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Four years have passed... Are you ready for print's Olympic event? Here's how to have a ‘SUPA’ DRUPA!

Even for the most seasoned trade show trekker, Drupa can be overwhelming — the massive halls, the masses of people, the seemingly unending display of equipment, materials, products, and technologies. In 2000, those of us that traveled Messe Düsseldorf's fairgrounds for a few days quickly discovered lunchtime and late-day refuge in the beer-and-brat oasis located in the venue's “cobblestone” courtyard (hint: bring comfy shoes!).

Drupa 2004 promises much of the same — myriad exhibits of print-business products and solutions, exciting unveilings of the newest technologies, burgeoning blisters for those in hard-soled shoes, and — let's hope — the refreshing beverages and mouth-watering brats.

But this year's venue, slated for May 6-19, in Düsseldorf, Germany, also has added its very first ancillary program, which show organizer Messe Düsseldorf says will consist of “edutainment” events, such as the Innovations Arena (“a mixture of show and know-how”), special exhibits for software and hardware, special presentations addressing the latest printing issues, as well as “highlight tours” through various specialized exhibition categories.

Also, this year's 17-hall trade fair has been dubbed “the JDF Drupa.” The result of a partnership between the International Cooperation for the Integration of Processes in Prepress, Press, and Postpress (also known as CIP4) and Messe Düsseldorf, “JDF Drupa [will be] the global event heralding the advent of JDF and graphic arts-industry process automation,” says Messe Düsseldorf North America. (More about “JDF Drupa” can be found on p10).

As of January, MDNA reports 1,635 exhibitors from 50 countries have registered to display their products and technologies in Düsseldorf. To date, adds the show sponsor, 60% of exhibitors are from countries other than Germany, with the largest representation from Italy (168 companies), followed by Great Britain (131 exhibitors), the US (119 exhibitors), Switzerland (80 companies), and France (69 exhibitors).

Of special interest to converters will be halls 6, 10, 11, 12, and 16, which will house exhibitors within the paper converting and package-production section of the show. In addition, halls 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 13, and 16 will feature prepress and premedia systems, and halls 1, 2, 4, 6, 7 13, 15, and 17 will host exhibits of suppliers selling industry printing machinery, appliances, and accessories.

Whadda Supa City!
Your jaunts outside the fairgrounds will be accommodated graciously by the city of Düsseldorf (a.k.a. “Drupacity” during the event). Among the perks to take advantage of is free public-transportation travel privileges for Drupa attendees and exhibitors. A Drupa entrance pass will serve as a ticket on all buses, streetcars, underground trams (U-Bahn), urban railways (S-Bahn), and German rail service within the Rhine-Ruhr regional network (VRR and VRS), which includes neighboring cities Wuppertal, Krefeld, Dortmund, Bonn, and Cologne.

“Drupacity” also has plans to provide numerous activities for attendees and exhibitors, which MDNA reports will focus on four areas:

  • Exhibitors and visitors will receive a “proper Drupa welcome” upon arrival.

  • Hotels and restaurants/bars will assemble a special program of activities for Drupa guests, including a daily trade-fair newspaper every morning and a special “Drupa cocktail” in the bar.

  • Retailers will organize special Drupa activities designed to generate a unique Drupa shopping experience.

  • Drupa will be “taken out of the exhibition halls,” with special presentations designed to show people on the street “the art of printing.”

A good trade show experience is usually the result of some pre-show planning. So, if you're going to Drupa in May, don't be a “poopa,” and take some time to investigate the venue before you step onto the tarmack with what likely — and quickly — will turn into that jet-lagged, confused Euro-tourist expression. MDNA has provided the perfect way for pre-Drupa planning via its Drupa portal Here, you can find info about tickets, show directories, accommodations, exhibitors and products, exhibitor services, special events, and much more. See you in Düsseldorf! PFFC

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