24-05-2012

The 30-something year old drupa virgin

Author: AD Communications

As a relative ‘newbie’ to the print industry I was intrigued about the 4 yearly print extravaganza that is drupa.

Author: AD Communications

As a relative ‘newbie’ to the print industry I was intrigued about the 4 yearly print extravaganza that is drupa.

I had so many questions…was it really as huge as everyone had told me? What kind of venue can hold over 1,800 exhibitors? Can there really be so many printing companies and new innovations?  Is it possible that a print show can last 2 weeks?…

As a number of our clients were exhibiting, the AD office was buzzing on the final days counting down to drupa and involved a lot of the team singing along to ‘that’ song! Some team members more than others…;)

I could never have believed much I would learn about the industry over the 5 days I was there – or how much fun I would have!

As my feet (oh my poor feet!) pounded the halls looking at all the stands, equipment, literature etc, I could not believe how many brands that were completely new to me. I did take the time to learn and observe a bit more about the companies, however this process was a little more difficult than I imagined.

I felt that an astonishingly high number of the exhibitors’ stands simply did not clearly communicate what they did or how their product or service could benefit you as a visitor. A huge business opportunity missed.

Now, I know that as a printer you will have a ‘wish list’ of people and equipment you need to see, so there is an element of tunnel vision due to time and budget constraints. However, surely as an exhibitor your ultimate goal is to tell your story to attract these new business prospects and encourage footfall onto your stand?

Unfortunately for some stands, the opportunity to be eye-catching and succinctly display their brand messaging was completely lost, certainly on a high proportion of stands that I visited. 

The use of colour, themes and ‘experiences’ to draw footfall to some stands was interesting, however it seemed to be the array of applications showcased that ultimately inspired visitors to stay and ask questions to identify ways on how the {product or service} could benefit their business?

The stands that worked very well focused on the customer and not just on the product.

It is crucial to be able to cut through the exhibition ‘clutter’ and convey your ‘story’ to the visitor –  who you are and what you can do for them, as clearly and as quickly as possible.

Over my 5-day visit I had the time to ask a lot of questions, however the busy printer does not have this luxury.

Only now can I can begin to answer my original questions:

  1. Was it really as huge as everyone had told me? YES!
  2. What kind of venue can hold over 1,800 exhibitors? A VERY BIG ONE! Some of the bigger stands were the size of football pitches!
  3. Can there really be so many printing companies and new innovations? Oh yes…mind blowing stuff.
  4.  Is it possible that a print show can last 2 weeks?… It can, and drupa plans continue with this successful format in 2016!

…and I for one cannot wait!