Virtual drupa just finished its day two. The stream of webinars and company presentations did not ease. 61 were listed for the 21st of April and obviously there is no way to cover them all. I managed about a dozen and glimpsed into a few others. Here are my impressions and conclusions.
I would have wished there would be more highlights to report on. Again, very little product news and usually company presentation were a rehash of products and services already launched. Sometimes presenters seemed happy to get it done with, not even spending the allotted 30 mins. Still, some do a good job in giving a bit more detail on their offerings, e.g. Konica Minolta and RISO. Speciality press manufacturer Olbrich presented their joint development with Ricoh on a web-fed printer for vinyl wallcoverings and flooring. This huge press is targeted at the high end of the market. Unfortunately, the presenter overran with no chance to ask questions. Flexible packaging press manufacturer Comexi launched an inkjet imprint bar for their analogue presses. Developed with Fujifilm and Meteor it uses low migration UV inks and runs up to 250 m/min. I especially liked their “Smart Cabinet” for spares. It traces who is taking out which types spares, monitors the level in stock and reorders automatically – in a quite stylish designed cabinet.
According to drupa the conference sessions on day two were about the “connected consumer” and “platform economy”. Personally, I felt that the sessions rather focussed on textile print and young people in print. Not the same, but still interesting. Especially some interesting sessions on textile turned into my highlight of virtual drupa day two.
My plan was to spend a bit of time in the (virtual) exhibition space. Not sure what I was expecting, but it feels quite basic. Either you are linked back to the vendor presentations, can watch some
Navigating is challenging. The listing gives you 3823 exhibits – owed to the fact that every product and even some service offerings get their own entry. Clever exhibitors put an exclamation mark in front of their product or exhibit, giving them the top spots of the listings. Surely you have a number of filters but with some many entries for every vendor it still feels unwieldly. No virtual booths, VR or other innovative stuff.
The drupa organisers already put out a press release on the first day. Apparently 17,000 visitors are registered and 7,500 took part in the conference program. Virtual drupa counts 211 exhibitors as well. This is a far cry from any drupa in recent history, but easily the largest audience of any print industry web event I heard off.
With virtual drupa day two survived, there are two more days to go. An overview on day one is here. I am missing the virtual Altbier already – or was it the live version?