How can it be time for drupa already? The giant printing trade show is held in Dusseldorf, Germany every four years, but it seems as if we were just there. As my dear friend and mentor Paris Walker used to say, “Time flies like the wind, but fruit flies like a banana.” So drupa 2012 is right around the corner and the circus has already begun.
The two week long show itself is intimidating enough, but press briefings and pre-drupa presentations fill the months preceding the event. Everyone in the industry press community has attended webinars, conference calls, and onsite briefings about the new products that will be unveiled in Dusseldorf. In March, Bob represented the Cygnus Graphics Media Group at HP’s pre-drupa event, which was held at its headquarters in Israel.
Indulge me for a moment because there is something I really have to say publicly before we go any further: I do not appreciate people lobbing missiles in the general direction of my husband. I’m quite certain the people who launched the attack will never read this, but it had to be said.
What happened was the press tour of the HP plant had to be cancelled because there was a missile strike just a few kilometers away from the facility on the day the visit was scheduled. I am grateful that HP decided that discretion was the better part of valor in that situation. Bob and the rest of the journalists certainly seem to share that sentiment. Never fear, however, they still got to see all the new products with all the bells and whistles. The display was moved to the demo center, which is located well away from the strike zone. Or, at least, outside the area that was the strike zone for that particular day.
Now I suppose I should let it go and move on to more pressing matters. Like what we can expect to see in Dusseldorf. My initial impression is that drupa 2012 will be centered around the completion of what was started at drupa 2008, particularly in the areas of production inkjet devices, LED curing, packaging equipment, and highly specialized software. No doubt, every product will once again be deemed “robust”.
In 2008 the pundits incessantly declared that show to be “the inkjet drupa”. In keeping with that theme, it seemed like every vendor present—and there were a lot of them—trotted out some sort of inkjet device, whether it was ready for prime time or not. Most were not. I believe that this year we will see usable versions of the technology that was touted four years ago.
Anyway, my ticket is booked and I can’t wait for May. I just love Germany. Bob lived there for six years, so it is a frequent vacation destination for us. And while I will be doing a lot more work than sight-seeing, at least I’m fairly certain there won’t be any missile strikes on the Messe fairgrounds. See you there!