Ricoh and Canon latest to exit drupa
Digital print giants Ricoh and Canon are the latest big names to pull out of the rescheduled drupa, joining a growing list of major exhibitors saying nein to Düsseldorf in April.
An increasing number of the larger exhibitors feel they are facing too much uncertainty, despite the best efforts of the show organiser. The mega show is six months away, and a second wave of Covid cases is sweeping Europe and there is no vaccine yet on the horizon. Exhibitors are cancelling rather than investing the millions of euros it costs to participate in drupa.
Of the top 20 exhibitors, Koenig & Bauer, Kurz, Landa, and Windmöller & Hölscher are committed to going, with Xeikon, Konica Minolta, and RMGT still on the list. However, the roll call of those major names not attending is large and growing, and now includes the majority of offset and digital press developers, and several finishing solutions suppliers.
Both Ricoh and Canon will now switch to hosting their own events and using virtual tools, with Ricoh in Australia just finishing a refurb of all its showrooms and demo centres around the country, and Canon using its Customer Experience Centre when restrictions ease in Victoria.
The 2020 drupa has had a troubled gestation from the start. It was first scheduled for 2019, with the organiser switching to a three-year cycle. However, the major exhibitors baulked so the show was switched back to four years. But, by then, the traditional end-of-April slot was taken, so the show had to be moved to the end of June. After Covid erupted, organisers rescheduled the show to April next year and shortened it.
The virus has wiped out the print expo, conference, and awards industry; no face-to-face events have taken place in Australia since March, and none will take place before next year.
State border restrictions remain in place in Australia and international visitors are effectively banned. Germany has itself banned visitors from countries that traditionally supply large drupa contingents including the US, China, and India.