Live from drupa 2012! 

by Pat McGrew

The first couple of days at drupa 2012 have been exhilarating! The weather has been gentle, spots of rain and clouds but generally more than enough time to get outside of the halls for a quick whiff of fresh air and a bit of quiet. If you have never been to a big print show, they are loud. I am stationed in Hall 4 next to an amazing Muller artini Sigma Line that is making books live on the show floor that will be sold in in Italy. Frequently an EMT perforating unit is running to demonstrate dynamic perforations on direct mail jobs. Competing with the machines are booth presentations coming from all directions to attract hall visitors to the stand, provide some education, and tease announcements. It’s an all out assault on the senses, and it is a lot of fun!

The wonderful thing about drupa is that you can come with a shopping list of things you want to see and an agenda of meetings with trusted vendors, and end up seeing technologies that make you rethink your workflows, your equipment choices, and even the types of printing that you offer your customers. It can be a sign caught out of the corner of the eye while hurrying past all of the folks who want to stop you and pitch their solutions that gets your attention. It can be a print sample grabbed by a colleague, or even found sitting abandoned in the beer hall that grabs your attention and forces you to track down the source. Perhaps its a casual conversation while waiting in line at one of the sausage vendors or queuing to pay for a sandwich and soda at the super market in the center of the Messe (drupa is held at the Dusseldorf Messe, or fairgrounds). No matter how it happens, it DOES usually happen. 

If you have never been to drupa or even heard of drupa, here is some context. Drupa happens every four years in Dusseldorf, Germany. It is a print show. It attracts vendors at every point in the print production workflow, and their customers from around the world. Years ago it was the offset print show, but in the last decade it had acquired a digital personality as well. It is here that press vendors, traditional and digital, bring their new machines to show to the world. It is here that HP Indigo is showing their new HP Indigo 10000, the B2 format machine, Landa Labs is showing their technology demonstrations of their nanotechnology inkjet solutions, Kodak brought their Prosper 6000XL, and Xerox took the wrappers off their CYPress that uses memjet technology. Where else would you see all of this equipment in one place?  

Drupa also has a personality. It is German, yes… but there is even a drupa song! New ones are written and recorded for each drupa, and that song is played at opening and closing every day.  (Hey Chris Price… I think we need a GraphExpo song!)

If you have questions during the run of the show.. which opened May 3 and ends May 16… drop a tweet or note to PrintMediaCentr and we’ll try to get it answered.  Don’t forget to check the video blogs!

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