Pictured Above (Left to Right):
Dave Johannes of IWCO Direct, Tonya Powers of Canon Solutions America, and Steve Myrvold of IWCO Direct
Every four years something truly inspiring and transformational happens. Can you guess what it is? No, I’m not talking about the presidential elections or the Olympics. I’m referring to drupa, the world’s largest trade show dedicated to print technologies, which gathers the most forward-thinking and influential organizations in the industry. At IWCO Direct, we never pass up an opportunity to experience the latest developments firsthand, so Dave Johannes and I recently boarded a flight to Düsseldorf for drupa 2016.
If you’ve never had the chance to attend the event, allow me to set the stage: it’s massive in scale (check out Dave’s Twitter feed for proof). The show consisted of 17 halls, each of which is about the size of a major metropolitan convention center. The Düsseldorf Fairgrounds featured more than 1.8 million square feet of exhibition space. Dave and I walked an average of 15,000 steps each day. All that space housed approximately 250,000 attendees, most of whom focused on the digital print equipment. Hewlett-Packard had its own dedicated building, but there was room for all of the big names: Canon, Kodak, Screen, Xerox and more.
Companies attend drupa to get their first look at cutting edge technology, some of which won’t be available for a few years down the road. As pioneers in the conversion to digital technology in the direct marketing industry, attending drupa is critical for IWCO Direct. We aren’t ones to rest on our laurels, so we need to be subject matter experts on the newest technology in order to continue to invest in equipment that will help our clients produce the most effective direct marketing campaigns possible. And as an end-to-end manufacturer of direct mail, drupa 2016 provided a single venue to explore the many different areas of our production capabilities in a tight timeframe – everything from envelope converting, specialty binding, specialty finishing applications, conventional print, digital print, etc.
drupa 2016: It’s a Digital World
We went with a focus on seeing the latest in cut-sheet digital print, envelope converting, 3-D printing, and of course continuous color digital printing. Two technologies that received a lot of attention were Screen’s continuous color inkjet and the Canon Voyager. Canon’s Voyager prototype garnered a lot of buzz as a potential competitor to the nascent Landa press technology (which was the talk of drupa 2012 and is still in development today).
Besides these two technologies, the other thing that stood out to us was how little investment is taking place in conventional print technology (with the possible exception of large-format sheet printing) when compared to all the innovation occurring in the digital space. drupa 2016 was a digital world. Period.
If you would like to know more about what we learned at drupa, or how our advanced production platform can strengthen your marketing efforts, please feel free to get in touch with me.
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