How do you get international visitors to come to Germany? Ideally,
approach them in their home countries. Messe Düsseldorf’s drupa team has been
doing just that since September.
The world’s largest printing industry fair is
scheduled for 31 May to 10 June 2016. Preparations started up in earnest over
two months ago. Presentations, press conferences and meetings with the trade
press have since been held in Asia, Europe and the US. Over 40 drupa events of
all kinds are taking place around the world, on every continent, until well
into February 2016. So the drum is being well and truly banged internationally.
Messe Düsseldorf also wants to inform people about the latest trends and
innovations. The activities range from smaller meetings with experts and the
press to all-day industry workshops and presentations to audiences of several
hundred. “Our communications and marketing mix consists of ads, mailings,
online campaigns, sponsorship activities, PR and press work,” says drupa
director Sabine Geldermann. “The world tour has a central role to play in this.
We make direct contact with potential visitors and those who are key to
promoting the event in order to give them the latest at first hand.”
further benefit of these activities is the feedback they provide. In a direct
exchange you can sound out where people’s specific interests and needs lie. By
the time they finish their world tour, the drupa ambassadors will have flown
about 440,000 km – equivalent to almost 11 times around the world. Almaty in
Kazakhstan, where a print promotion workshop is being held, is a recent
addition to drupa’s world map. The most distant destination is Auckland in New
Zealand, around 18,000 km from Düsseldorf on the other side of the world.
International activities like this are an important way to tap new markets, as
well. While typical buyer markets such as Germany or the US have been plagued
by crises in the last ten years, others are emerging. The biggest contingent of
visitors from abroad at the last drupa, four years ago, came from India. Around
15,000 buyers travelled from the subcontinent. This gives an indication of
where the potential lies for the printing industry in the future (www.drupa.de).
other German trade fair companies, Hanover-based Deutsche Messe is helping to
provide accommodation for refugees. The company is providing an exhibition hall
from the beginning of December until mid-March 2016, shortly before CeBIT. “We
see, of course, how Hanover is continuing to struggle to cope with the high
numbers of refugees,” argues Wolfram von Fritsch, chairman of Deutsche Messe’s
managing board. “And we like to help where we can.” “We have managed to make Hall
27 available continuously for a period of over three months.” This will give
the refugees accommodation over the winter months, regardless of the weather.
To make this happen, Deutsche Messe had to negotiate intensively with its
partners. It wasn’t easy, because originally the company didn’t have a hall
continuously available for such a long period. “We found our customers to be
very understanding of the situation,” says von Fritsch. All those affected have
now agreed to their events being moved to a different part of the site. “We are
delighted to be able to help the city of Hanover again,” adds the trade fair
boss. In the summer the company made Hall 21 available as refugee
accommodation. Deutsche Messe staff demonstrated great solidarity with the refugees,
bringing clothing, bicycles and footballs to the collection centre set up for
the purpose. Some provided language classes in their free time, and private
contacts also developed. One group of refugees produced a large painting and
presented it to the hall inspector on their departure. The painting now adorns
the entrance foyer of the office block at the north entrance (www.messe.de).
Author: Peter Borstel
This article was published in TFI issue 6/2015
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