The trend towards ever shorter innovation cycles in the print media industry has accelerated very quickly. Data-based digital business models are emerging in very short time intervals and are constantly being modified to align with current specific customer requirements. Customers thus need to be informed about the latest trends quickly, flexibly and on an ongoing basis. This trend also affects customer communications at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg): The company will focus on offering more new, digital options to present products and innovations.
The kick-off will be at the “Innovation Week” from 19 to 23 October 2020. Under the slogan “Unfold your potential”, Heidelberg will be presenting a wealth of product innovations that focus on packaging and commercial, including autonomous printing, end-to-end solutions, Smart Print Shop and Push-to-Stop. The Innovation Week will take place via livestream as well as face-to-face at the Wiesloch / Walldorf location. Heidelberg has already had positive experience of using digital channels in its presentation of the innovations that had been planned for this year’s drupa.
“We will be investing more in new, virtual trade fair concepts to ensure closer and more individual customer communications as well as in regional events in our growth markets. This means we will be able to consistently align ourselves with our customers’ expectations”, says Rainer Hundsdörfer, CEO of Heidelberg. “The Innovation Week will now enable us to communicate with our customers as soon as possible and to present our innovation offensive.”
Face-to-face dialogue will continue to be the focus at the unique Print Media Centers in Wiesloch/Walldorf, Atlanta, Shanghai, Sao Paulo and Tokyo, where we can engage with our customers specific needs directly on-site. At the centres, Heidelberg offers all of its customers and other interested parties market-specific access to product and solution demonstrations, a multitude of possibilities for direct communications with applications specialists as well as extensive training courses. The Print Media Centers have already become established locations for customers to experience live demonstrations and for validating investments. Heidelberg generally welcomes several thousand customers annually to its own demo spaces around the world.
Covid-19 has accelerated the move towards digital and local events. Although there is no way of knowing what the impact of corona will be next year, Heidelberg has to make a decision now. So the company has decided to not participate in international trade fairs next year and will thus not be taking part in drupa. In 2021, drupa will be a very different event – global travel restrictions and hygiene regulations mean significantly fewer visitors and constraints on communication.
Traditional international trade fairs with busy booths and halls will very probably be difficult to implement and will likely lose their status as global meet-up events for customers and manufacturers. As a long-time partner to drupa, Heidelberg will be happy to continue to offer its experience when it comes to bringing future trade fair concepts into line with new digital possibilities and customer requirements.