drupa, the world’s leading trade fair for print and cross-media solutions, will switch to a three-year cycle after 2016, when it runs from 31 May to 10 June. This decision was taken by the drupa committee at its recent meeting in Dusseldorf. We asked Sabine Geldermann, director of drupa, the most important questions.

Mrs. Gelderman, why does drupa change its cycle?

Basically, this change is long overdue. The innovation cycles have changed significantly during the last years. Especially, the impact of the internet and digital technologies on the entire print process chain is huge and will increase even further in the future. That’s a development we have observed quite clearly since drupa 2000. At the same time, new technologies like 3D printing, printed electronics and functional printing come to the force.

Furthermore the information needs of the printing industry and its buyers have grown drastically. Not only do they want to get an overview over the latest technologies, but also gather inspiration for new business areas, solutions and applications. And now that will be possible every three years in Duesseldorf.

But why now after drupa 2016?

If we kept the usual cycle, drupa and interpack would overlap in 2020 only a few weeks apart. We already experienced this stressful situation in 2008 when about 90 exhibitors attended both trade fairs within a few weeks. 2014 this number went up to 130 which shows the growing relevance of packaging printing. Such a temporal proximity would mean a strenuous effort for our costumers and that’s why we welcome the positive side-effect of this change.

But this means that drupa and K, the fair for the plastics and rubber industry, will take place in the same year. Isn’t that a problem?

Clearly not. First of all, those two trade fairs have always taken place half a year apart drupa in May and K in October. Secondly, in this case there are virtually no overlaps that would have a serious impact on our costumers.

Will this change the duration of drupa?

In 2016 drupa will eleven days long as planned — from Tuesday 31th May till Friday 10th June. But we might reconsider the length afterwards. The precise dates for the following trade fairs haven’t yet been finalized, But it’s clear that drupa will take place in the traditional drupa month of May in 2019, 2022 and 2025 in Düsseldorf.