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Two Major Events Incoming

By John Burgess

May 17, 2024

With the AICC Spring Meeting in the rearview mirror, the attention of many Associate members now turns to two important upcoming events, DRUPA and SuperCorrExpo. Unless you have been in the middle of one of these large shows, I am not sure anyone knows or quite understands the challenge of putting together a plan that is going to attract customers to the booth and create that much sought-after return on investment.

DRUPA is the biggest single print show in the world, occurring every four years in the fairgrounds in Düsseldorf, Germany, and running for 10 consecutive days. While in the strictest sense of the word, this isn’t only a “corrugated” show, many familiar names will be exhibiting and displaying their products for all markets—corrugated, tag and label, but primarily flexible packaging. Digital print has become a much larger part of the show in the past few years, with now almost one entire exhibit hall dedicated to the medium.

The show’s biggest challenge is finding accommodations for your staff within hours’ drive of the fairgrounds and then rotating staff in and out to cover the 10 days of the show while trying to run your business in the usual manner. This is the first post-COVID-19 DRUPA; it has been eight years since the last iteration. Then, the average visitor count was 350,000–400,000 people from every corner of the world. 

Next is SuperCorrExpo in the fall in Orlando, Florida. This has become a popular show for the independent and integrated sectors of our market where they see new technologies and hopefully add much of what they see into their next capital budgets. SuperCorrExpo is different from many trade shows in that it is a mix of technical sessions and exhibition time, so for the exhibitors, it is not quite as taxing as a DRUPA but requires a huge amount of planning and execution.

The length and breadth of the corrugated industry will be on display at SuperCorrExpo, from converting and corrugating machinery to essential suppliers such as ink and printing plate vendors. This is a great opportunity to see all of your suppliers in one place; even if you are not in the market for new equipment, this event can start to give you ideas for the future.

DRUPA and SuperCorrExpo are essential ways for us, as Associates, to meet many of our good customers outside of the hustle and bustle of the plant environment and hopefully meet potential new customers, as well as co-suppliers, to plot our course through the market for the next several years. It is not inexpensive to attend and exhibit at these shows, so if you are attending, we ask that you try to visit most booths. Equally important, when the Associate member follows up with you after the show, allow them the opportunity to spend some time with you or your colleagues in your facility to get a real understanding of your needs and challenges. Many of us are quick to hire consultants to look into our businesses and forget that there are hundreds of years of experience within the Associates group that can be readily available.

John Burgess is president of Pamarco’s flexo division and vice chairman of AICC’s Associate board.

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