Organiser Messe Düsseldorf, has postponed drupa until April, 2021.

This follows the recommendation of the German government in Berlin, in light of a spike in people infected with the novel corona virus, especially in Europe.Werner M. Dornscheidt, chairman of the Board of Management of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, says, “The decision was taken in close consultation with our advisory boards and sponsoring associations.”

On March 11, Messe Düsseldorf part owner, the city of Düsseldorf, had already moved to prohibit major events expecting more than 1000 participants to be present at the same time. The decision to postpone the event also reflects the wishes of individual industries, Dornscheidt continues, “As their partner, we are currently doing everything in our power to reduce the economic losses suffered by our exhibitors.”

The event will now run from April 20-30, 2021.

Thomas Geisel, Lord Mayor of the state capital of Düsseldorf and chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Düsseldorf trade fair company, says, “The city of Düsseldorf is following the instructions of the state government. Our aim is to slow down the spread of the corona virus so that the health system can continue to function properly.”

Koenig & Bauer chief executive officer and president of drupa, Claus Bolza-Schünemann, says, “A postponement of drupa was unavoidable after the latest developments. The decision is therefore right and responsible. Many exhibitors start their logistical preparations middle of March – today’s (March 13) announcement of the postponement enables all those affected to react now, reschedule and prepare for the event date in April 2021. The excitement for ’embrace the future’ remains undiminished – also in 2021”.

Stakeholders carefully considered the increased risk posed by drupa if it had gone ahead in June, due to a large number of international participants, both visitors and exhibitors.

Dr Markus Heering, Managing Director of the Printing and Paper Technology Trade Association of German umbrella industry association, the VDMA, says, “drupa is the most important meeting place for the international printing industry. True to the motto ’embrace the future’, it is characterised by personal, international contact and live product presentations. The risk of infection would simply be too high at present. We therefore support the decision to postpone the event and look forward to the date next year.”

DEHOGA, Düsseldorf’s Trade Association for the Hospitality Industry has appealed to its members and the entire industry to be flexible when it comes to rebooking by exhibitors and visitors.

Also postponed is Interpack, which was scheduled to have taken place May 7-13 2020 in Düsseldorf; this show will now take place over 7 days from February 25 to Macrh 3, 2021.

Representative of Messe Düsseldorf in Australia and New Zealand, Robert Laing, says, “Some may ask why are Interpack and drupa not taking place until 2021. Due to the required timeframe including assembly and dismantling of almost two months, the 2021 deadline was the earliest and best possible one, which was agreed upon with our drupa/Interpack President and our partners. This allows for all parties involved to reliably plan under the current cicumstances.”

Elsewhere in Germany, schools are closed, and football’s Bundesliga will suspend games in the top two divisions from Tuesday, March 17.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization, speaking at a press conference in Geneva on March 13, said that 132,000 cases of Covid-19 and 5000 deaths had been reported to WHO and that Europe was now the epicentre of the global pandemic.

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