by, Bob Wagner, Xerox Technology Communications

By May 16 about 100,000 people will visit the Xerox stand in Hall 8b, and I’ll have a chance to meet with hundreds of them from dozens of countries.  That’s what I like most about this quadrennial mega show.  Like-minded people from around the globe come together in picturesque Dusseldorf—people with a passion for printing.  In fact, there’s no better place in our industry than drupa to make friends and rekindle long-standing relationships.

This is my fourth drupa since 2000, and over the last 12 years coming to Germany I’ve met many interesting people and made many good friends.  My drupa “BFF” list includes Andreas Weber, a prominent industry analyst, journalist and publisher who hails from Mainz. I met Andreas on my first trip to drupa.  Since then we’ve worked on numerous projects—here in Europe and in North America—promoting the role of digital printing in the marketing communications mix.  Andreas is one of our industry’s biggest evangelists for digital print.  He fluently speaks the language of marketing to marketers—and that truly sets him apart as an influential voice in our industry.  Every time I think of Andreas, I think of drupa, where our friendship began.

Me and my good friend, Andreas Weber (left), at the Xerox stand in Hall 8b at drupa 2012.

And that’s the best part of drupa: re-connecting with colleagues and customers who I haven’t seen in four years.  As Jeff Jacobson, the new head of our global graphic communications business, says: our industry starts and ends with “all-encompassing relationships”—many of which begin and get rejuvenated right here at drupa.