#drupa2016: The Hype, The Hope, And The Social Media Revolution


To paraphrase Jan Brady… “All I hear is drupa is so big, drupa is so great… drupa, drupa, drupa.” Well Jan, and anyone else who isn’t sure whether or not to believe the hype, get out a tall glass and get ready to guzzle down some drupa Kool-Aid, I’m pouring.

To get you up to speed, I was invited to Dusseldorf with HP PageWide Web Press for 20 days… the first 10 to help with inkjet press checks providing the print customer perspective on color and overall quality, the second 10 to share all the activities of the PWP Team, our show floor print shop, and their awesome #PWPpartners at the show, and beyond. Click here to see what we accomplished – you will be amazed!

So much happened before, during and after drupa that this post could easily become a 20 part series. Out of respect for your time I am going to share a few quick thoughts, and revisit with greater detail in additional posts. For now grab a beer, a brat and pretzel and get ready to ingest a bit of drupa 2016…

It’s REALLY Big. No, big doesn’t cover it. Immense. drupa is immense and that means EVERYTHING is there to see, and touch, and experience and learn about. (Substitute “EVERYTHING!” with “EVERYONE!” in one of my favorite Gary Oldham moments from The Professional, and that is how much I mean EVERYTHING!)

It’s Focused. Despite drupa’s overall size, the exhibitors spend lots of time (and money) making your experience in their booth unique and easy to navigate. Even in Hall 17, which was completely dedicated to HP, overhead signage clearly marked the segments represented and experts from those divisions, many of whom spoke multiple languages, manned each area.

It’s Nebulous. Some of my favorite astronomical points of interest are nebulae. These pockets of celestial gasses and intense gravity are the birthplace of stars. The analogy is fitting because EVERYONE (see Gary above) prepares for technology launches and announcements to occur during drupa. Not everything announced is ready for market, but it’s coming, eventually. Staying up on the news before and during the show will ensure you don’t miss seeing things in person. It seemed to me that many of the bigger announcements happened during formal press conferences the day before, and the first day of drupa.

It’s Not ALL News. Regarding the point above, not all announcements were announcement worthy. I would implore all exhibitors to respect our time, and if you aren’t launching something groundbreaking – or at minimum new, stay out of the way.


It’s ALL About Social Now. I am a social media advocate, I cover events through social media as part of my work for the community and the industry, but the drupa social media experience took things to a new level, even for me. The #drupa2016 Twitter stream delivered information to 116,123,802 timelines from May 31 to June 10, 2016. Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram and the use of Periscope for live broadcasting grew those numbers exponentially. At the show I met so many people through social media and people who knew me from social media – or the internet as in “Hey, you’re Deborah, from the internet” – that I spent as much time at drupa virtually as I did physically, and learned about things to see just like everyone else following along.

I’m also pretty proud that @PrintMediaCentr (12,982,717) and @PrintPros (2,144,528) accounted for 15,127,245 of the #drupa2016 timeline deliveries mentioned above, and PMC holds the top spot by several million timeline deliveries for Twitter sharing before and during the show. Thank you to EVERYONE (see Gary) who paid attention and shared any information through your channels about drupa. The print industry has finally embraced the power of social media, now it’s up to us to keep it going!

It’s About International Cooperation. Psst, Americans… The world is filled with really smart print people who can help you expand your borders and grow your business. The Europeans in general are early adapters of technology – thanks in part to drupa being on their continent – and they love to share. I met so many amazing people, and I was fortunate to be part of the PageWide Partners team that brought together a vast amount of companies to work together and show off how their products and services work together; PROOF that it’s possible!

In the PWP applications area HP hosted two of their customers to help strengthen their inkjet value proposition. Rotomail Italia S.p.A. showcased their Bronte software for publishers, and Symeta from Belgium showed off their pioneering inkjet products that helped printers understand some amazing print possibilities. Both companies were on hand to talk to attendees during the entire run of drupa, and I was able to send a few attendees and a few potential business partners in their direction. Visit their sites and connect with them, they know inkjet – and more!


It’s About Hope, Not Hype. I am not a doom and gloom print industry person. Print is evolving and the weak companies, products and services will fade away. That is fine with me. I am also not a rah-rah print industry person. If print is the right medium for the message or execution, great, if not, move along. However, I did get quite enthusiastic about where we are going during my time in Dusseldorf. The companies that are invested in OUR future are armed with with tools and ideas to take the industry to the next level and beyond. Upgradability, optimization, automation, speed, power to create connection and relevancy through print and finishing were all major themes at drupa. These should matter to anyone who plans to stick around with us for a while.

There is so much more to share – my hour with Mr. Landa, SCOOOOODIXXXX!!!, Highcon!!!!, my unlimited access to the Messe during drupa construction, the COOOOOOOOL stuff – and there was lots of it… so please stay tuned and I promise to roll out a few more posts before drupa 2020 rolls around!

ps… ALL my #drupa2016 pics are posted on the PMC Facebook page. Check them out – tag your friends!

DeborahCorn-PrintMediaCentrDeborah Corn is the Intergalactic Ambassador to The Printerverse at PrintMediaCentr, a Print Buyerologist™, Integrated Marketer, Industry Speaker and Blogger, Cultivator of the Print Production Professionals Group, the #1 Print Group on LinkedIn, and host of the weekly industry #PrintChat on Twitter. She has more than 25 years experience working in advertising and marketing, and currently works behind the scenes with printers, suppliers and industry organizations helping them to achieve success with their cross media and social media marketing endeavors.

Connect with Deborah through any of the social channels on PMC!

3 Responses

  1. Dear Deborah,

    It was SO nice to meet you at DRUPA and your post is so great. People who has not been there can’t believe how big and how fantastic DRUPA really is and it is amazing that some of the industry leaders – have participated at DRUPA since they started working on the floor of a printing house and still participate after decades of personal and professional development. I have friends that have been there 8-9-10 times and though the exhibition is changing, since our industry is changing, DRUPA is simply great. I LOVE GraphExpo as well, but it isn’t comparable at all. We at INKISH.TV try to cover DRUPA a bit differently and have already had an interview with Board Member Stephan Plenz from Heidelberg, this week we will publish an interview with Peter Fischermann – a banker that have financed 50% of all Heidelberg installations in Germany and many more episodes from DRUPA to come.

    I look forward to see you at GraphExpo again and I really appreciate your support for our INKISH.TV – thank you SO much!