How to Attend drupa 2024 Without Leaving Your Desk

drupa 2024

There are lots of ways to participate in printing industry events without being there in person. An event I love to attend virtually is drupa. Yes, they spell it with lowercase letters – even though it’s the biggest and most uppercase print exhibition in the world. I’m going to tell you how I attended drupa last time, and maybe you will join me May 28 through June 7, 2024. Together we can attend drupa 2024 without ever leaving our desks! 

WHY I FOLLOW ONLINE

It has been my dream since I started in the print industry to attend drupa, a global print-lover’s event, held every four years (more on that below) by Messe Düsseldorf in Düsseldorf, Germany. I have my passport and my love of print, but this year I have a teeny drupa 2024 scheduling conflict. My younger son is graduating from college! Okay, so back to how I attended the last drupa: I followed the hashtag!

THE HASHTAG WILL GET YOU THERE

Anywhere you follow social media you will see the drupa-related hashtags: #drupa2024, #drupaDNA, and #Printerverse (belonging to Print Media Centr with excellent coverage of the show). In addition, exhibitors often have their hashtags. My strategy is to follow them all. I program them into my search, and I set reminders. 

MANY PATHS TO FOLLOW THE EVENT

Now the official hashtag is always problematic for any event, print or otherwise. That’s reality. People posting from the show get in a hurry, and they forget to use it. Or they get it wrong. So I usually have all kinds of hashtags programmed in as well. Am I that detail-oriented? Yes! So this year I will program in the official drupa 2024 hashtag, #drupa2024, plus #drupa24, #drupa, #drupashow, and others. One way we can help is to retweet or reply using the official hashtag. It’s a diplomatic way to remind folks of the hashtag, and we can ensure those good posts don’t go to waste. We can make a difference, even when attending from afar! 

GETTING READY IN ADVANCE

Next, I will connect with the accounts drupa is using such as LinkedIn so I get all their updates. That’s what we call “hitting the bell” in social media parlance.

Then, I will follow respected and reliable accounts. There will be LOTS of print industry journalists, but not all of them post regularly – or at all until after the show. I am a fan of Deborah Corn’s posts, so I will smash the bell for Print Media Centr. I love Gareth Ward of Print Business, and that’s a publication worth subscribing to, though you may not see much until his wrap-up. 

FOLLOWING REPORTERS

Who else will be reporting from the show? One clue is to watch the pre-show posts. 

I also follow analysts and experts. They may be there representing publications or media platforms, or they may be there on behalf of themselves. One favorite for me is Pat McGrew who always does such a great job decoding technical topics and explaining how equipment can work together to get better results. 

SETTING YOUR CLOCK

If you’re attending virtually from North America, you’ll have to adjust your internal clock. Yes, I plan to stay up until after midnight my time to catch the posts from people heading over to the show. Early morning in Germany means the middle of the night for me. If you hope to have some online conversations with people at the show via social media, this is the best time to do it. They might be having a cup of coffee and checking their phone. Or, if they’re exhibiting, they may have a breather before the crowds arrive. 

ALMOST LIKE BEING THERE

Another great thing about the early morning tweets and posts – there are usually photos, which I love to see. I hope this year to see pictures and videos of the flags waving, blue skies, and people arriving at the show. The main entrance to drupa is beautiful and dramatic, and all the halls and buildings are fascinating to see. I love the sound of equipment running, so keep those videos coming! 

I was delighted during the last drupa to have an exhibitor put my name on their reader board and thank me for following the show from home. That warmed my heart!

As an observer, I like to see reunions of friends and colleagues. Many of the people visiting the show only see each other in this venue. Seeing meetups between friends, a happy hour photo of groups, and the exchange of gifts and souvenirs is almost as good as being there. 

WHY THIS EVENT AND WHY NOW?

You may be asking: why all the hoopla? Why follow drupa 2024 in particular?

For one, manufacturers use drupa to debut new equipment and features, so that’s super fun. Often there are beta products you’ll hear about during this short period, and then they go back to the labs. If you want a preview of coming technology, keep your eyes open! 

Also, people who are changing jobs or getting promoted will be visible, and that’s a strategic place to watch.  Another strategic area is watching global companies bring their people together, often having important meetings during the event. The watchful person will notice these trends. 

I will warn you. This is a huge show! It’s gigantic in the space it covers, yes, and it’s gigantic in time. It spans 11 days! So if you are going to follow from afar, I recommend watching closely for the first few days. You’ll be able to see where the good intel is coming from so you can dive deeper and satisfy your curiosity on your favorite topics. 

For the exhibition eight years ago, I attended online every day. It was a commitment, but totally worth it. And if you’re wondering why the last event was eight years ago instead of four, as is the usual cadence, you may recall what happened in 2020. So here we are, with the global print industry dizzy with excitement for the arrival of this event. 

CAPTURE THIS NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY

I hope with my tips on how to follow the show online, you’ll spend some time watching and posting to the hashtag. Let people at the show know you’re eager to see their posts. It helps them to know it makes a difference to get a view through their eyes. 

If you want to follow the #drupa2024 hashtag together and network with other watchers, here’s where I’ll be:

==> Twitter/X – @sandyhubbard

==> LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/sandyhubbardpublisher/

==> Threads / Instagram – @sandyhubbardnow

Will I see you attending drupa virtually via the #drupa2024 hashtag? I hope so! 

Check out all of Sandy’s posts here.

Read last month’s post: How Influencers Can Help Printers Get Better Marketing Results


Sandy Hubbard is a Marketing Strategist and Advisor specializing in print, media, and tech. She helps print companies leverage their marketing to be seen, credible, and likable. Sandy is also the host of #PrintChat, a weekly global gathering of the industry’s most influential thinkers and leaders.

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