New companies that will be represented on the committee for Drupa 2016 are EFI, HP, Technotrans, Manroland Web Systems, Bielomatic, Leonhard Kurz Stiftung and Baumann Maschinenbau bringing the total number of organisations on the committee to 26.
The committee is made up of exhibitors from different print sectors, including equipment manufacturers, prepress developers and consumables suppliers, as well as a number of “media service providers’.
In recent years Drupa organisers have come under increasing pressure from the industry to recognise the changing face of print and to include representatives from the digital arena as well as those from traditional platforms.
Chief executive of Messe Dusseldorf Werner Matthias Dornscheidt said the decision reflected developments in the printing and media industry including “the growing significance of digital printing with the resulting demands on post-press operations, continually increasing automation across all process stages and the mega trends of value-added printing and packaging”.
Worldwide marketing director for Hewlett-Packard Company Francois Martin, who will sit on the committee, said in 2008 it had become obvious to the Drupa committee that things needed to change and that digital had a significant place at the event.
“2008 was the tipping point when they realised digital could not be ignored and its importance has been increased due to the economic crisis, which has pushed the decline of offset. But it took until 2012 for them to really accept digital as a member of the family.”
Martin said that HP would work with the committee to look at approaching aspects of the event in new ways to enhance customer experience and make it more relevant. “We have a lot of ideas on the table, I don’t know what will come of them but I hope we will see things the same way,” he said.
“We need to be asking who we should be targeting. Should it be print service providers only, as Drupa has always done, or should it be print buyers and brand owners as well? We also need to focus on what solutions to present and how to present them,” he added.
Martin said that with the show attracting an increasingly international audience, another key discussion point needed to be how to build on that. “We need to decide how to work together to attract those from Latin America or Asia Pacific for example and we also need to keep our eye on the length of the show – we pushed hard for the reduction that was announced last year.”
“People don’t have to come to Drupa. They can look at equipment online or go to manufacturers’ demo centres. So we really have to make it more relevant to the industry.”
Meanwhile a spokesman for EFI, whose vice-president of corporate marketing Frank Tueckmantel, will also sit on the Drupa committee, said: “We appreciate the recognition of our leadership and innovation power from the world’s greatest trade show.
“EFI remains the industry’s main driver of the shift from analogue to digital technology. We are proud to continue to invest in end-to-end solutions that help our customers grow their business profitably.”
Drupa 2016 takes place from 31 May to 10 June.