Celebrating the global print industry: record number of deals signed at drupa 2024

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drupa 2024 exceeded all expectations. It received top marks from visitors from all over the world, who left the trade fair with new ideas and clear prospects for the future. Numerous contracts signed and technological innovations inspired the print and packaging industry.

drupa 2024: 1,643 exhibitors from 52 nations; international share of visitors was 80%, with attendees coming from 174 countries. After Europe, Asia was the most strongly represented region with 22%, followed by America with 12%.  Many key players, such as Bobst, Canon, Fujifilm, Heidelberg, HP, Horizon, Koenig & Bauer, Komori, Konica Minolta, Kurz and Landa, reported having signed contracts, significantly exceeding expectations. In some cases, the sales targets set were already achieved in the first few days of the trade fair.

Andreas Pleßke, Chairman of the drupa Committee, emphasized the exceptional position and relevance of drupa: “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. Nowhere else offers the opportunity to make so many new international contacts from all over the world in such a short space of time.” Around 96% of all visitors confirmed that they had fully achieved the objectives associated with their visit. Over 50% 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. Many well-known brand owners were welcomed at the trade fair stands. In total, 170,000 trade visitors attended drupa 2024.

Automation took centre stage at this year’s drupa, with a strong focus on AI and smart workflows, including software solutions and drupa made it abundantly clear that the industry has great potential for the future, even against the backdrop of many challenges, and that the prospects are promising. In the last financial year, the global printing industry achieved a turnover of around EUR 840 billion (source: Smithers) and continues to develop at varying pace worldwide.

“At drupa 2024, we experienced first hand just how relevant and resilient this industry is,” summarises 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 organisations chose drupa as the ideal setting for their conferences and board meetings. Together we are stronger. Many new strategic alliances concluded at the trade fair reflected the opportunities that are only possible in such a concentrated form at drupa”.

Sustainable technologies and knowledge transfer
Technology is the key to achieving sustainability goals – exhibitors at drupa illustrated this with numerous practice-orientated developments and concrete solutions. Top priority is given to resource efficiency and the path to a functioning circular economy. The extensive supporting programme with its five high-calibre special forums (drupa cube, drupa next age (dna) and the Touchpoints Packaging, Textile and Sustainability) was very well received.