Drupa director Sabine Geldermann has outlined some of the initial measures being introduced to allow trade fairs to operate during the time of coronavirus, and has also responded to the news that Xerox and Bobst would no longer be exhibiting at Drupa 2021.
It was confirmed earlier this week that the two manufacturers, both long-standing sizeable exhibitors, would not be at next April’s show.
In response to the news, Geldermann said: “We are sorry that our long-standing partners Bobst and Xerox have decided not to participate in Drupa 2021.
“This is of course an individual decision, which we take note of. Thanks to the high level of participation at Drupa by strong, innovation-driven companies, we are still able to offer a wide range of products across all categories in our halls despite the cancellations and set important impulses,” she stated.
Trade fairs in Germany are planning to re-start this autumn, with the first date in the Messe Dusseldorf calendar currently a show that will open in the first week of September.
Regarding the revised operating conditions, which are still in the process of being formulated, Geldermann said that new stand operating guidelines would involve people interacting at a distance of at least 1.5m.
She said: “Already for the trade fairs to be held in autumn this year, a sustainable health and safety concept is currently being developed in close cooperation with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Economics of the state government, which will make it possible to hold trade fairs under the current framework conditions and standards.”
Geldermann reiterated that the “already existing high safety and hygiene standards” at the expo centre are being “continuously adapted to the latest findings and put into practice”, with the “health of our customers, guests and employees always our top priority”.
The fresh guidelines will involve new ways of planning and organising exhibition stands, as well as personnel and visitor interactions.
“For example, the exhibition stands must be of a size and planned in such a way that the stand personnel and the maximum number of visitors to the stand, which is to be determined individually, can guarantee a minimum distance of more than 1.50 metres,” she stated.
“Such plans also include the personal registration of visitors, the cleaning of contact surfaces or the wearing of mouth-and-nose protection.”
She said the Messe was awaiting concrete regulations from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the city of Dusseldorf, alongside any new decisions from the federal and state governments, and remained in “direct contact with the authorities to this end”.
“We are therefore unable at this time to provide any details or specific arrangements for Drupa. We will of course inform our exhibitors and visitors about these measures as soon as possible,” she added.
Drupa 2021 will take place from 20-30 April.