade fair visitors’ point of view.
- Live reports from selected exhibitor press conferences as well as from the drupa media week, March 1 and 2, 2016 in Dusseldorf.
- Commentary on current market data of the VDMA, Printing and Paper Technology Section, on April 4, 2016 at an exclusive meeting of experts in Frankfurt am Main.