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Record number of deals signed at drupa 2024

Print Solutions

drupa 2024 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.


After 11 days drupa 2024 demonstrated the progress of an entire sector and gave proof of the operational excellence of the industry. Some 1643 exhibitors from 52 nations presented an outstanding showcase of innovations in the Düsseldorf exhibition halls and thrilled the trade visitors with unforgettable performances. The international share of the visitors was 80%, with attendees coming from 174 countries – a record figure. After Europe, Asia was the most strongly represented region with 22%, followed by America with 12%. 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, Heidelberg, 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 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% of all visitors confirmed that they had fully achieved the objectives associated with their visit. At over 50%, 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. 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. 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. 


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 €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,’ summarised 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.’ 


The extensive supporting programme with its five special forums drupa cube, drupa next age (dna) and the touchpoints packaging, textile and sustainability was very well received. In times of constant change and the resulting new business models, they ensured an intensive transfer of knowledge and provided important guidance.


The next drupa will take place in 2028.


Pictures courtesy: Messe Düsseldorf/ctillmann.


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