COVID-19 has accelerated the move towards digital and local events. Although there is no way of knowing what the impact of the virus will be next year, Heidelberg needed to make a decision now. Therefore, the company has decided to not participate in international trade fairs next year.
In 2021, drupa will be a very different event – global travel restrictions and hygiene regulations mean significantly fewer visitors and constraints on communication. Traditional international trade fairs with busy booths and halls will very probably be difficult to implement and will likely lose their status as global meet-up events for customers and manufacturers. As a long-time partner to drupa, Heidelberg will be happy to continue to offer its experience when it comes to bringing future trade fair concepts into line with new digital possibilities and customer requirements, the company says.
The local event kick-off will take place at the “Innovation Week” from October 19-23, 2020. Under the slogan “Unfold your potential”, Heidelberg will be presenting a wealth of product developments that focus on packaging and commercial, including autonomous printing, end-to-end solutions, Smart Print Shop and Push-to-Stop. The Innovation Week will take place via livestream, as well as face-to-face at the Wiesloch/Walldorf location. Heidelberg has already had positive experience of using digital channels in its presentation of the products that had been planned for this year’s drupa.
“We will be investing more in new, virtual trade fair concepts to ensure closer and more individual customer communications, as well as in regional events in our growth markets. This means we will be able to consistently align ourselves with our customers’ expectations," says Rainer Hundsdörfer, CEO of Heidelberg. “The Innovation Week will now enable us to communicate with our customers as soon as possible and to present our innovation offensive.”
Face-to-face dialogue will continue to be the focus at the unique Print Media Centers in Wiesloch/Walldorf, Atlanta, Shanghai, Sao Paulo and Tokyo, where Heidelberg can engage with its customers specific needs directly on-site. At the centers, Heidelberg offers all of its customers and other interested parties market-specific access to product and solution demonstrations, a multitude of possibilities for direct communications with applications specialists as well as extensive training courses.
The Print Media Centers have already become established locations for customers to experience live demonstrations and for validating investments. Heidelberg generally welcomes several thousand customers annually to its own demo spaces around the world.