Podcast #Printerverse: Virtual drupa 2021 with Sabine Geldermann and Vivien Scheffran

Sabine Geldermann and Vivien Scheffran dive deep into the Printerverse with Deborah Corn to share their expectations for virtual.drupa and the challenges and opportunities of the drupa trade show going fully digital in 2021 and reflect on the drupa preview days. And it all started on a Friday, the 13th back in 2020…

Ahead of our virtual.drupa event, drupa Director Sabine Geldermann went on a quick virtual promotion tour to talk to experts of the print community to give a sneak peek into our virtual.drupa preparations, the challenges and opportunities of going fully digital and connect with the global printing industry. Two weeks ago, she sat down with Intergalactic Ambassador to The Printerverse, Deborah Corn, and her colleague Vivien Scheffran, Senior Project Manager of drupa at Messe Düsseldorf for Print Media Centr’s Podcast from the Printerverse to reflect on postponing the in-person event in 2020, the journey of moving drupa to the virtual space, our vastly successful drupa preview days and the preparations surrounding the first-ever mainline digital event as a global, leading print expo.

“When we first had to postpone drupa, it was Friday, March the 13th”

With the global pandemic holding the world hostage for over a year now, it is easy to lose track of time but it was actually already more than 12 months ago that we had to postpone our in-person drupa event, planned to happen at the fairground of Messe Düsseldorf in 2020. On an almost ironically fateful Friday, the 13th, team drupa had to make the decision to postpone drupa for the first time back in March 2020, as Sabine Geldermann remembers while talking to Deborah Corn. The uncertainty of the time when we didn’t know much about the virus and its dangers left us with a tough choice but necessity and obligation lead us to reinvent our format and invest in new digital solutions – going with our core value to embrace future technologies and innovate for the print industry! Investments that had been made by Messe Düsseldorf prior to the pandemic to create digital tools like Matchmaking, that would have been available for a physical event as well, came in handy after these developments.

Staying Connected

Early on, we made the decision to stay connected to our exhibitors that were still looking to reach out and present their latest innovations to the print community. Major key accounts like Heidelberg, BOBST, Konica Minolta, Komori and many others joined our virtual adventure and the success of our digital drupa preview days managed to lay a solid foundation for our mainline virtual.drupa event, having even more big and small exhibitors registering for a showcase, presentations or some of our exclusive web sessions. For virtual.drupa, we already have over 7,500 visitors and more than 190 exhibitors registered as of April, 7th and are expecting even more print enthusiasts registering last-minute, as a registration is possible anytime during the entire virtual.drupa event and our virtual content being available long after the actual event as well.

“Providing everyone with the opportunity to connect and learn”

A highlight of going digital for Deborah Corn is seeing her home country, the United States, climbing to number three on the list of drupa visitor origins for our preview days and having people from all over the world “learn and celebrate the industry” by getting access to the exclusive drupa experience that was previously reserved to only those print fans that were able to travel to Düsseldorf. For Sabine Geldermann, it is especially rewarding to see everyone join in to share and explore the latest print technologies and upcoming products, saying “knowledge transfer is key!”

Listen to Sabine Geldermann, Vivien Scheffran and Deborah Corn talk more about everything drupa, digital drupa preview days and virtual.drupa on the Podcast from the Printerverse. Print long and prosper!

If you are not sure on how to prepare your ideal virtual.drupa exhibition or visit, read our “How to virtual.drupa” guides for exhibitors or visitors right here, on our drupa blog, for additional tips and suggestions from team drupa.

Looking Ahead

Of course, no one can say what the future has in store for us or how the situation worldwide might develop in the coming months, but at drupa, we can at least look at the future of print and let us be inspired by innovations and new technologies or our expert speaker’s keynotes on future technologies. Let’s hope we can all get to meet in Düsseldorf for drupa 2024 again as planned and enjoy a Currywurst or Düsseldorfer Altbier together, in person.

For now, stay tuned for more surprises and highlights ahead of virtual.drupa and don’t forget to follow us on social media as well to stay up-to-date with everything drupa!

Find more episodes of the Podcast from the Printerverse on our drupa blog. Are you ready for virtual.drupa 2021 yet? Plan your drupa experience and don’t hesitate to reach out if you