Around 170,000 visitors attended the recent drupa 2024 exhibition in Düsseldorf, Germany, as the global event for the print industry returned after an eight-year absence caused by COVID.

The visitor numbers are somewhat reduced from the last show in 2016, which saw 260,000 visitors, but organisers have put a positive spin on matters, with Erhard Wienkamp, managing director at Messe Düsseldorf, the venue, saying, ‘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.’

There were 1643 exhibitors from 52 nations present, attracting visitors from 174 countries, which is claimed to be a record. Visitor surveys suggested that almost all (about 96%) considered they had achieved all their objectives at drupa 2024.

Digitalisation, sustainability, transformation and growth were all key themes of the event, which featured several different streams of educational content.

Sabine Geldermann, event director for drupa, remarked that the exhibition showed how ‘relevant and resilient’ the print industry is. She said, ‘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 next drupa is scheduled to be held in 2028.