Are ‘pivot’ and ‘withdraw’ the words of 2020?

Both have entered the print industry’s lexicon as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic. To pivot has become a go-to for many converters as they look to repurpose technologies and product portfolios to serve the ‘Covid economy’, with face masks, PPE, signage and hand sanitiser all in big demand. Equipment manufacturers have also had to pivot to some extent, turning from exhibitions and events to direct communication and virtual activities to bring their latest technology breakthroughs to market.

This has led many to withdraw from rearranged industry events such as drupa.

Although it will not be the only casualty of this, drupa’s size and scale – 2021 marks 70 years since the first event – has painted a rather big target on its back. It is a costly exercise too, and ‘old fashioned’ according to some, with Covid-19 opening a window of opportunity to create and rapidly accelerate new and less resource intensive routes to market. A direct consequence has been that with each passing week, more and more manufacturers confirm they will not exhibit in Düsseldorf next April. At the time of writing, EFI and HP were the two latest big names to withdraw, with EFI chairman and CEO Jeff Jacobson describing the decision as ‘unfortunate albeit prudent’. Konica Minolta and Canon have now joined the ranks of those not physically exhibiting at drupa 2021.

An unfortunate consequence of such noble actions has been that the excitement and anticipation around breakthroughs in digital package printing, particularly with inkjet, has been dissipated throughout the year and across multiple platforms.

This makes the September/October issue of Digital Labels & Packaging all the more valuable, as it incorporates our annual Inkjet Buyer’s Guide. This highlights the opportunities with inkjet and the latest and greatest technologies, making it essential reading for all those looking at inkjet as a way to profitably print through and out of the pandemic.

Read the latest issue of Digital Labels & Packaging here