The Print Report: Road to drupa 101

On this episode of The Print Report, Deborah Corn and Pat McGrew discuss how to navigate drupa 2024 including strategies for planning your visit, tips for tackling 18 halls, advice on footwear and food, and why exhibitors must keep their details updated on the drupa website to help attendees gather intel and find them in Dusseldorf. (Transcript below)


Mentioned in This Episode:


drupa Next Age (drupa DNA):

Sabine Geldermann:

Pat McGrew:


Deborah Corn:

Print Media Centr:

Partner with Print Media Centr: 

Subscribe to News From The Printerverse: 

Project Peacock: https://ProjectPeacock.TV 

Girls Who Print:


[0:00:02] DC: Welcome to The Print Report with Deborah Corn and Pat McGrew, all the print that’s fit for news.


[0:00:12] DC: Today on The Print Report, navigating one of the world’s largest printing events.

[0:00:17] PM: And finding the cool food.

[0:00:19] DC: Hey, everybody. Welcome to Podcasts From the Printerverse. I am Deborah Corn, your Intergalactic Ambassador. More specifically, we are here with The Print Report, which means that I am here with Pat McGrew. Hello, Pat McGrew.

[0:00:33] PM: Hi, I’m Pat McGrew. How are you, Deborah Corn?

[0:00:35] DC: I am very fine. Thank you so much. Pat, we are about to have a conversation about one of my favorite topics, which is drupa. I was fortunate. I attended one drupa in 2016, largely because of you. Making a compelling case of how I could be of some value to HP, helping them do some color checks and press checks, while they were testing their brand-new gigantic inkjet equipment at drupa last time. Thank you for that. It’s the only reason that I have any reference to the show, but you have been there many times. Why don’t we start with your drupa experience?

[0:01:20] PM: Drupa is one of those things that came onto my radar in the late 80s, 90s, and in the early years. The time, it was an offset show. You really didn’t see – we didn’t really have a lot of – there were digital printers around, but that’s not what the show was about. The show was about plates and plate makers, and then it evolved into computer-to-plate devices and finishing equipment. You would go and you would see these giant-like building-size presses, right? It was just the most fascinating thing in the world because I lived in a world at that time of digital print. But it was a learning experience.

It was a place to go to learn to see what other people were doing so that when I would come back into my smaller digital world at the time, I had an idea of where things were going and what trends I should watch for. It was a chance to learn a whole new language and actually, for me, reacquaint myself with the language of offset.

As we got to the end of the 90s and we hit that fun year, 2000, I was going as a journalist that year, and it was the change of the millennium and it was – everything was brilliantly shiny and new and bright. It was a massive show in 2000. And 2000 was a year where digital was on the agenda. All of a sudden, now we’re going to start talking about, “Gee there are all these digital devices out there and maybe we should be talking about them, too, because they produce print.” Software raised its head as something that should be talked about. It was just a fascinating show. At that time, there was one building that was nothing but paper manufacturers.

[0:03:04] DC: Wow.

[0:03:05] PM: They brought, I mean, amazing print samples, right? That’s why I think where I fell in love with print samples. From 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, at various times I was there as a market researcher. I was there as journalist. I was there as a marketing person on behalf of some of the hardware vendors. Then of course, in 2016, just like in 2012, I was there with HP. Over the years, I’ve watched the show evolve, and it’s what makes it exciting. No two drupas are ever the same.

Now, weirdly, if you read the press of 2008, 2012 and 2016, they labeled all of them the inkjet drupas. I laughed because, yeah, there were inkjet presses, but there was so much more. This time, hopefully, we’re not going to call it the inkjet drupa. Hopefully, it’s got a different name this time. For all I know, it’s going to be the AI drupa, the sustainability drupa, I don’t know what the heck they’re going to call it.

[0:04:08] DC: Packaging sustainability.

[0:04:10] PM: Packaging. All these things. Yeah. I think it’s going to be a bigger – I think it’s a bigger set of print stories.

[0:04:16] DC: It is.

[0:04:17] PM: It’s finally getting out of its own way on the inkjet stuff.

[0:04:20] DC: Yeah. I think that that’s a great thing that you just brought up because that is why to me, the tagline for drupa is, “We create the future.” I think that is exactly where we are. To your most excellent point, it’s not just about one technology. It’s about how all of these things might fit into your business’s plan for the future, but these are the important topics. These are the things to consider as you’re making your plans, as you’re walking through drupa and you’re talking to vendors and just discovering new things and you want to have conversations about the visions of these companies. I’m not the technical person on this podcast, but I am the – I like to understand what people’s visions are. Because if it’s a big enough piece of technology, people, they’re maybe taking out a loan, or they’re doing something and they should know whether or not every three years, like an iPhone, they have to replace, not even three years, right, iPhones every year, or whatever.

Or, are they investing technology that’s upgradable, that comes in modules? What is the vision of the company of the next thing that they’re working on? Or maybe they’re introducing it at drupa the market to develop it with feedback and things like that. I think that they actually picked a perfect tagline for it, although I would have put a comma together, probably at the end of that, but I think it’s implied.

[0:05:50] PM: I think it is, too. I think that the other thing that’s important to remember is that this is going to be a bit of a weird drupa, not because of technology that we’re going to see some cool technology. We’re going to see some neat product introductions. The issue is that we skipped a drupa cycle. Because of COVID, we didn’t have the 2020 version. Now, I think, one of the things that I think we’ll see this time that sometimes we don’t see is a lot more introduction of equipment that is actually available to buy.

One of the reputations that drupa has always had is about being a place where you see the future, where you see the next generation in a demo mode, or in a technology demonstration mode.

[0:06:37] DC: Or on a video.

[0:06:39] PM: Or on a video, yeah. Sometimes not even in person. This time, we’re going to see a lot of equipment we’ve not seen before at the show. Big equipment, medium size equipment, printing equipment, finishing equipment, all sorts of equipment that has been introduced over, say, the last six or seven years and is actually available to buy.

For a printer, this time drupa is not only a place to come to see what’s coming next, but it’s coming to see what you can buy today to make your business more profitable in the near term, not in the next five years.

[0:07:17] DC: Right. A lot of companies have been making pre-drupa announcements. They’ve been sharing what they’re going to bring to the show, which some people are disappointed in, just in the sense that, “I thought that’s why we go to drupa.” Then I think and I’m like, Super Bowl commercials used to be like that. It used to be that you could only see the Super Bowl commercials in the United States, which is a big thing if you watch the Super Bowl when that commercial was on. But the advertisers started realizing that they could educate the market, create more buzz, essentially create consumers and people who wanted to use their products and services by releasing the commercials the week of the Super Bowl instead, or a couple of weeks before, get them out in the world, get them circulating.

It didn’t take away if you watched it during the actual football game, or if you decided, “Okay, I’m going to go on an ice run during that because I don’t need to watch the commercials for it.” What is your feeling about all of that?

[0:08:23] PM: Your analogy is really very correct. The nature of big shows has changed, right? There’s no doubt about it. If you are, say, you’re an American and you’re listening to us and you’re going, “Oh, I’m just going to go to Printing United and I’m going to go see stuff there.” Well, the reality is hardware vendors don’t bring a lot of equipment anymore. The guys who do, the roll-fed wide format, they can move their equipment without too much difficulty. Some of the smaller equipment comes. Sometimes we do see some bigger pieces, but drupa is that place where it’s like being in a shopping mall, and that’s the closest analogy I can get to. Drupa is the shopping mall for equipment because you’re going to see things because the show is 11 days long, it’s worth their while to pick up very heavy, very expensive-to-move equipment and actually get it onto a show floor.

If you don’t come, while there will be a lot of live streaming, as we know, from the show, it’s not the same as actually being there and seeing it. I’m one of those people who still likes to watch the commercials during the Super Bowl.

[0:09:31] DC: Yeah.

[0:09:32] PM: I don’t want to go to a YouTube channel, or watch some compilation program that puts them all together. I actually want to see them as they roll out in context, because to me, that’s just much more interesting and a little bit more exciting than sitting and watching commercial after commercial after commercial.

[0:09:49] DC: Just to tack on to that, while they’re on during the Super Bowl is when all the activity takes place online. That’s what everybody’s in that hashtag talking about it. There’s buzz. There’s people adding their opinions to it. They’re expanding on, “Hey, I tried it last week and it was amazing,” or whatever it was. I actually appreciate the pre-drupa promotion, because I think it’s very helpful for attendees. What we’re going to talk about now is the vastness of the Messe and really understanding that yes, you need to have time for discovery, because to your also most excellent point, there are so many companies that make printing equipment that you don’t ever see because they don’t come to the United States. You could only buy them through distributors and things like that, and you might not know those channels or the people here aren’t speaking about them, because it doesn’t have any market penetration.

But you go to Europe and you’re like, everybody has one of these things and you realize why, and then you could figure out how to get it. Let’s focus on making your drupa plan, right? There is 18 halls. The Messe, which I guess, what does the Messe mean? Fair ground or?

[0:11:05] PM: It’s trade fair ground.

[0:11:06] DC: Oh, fairground? Okay. It’s 18 halls. Think of 18 Graph Expos. Think of 18 Printing Uniteds and one of – in some configuration, if you have that thing. Think of, well, not 18 Label Expos, because they have 11 halls there. Just more. Six more halls, or whatever of Label Expo, if you go to Brussels. I mean, you go to way more shows in Europe than I do so, but they’re used to it. You still have got to have a plan if you go to drupa. When you went to drupa, I guess, in 2012, and you were there and you were reporting for Print Media Centr, because I wasn’t there. You had offered a lot of advice for people to navigate the show.

Why don’t we just start with making a plan to see the technology that you want to see and do you sign up for demos? Do you sign up for meetings, or do you think it’s best to just wander around and go see who you want to see, but try to talk to the people that you want to see?

[0:12:11] PM: I think the fair thing to know is that some of the people who go will be going for the very first time and they’re going because of vendor that they’re already working with invited them and is going to try to occupy a lot of their time. They won’t occupy all of their time, but they will occupy a lot of their time. If that’s your situation, your plan should be to be making the list of the things you need to know about before you go that are external to the relationship you have with that vendor.

Maybe a printing hardware vendor is taking you, but you know you have finishing issues that you might like to see some new opportunities around, right? Maybe you’re a book person and you’re looking for smaller footprint book finishing. Lots of options in hall one. Maybe you’re somebody who’s looking for software to support the kinds of business that you’re doing today, versus what you might have been doing 10 years ago. Hall seven. Definitely 7, 7A is definitely where you want to be wandering around.

What you want to do is take a moment and go to the drupa website and look at the way the halls layout. They’re in a big horseshoe if you will. Some are connected. Some are not connected. And figure out, okay, look, a lot of the finishing people are over here in one and two, and a lot of the press vendors are in five and six and eight and nine, 8A and 8B and nine and 17 is the HP Hall. A lot of the big offset vendors, the folks who have big offset equipment are in 12 and 13 and 14. Figure out what’s important to you as a printer. Because if you’re an offset printer, you may have a different path than someone who is coming as somebody who’s a digital printer.

If a vendor did not bring you if you’re there on your own dime and you’re free to build your own path, I’m hoping you booked more than a day, right? I’m hoping that maybe you booked at least three days because my advice to you would be to actually start in hall one and actually walk through all of them. Because the thing about drupa is you will see things you didn’t know you needed, that you didn’t know existed. To your point, Deb, it’s absolutely true that there are things that are very popular solutions in Europe that don’t have a foothold in the US.

There are solutions that come from Asia Pacific, Australia, that there’s an awful lot of development, a lot of innovation that also comes to the show. There’s an innovation that comes from India.

[0:15:02] DC: India. Yeah.

[0:15:03] PM: There’s an innovation that comes from all over Southeast Asia that you wouldn’t have exposure to any other way, and you might not even know where to look for it. But if you wander up and down the aisles and you take the time, I personally, I don’t necessarily recommend booking demos ahead of time. Certainly, from the website, you can make a list of who in each hall are your target points, right? Who’s your target finishing person you’d like to talk to? Who’s your target computer to plate company you’d like to talk to? Who’s your target plate company you’d like to talk to? Who’s your target offset press?

If you’re currently a Mitsubishi, or a Miyakoshi, or a Kamori, maybe you want to take some time and go talk to Heidelberg. Maybe you want to talk to some of the other people who make presses. If you’re currently in the digital world and you’re there with a vendor, look, this is your chance to go talk to the other vendors. This is your chance to go see their machine, how big it is, how wide it is, how deep it is, right? How tall it is? Ask those hard questions, because every vendor who comes to drupa brings their smart people to man those shows, right?

You’re not going to get stuck, in most cases, talking to a salesperson. You’re going to be talking to somebody who is more one of their technical service representatives, who actually understands and knows the ins and outs of the presses. My advice is, if you can, walk through all. Maybe you’re one of those people who only booked a day and a half. You’re flying in, you’re landing in the morning and you’re going to try and get out of there by the next day. There are people who do that. Go for what you don’t currently know.

You already know your vendors, right? You know your hardware vendor, your finishing vendors. You know those people. Go look for the people you don’t know. Go look for the people with different things. Maybe you’ve never been a book finisher, a book manufacturer. Go spend a little bit of time in hall one and talk to the guys who do that at high speed, in-line and near-line, might give you some ideas for some new products you can produce.

You don’t have wide format in your shop? Go talk to the folks with the wide-format machines. Go talk to the Mimakis and the Rollins and the DFI’s, and have a conversation with them about what their equipment can do for you that you didn’t really ever even give a serious thought to. Because in the end, that’s what’s really going to help you make the most of what time you’ve got there. Whatever you do, bring multiple pairs of shoes.

[0:17:46] DC: And multiple people if possible, because –

[0:17:48] PM: If you can. Yeah.

[0:17:50] DC: A divide-and-conquer strategy could have an advantage here. It’s like the double-decker bus strategy, right? One person or T couple of people takes hall 11 through 18 and the other people take one through 10, and then you meet up at lunch and you say who saw what, okay, let’s everybody go back to here and see this person, and you can really – I mean, you could get more covered for sure there.

Let me ask you this. Knowing that just because at any trade show, this is pretty much at least what I’ve come to be understood at this point, most of the equipment that they’re bringing to a show they’ve had a customer for and it’s there because it’s going to go on –

[0:18:35] PM: Often.

[0:18:36] DC: – to where it will finally live after the show.

[0:18:38] PM: Unless, it’s a technology demo, which is going to go back to the lab.

[0:18:42] DC: Which is right. But I’m saying most of the –

[0:18:43] PM: Yeah. Most stuff, it is sold.

[0:18:45] DC: Most of it is taken care of.


[0:18:47] DC: It’s back. Citizens of the Printerverse, it is time to make your plans to attend drupa 2024. The world’s premier printing event returns May 28th through June 7th in Düsseldorf, Germany. With 18 Halls filled with the products, services, and companies you need to drive your business forward. Drupa also offers visitors a variety of topical daily programming with speakers covering packaging, textiles, sustainability, and trends shaping the industry. Stop by hall 7. I’m co-hosting the drupa next age forum with Frank Tueckmantel. Drupa dna offers 11 days of sessions, interviews, panels, co-located events, global networking, and of course, a little fun awaits. Visit and get your ticket to the future of your business today. Links in the show notes. Drupa long and prosper.


[0:19:52] DC: If you’re going there to buy that floor model, probably not going to get that one. That might be another one for you somewhere. With that being said, is there – so, drupa is 11 days and there’s a weekend in the middle of it. In 2016, what I guess, not guess, what I saw as a pattern is that as we started moving into that Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, we saw more people who were very close, who lived in Europe, who lived in Germany, who were close enough by a train that they were coming in just for a day, or maybe two. A lot of people weren’t. They had enough time because they had a plan. They wanted to see specific things.

Besides tacking on a vacation to it, where you might want to have that weekend to maybe have a vacation and come the next week, is there a strategy around coming beginning, middle and of drupa?

[0:20:46] PM: Here’s what I’ll tell you. If it’s your first time and you want the whole drupa experience, you want to sit down out in the beer hall in the afternoon and you really want that whole experience, I think coming during the first week is a good thing to do. I would always recommend towards the end of the first week. Not the first few days. First few days are pretty insane in most of the stands. Towards the ends of the –

[0:21:13] DC: I’m sorry. I just want to say, because there’s a lot of press conferences and analysts, press events –

[0:21:16] PM: Oh, press conferences.

[0:21:18] DC: People talk to people.

[0:21:20] PM: And vendors have brought their own people and their own prospects and clients in. They’re running them through tours. They’re spending a lot of time with them. All the executives are wandering their way through, which has everybody on their pins and needles. I always recommend towards the end of the first week, or the beginning of the second week. That plays into your weekend strategy. One of the things that we know is a lot of family printers will come in over the weekend and bring the whole family.

[0:21:46] DC: Yeah. Everybody comes.

[0:21:47] PM: You’ll see strollers, you’ll see kids on the leads and everything, wandering through because they’re growing them up in the print business as they should. In the end, I think that you get higher quality conversations towards the end of the first week and the beginning of the second week than any other time, because people can – they’re able to catch their breath and they can actually spend some time with you.

I think that if you’re actually looking for in-depth demos of things, if you’ve got a list and you’re saying, “No, I really need to see this software being used. I need to see this press being used. I need to have in-depth conversations,” that’s the time where I would actually recommend coming in the second half of the second week, where booking those demos or doing walk-up demos is a whole lot easier on the vendors in the stand because by then, they can take the time to spend with you.

First week, especially the first half of the first week, a lot of that time is already pre-booked, because sales team members will get their time allotted at the front end to get their prospects through first. If you’re a walk-up – and there’s every reason to be a walk-up, right? Because you never know what you’re going to find that’s going to look interesting. Second half of that second week can be a time to get more in-depth conversations.

[0:23:06] DC: Yeah. I remember in 2016, I came back to – we were in the HP booth the whole time, I came back. Every once in a while, you guys let me out to go run around, although I was running around before the show opened. But I went into one of the halls and I saw a BOBST packaging pressed. I think I told you, I came back and I was like, “Pat.” I was like, “I just saw a press. I think it was more than a 100 feet long. You needed a ladder to get up on top of it. Now I understand where the packaging people don’t think they have anything to do with the digital packaging people.”

You don’t have that opportunity unless you give yourself that time to just open a door and stumble into something that you don’t have. What I’m saying is if you want to really want to ask questions about it, those first couple of days, there’s nothing wrong with it. If you want that buzz and the excitement, it’s fantastic. That’s what you’re going to get those first days. Those booths are really focused on getting their information from drupa out into the world. That just creates more of a challenge of having a longer, or a more in-depth conversation with somebody, only because they make it pulled away to do a demo for an analyst, or a press person, or honestly, a group of 40 people. There’s a lot of people walking around drupa with flags, with headsets, with translators. Drupa is actually having guided tours.

[0:24:35] PM: Yes, they are.

[0:24:36] DC: I haven’t really looked. Have you looked into it?

[0:24:38] PM: Well, no. Drupa has traditionally done guided tours, right? That’s something that they’re known for. You have to really give a huge shout-out to Sabine Geldermann and that whole team at the Messe because they know how to run a multinational show. They spend their time between drupas, going country to country to country, building the buzz around what this big trade show was all about. Because of that, they understand the value of being able to guide people around in their native language.

You’ll see people walking around with Chinese translators, Japanese translators, all manner of translators from around the world. Honestly, they do a really great job of it. The drupa tours are really designed to give somebody a holistic overview of everything that’s available in the industry. When they book those tours, they don’t allow the world to come on tour. There’s a finite number of people that they take on the tours. They’re booked ahead of time. You pay for them. They’re not free. They’re valuable for a first-timer, especially a first-timer coming from a country where maybe neither English nor German is widely spoken, those tours can be really, really valuable.


[0:26:00] PM: McGrewGroup helps printers and the vendors who support them with strategy, product triage, print sample assessments, education, and consultation. We help our clients with assessments, reviews, workshops, research, and education. After all, understanding the capabilities you have isn’t always intuitive. Let us help you polish and shine your processes to enhance your road to long-term growth. McGrewGroup is ready to help you grow, expand, optimize, and thrive. Drop us a note on LinkedIn, or at our website,


[0:26:38] DC: Also, just walking around the Messe, you might stumble upon the drupa Cube, or touchpoint packaging, or touchpoint sustainability. You mentioned hall seven before, which is where I will be for a lot of the show, hosting drupa with DNA with Frank Teuckmantel, which is going to have presentations and interviews, and actually, there’s a co-located conference there about imaging. Looks really cool.

You mentioned before about bringing extra pair of shoes and we said we were going to give some food tips for what’s going on there. That was one of the best tips that you gave me last time we went in 2016. It was because you didn’t want to get your feet comfortable in one position. Every day, just change your shoes. By the way, I just had two pairs of sneakers, but every day, I changed them and I didn’t get blisters. I broke them in before, by the way. Don’t be breaking shoes in. Ladies out there, you must think working girl. Wear your sneakers and your flats everywhere. If you must be wearing heels in a booth, and I don’t know why you would be, unless it’s a specific thing that you really want to do, really think about your feet. Because 11 days –

[0:27:59] PM: It’s a long time.

[0:27:59] DC: Even if you’re standing on cement and carpeting, there’s a toll on your feet, but there are easy ways of preventing it. What are your other pro tips and then we’ll get to the food?

[0:28:11] PM: Right. Look, my go-to show shoes are Danskos. I’ve been wearing them for 30 years now for shows because they have a thick sole, they’re fine on concrete, they’re non-slip, which can be important, especially when it rains on the concrete. This time of year in Germany, you’re likely to get an afternoon shower. Just happens. I think that your advice, a couple of pairs of sneakers, if you want to bring heels for an event, or because you’re presenting in a stand, I get it totally. I did that for years. I had five pairs of five-inch heels that I would switch between.

At the end of the day, if you’re going to be walking around, especially, it’s not a fashion statement, right? This is all about comfort and the ability to keep on walking to go see all the things you want to see. Maybe not the flip-flops, not the beach sandals, but something that’s got good arch support. Something’s that got –

[0:29:10] DC: I was going to say, I was actually looking at orthopedic shoes, only because of the arch support.

[0:29:14] PM: Oh, yeah. That’s why I buy my Danskos.

[0:29:17] DC: Yeah. I’m like, I don’t care if I look like I have Frankenstein boots on my feet. I don’t want to be limping on day nine, because I –

[0:29:24] PM: Yeah. It’s just not worth it, right? You want to think about – remember, this is all concrete and it’s a lot of area. You will walk miles.

[0:29:33] DC: Oh, miles. Miles.

[0:29:33] PM: I mean, miles. It’s not just one mile. It’s not half mile. You will be walking miles. Just to get from where you enter the Messe.

[0:29:42] DC: 20 minutes at a time going places. Yeah, easily.

[0:29:45] PM: It takes some time. Build that into your scheduling, too, when you’re planning.

[0:29:48] DC: That’s a good point.

[0:29:49] PM: It’s not two minutes here, two minutes there. That’s not. The scale of this is pretty massive.

[0:29:53] DC: I just want to point out, in 2016 they did have internal little golf cart bus system.

[0:29:59] PM: They do.

[0:30:00] DC: But it’s not like you can say, I want to go to hall four. You have to go around the whole place. I actually jumped on one of those, because I was really hot and I wanted the air to blow. But then, I realized I was stuck on it for the duration unless I wanted. I got so far away with my breeze that it would have taken me half an hour to walk back and it would have ruined my breeze thing. I had to actually stay on the bus around the event.

[0:30:26] PM: Remember, the numbering of the halls is a little misleading, too. There are two halls, hall 8A and 8B that are actually quite a distance from seven and nine. You would think they might be close, but they’re really not. That has to do with the fact that a couple of decades ago, as they needed to expand, they built a hall that was a little bit further away from the main complex. Before you get to where all the warehouses on on the Messe property, and that became 8A and 8B. Then they spent years building out to it so that they built the walkway out to it and extended, but it takes some time. The last time I timed it, took me easily 10 minutes to get from seven to eight, just using the fastest route possible. You want to plan for it.

[0:31:19] DC: They had that enclosed, like people mover also. But it gets hot. That’s the other thing.

[0:31:24] PM: It does. Yeah.

[0:31:26] DC: Layers. If you really want to, always have a little baby umbrella with you. You never know what’s going to happen there. Great advice, Pat. Okay. Now, let’s get to my favorite part. Food. They do have good food in the Messe. I will say that currywurst is my favorite thing there. I’d never had it before, until I did in 2016 and I’m currently obsessed with currywurst. Also, I have to say that I – they had these just hotdogs that they put fried onions on that were really good. You love your beef stew. Is it the –

[0:32:03] PM: Goulash Cannon. Yeah.

[0:32:04] DC: Goulash place. The potatoes, the potato guy that’s there. They have plenty of – there’s beer. There’s –

[0:32:13] PM: There’s everything. A couple of things to know. One, we don’t know exactly what the configuration of the food will be this year, but we assume that it’ll be in the normal style. There’ll be somebody with beer and somebody with soup and probably potatoes and pretzels.

[0:32:26] DC: And lots of people.

[0:32:27] PM: Yeah, it’s not just one. The other thing to know is that there’s actually a food store on the Messe.

[0:32:34] DC: Oh, yeah. We went shopping there.

[0:32:37] PM: Yeah. The food store on the Messe is there, because during the build-out, there isn’t a lot to eat, right? You’re not going to leave the Messe during the build-out. Very often, people will just jump in there. Typically, they have fruit. They have salads. They have some canned things, and some microwavable things. They have usually pretzels. They have breakfast wraps in the morning and they – they do sandwiches and things during the day. They’ll have all your soft drinks and your waters and everything. They deliver, too. They deliver to stands.

The stands can place an order and they’ll actually bring it out to them, which is fun. There is the food store. One of the other things that is my favorite thing to look in, even if I don’t actually need anything, is there’s a hardware store.

[0:33:26] DC: I was going to say, the hardware store.

[0:33:28] PM: I have lived in that hardware store.

[0:33:30] DC: You took me to the hardware store. Yeah.

[0:33:33] PM: When I had to worry about stands and actually getting them set up, it was a lifesaver at times too, for that perfect color duct tape that you needed to hide something, or they have ladders. They have rolling carts. They have teapots. They have everything. It’s an interesting view into all the things that actually are behind the scenes when you’re building your stand. But the food store is just essential. Look, there’s shipping services there. FedEx, DHL –

[0:34:01] DC: There’s an ATM.

[0:34:02] PM: There’s ATM machines there. There’s several of them throughout the Messe. If you are staying anywhere in town, the thing to know is that the tram, can drop you off inside the Messe walls, right? Actually, there’s a train station for the Messe that will drop you off right at building seven. That can be really useful. Instead of cabs and Ubers and all of that, I think what you do now is there’s a pass that you buy with your drupa ticket now.

[0:34:35] DC: Don’t they give it to you? I thought that all the transportation was free with your pass.

[0:34:39] PM: Not this time.

[0:34:40] DC: Not everything? Okay.

[0:34:40] PM: Not this time. This time, there’s actually a charge for it, but it’s so minimal that you’d be silly not to do it. It really just makes a huge difference in getting around.

[0:34:50] DC: I’m not even a train person. I took that train a couple of times last time.

[0:34:54] PM: Yeah. I mean, it can be just the most efficient way to get around. It’ll take you all the way down to the main – to the central train station, which is where a lot of people go at night to eat. A lot of people staying down in the old city. That’s a really easy way to do it.

[0:35:08] DC: That’s called the Altstadt, right?

[0:35:09] PM: The Altstadt. Yeah, the Altstadt.

[0:35:12] DC: Which is really some great nightlife. There’s open air, a lot of open-air stuff there.

[0:35:16] PM: A lot of places to eat. Düsseldorf is actually a city that is very artistic. There are a lot of great museums there as well.

[0:35:22] DC: It did.

[0:35:23] PM: If you’re looking for something to do.

[0:35:24] DC: I hung out with an art collective once when I went back for Interpack, and I ended up going to this art collective. It was so interesting. You’re absolutely right. There’s a lot of things going on. Even further away, the Frank Lloyd Wright has hotels down there and there’s really great restaurants along the Rhine River. If you’re somebody who’s into exercising and you want to jog in the morning or take a walk, it is beautiful by that river. There’s a carnival that was set up there. The other thing I love too, is that some companies bring in cruise ships and people sleep on the cruise ships.

[0:36:03] PM: Oh, a lot of them do. Yeah. For years, Xerox used to hire all the barges, the river right across from the Messe entrance. This time, it’s Fuji who has those barges.

[0:36:14] DC: Oh, my God. It’s so cool.

[0:36:15] PM: Yeah. I mean, it’s great, as long as you’re not overly tall.

[0:36:18] DC: Oh, okay. Well, I don’t think you’d have that problem.

[0:36:21] PM: No, I do not have that problem.

[0:36:21] DC: My hair might give me that problem.


[0:36:25] DC: Are you looking to elevate your game, take your bottom line, customer relationships, and events to the next level? Then I want to work with you. I’m Deborah Corn, the Intergalactic Ambassador to the Printerverse. I engage with a vast global audience of print and marketing professionals across all stages of their careers. They are seeking topical information and resources, new ways to serve their customers and connect with them, optimize processes for their communications and operations and they meet the products and services and partnership you offer to get to their next level.

Print Media Centr offers an array of unique opportunities that amplify your message and support your mission across the Printerverse. Let’s work together, bring the right people together, and move the industry forward together. Link in the show notes. Engage long and prosper.


[0:37:27] DC: Pat, thank you so much for sharing everything that you’ve shared on this podcast. I really look forward to having another drupa adventure with you. Everybody out there, if you could get to drupa, go to drupa. We do create the future together. If you can’t get to drupa, no problem. The hashtag is #drupa2024. As Pat and I mentioned, everybody is going to be putting information in there. Just like I mentioned about the Super Bowl commercials, you could start doing some research now.

Even if it’s just to weed out what you don’t want to go through in emails, or specifically sign up for people’s newsletters and things like that, look at all of your trade pub emails that you might get every day. Sign up for some. Because if you don’t want to get into somebody’s sales funnel, or anything like that, then just support the trade pubs, the trade magazines and the trade companies that will be there, because they’re going to be reporting on everything. It’s like a one stop information shop in your email box.

Links for drupa, drupa has extensive maps on their site. They also have information about the guided tours, there’s information about touchpoint packaging, sustainability, the cube, drupa DNA, everything that they have going on there. We really hope to see everybody in –

[0:38:52] PM: One more thing. One more thing. If you’re a vendor and you’re listening to this and we thank you for listening. If you haven’t updated your area in the exhibitors webpage area of drupa –

[0:39:06] DC: Pro tip, everybody.

[0:39:07] PM: – would you please do it? Because it’s essential. Just to having your booth and stand number, that’s not enough. Please tell people what you do and a little bit about what they should expect to see in your stand. It is so helpful to people to be able to go there and check it, right? It is some of the saddest work that we do is trying to figure out what a company we’ve never heard of before actually does. We don’t know if you’re hardware, you’re software, we don’t know what segment you serve. The name of your company may not actually be enough to give us a clue. If you can help us out, it helps us help you.

[0:39:50] DC: Yeah. Don’t just focus on the technical specs of things. Let people know how it can help your business grow, or how it’s contributing to the future of the industry, together.

[0:40:00] PM: Exactly.

[0:40:01] DC: Thanks, everybody, for your time and attention. Drupa long and prosper.


[0:40:09] DC: Thanks for listening to Podcasts From the Printerverse. Please subscribe, click some stars, and leave us a review. Connect with us through We’d love to hear your feedback on our shows and topics that are of interest for future broadcasts. Until next time, thanks for joining us. Print long and prosper.


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