As a first-timer to drupa, I’ve been seeking out tips and advice from drupa experts on tackling the largest exhibition in the printervese.
1. Thou Shalt Wear Comfy Shoes
I was told to look into this thing called *squints eye* arch support. Right, got it.
Not only are the halls huge, you’re expected to be doing a lot of walking from one booth to the next. Or in my case, dashing from one appointment to the next.
Obviously: absolutely no heels. As a sneaker girl, I’m all for this one.
2. Plan, plan, plan
Ideally you’d want to stick to only a couple of suppliers, and cluster your meetings at the same hall, on the same day.
Unfortunately, that's one luxury unavailable to me. Press conferences + interviews = back-to-backs. Fortunately, drupa has a wealth of information available for me to plan my route around the various halls and centres. The last thing you want to be doing is wasting time figuring out how to get to drupa and navigating the halls.
Another fantastic help tool from drupa: the App. The free app is packed with all the visitor information you need, including a search feature for exhibitors, seminar programmes and perhaps most importantly, a virtual map. The tried-and-tested app is intuitive, easy to use, and not glitchy at all.
If your time at drupa is limited, prioritise. Prioritising which technology to check out for your business will help you not get distracted. There will be tons and tons of new technology and developments that will be pushed onto you by eager vendors, so having a list of must-sees will help your focus.
Set a block of time to 'rest'. This would be the opportunity for you to browse the halls.
4. Weekends Are Great
Weekends are supposed to be the best days for drupa. Everyone’s a lot more chilled out and the crowd isn’t as insane.
Personally though? I’m trying to squeeze all my viewings within the weekday so I can squeeze in a bit of sightseeing on one weekend… or, you know, sleep in.
5. The shuttle bus is not constant
The exhibit halls are all interconnected via sheltered walkways, moving sidewalks, and shuttle buses. If you have appointments to run to between halls, try not to be too reliant on the shuttle buses.
Apparently, they are inconsistent, so either turn up at least 30 minutes before your meeting, or see if you can walk your way there.
6. Follow Twitter feeds
Following social media accounts will help you to get the most up-to-date information on the drupa floor. I find Twitter the best resource; drupa has an account and most major vendors have feeds.
Print’s media from all over the world will be here as well, including yours truly. Speaking of which… Have you followed us on Twitter?
Twitter also allows you to follow hashtags, so you can track conversations regarding your favourite manufacturer, or business area from a string of different users. The official drupa hashtag is: #drupa2016
7. Hot Wheels
Cycle/skate scoot/roller blade/heck, hoverboard through the halls.
Ok, ok, so I made this up... Can you, though? I did drop this question to a couple of drupa veterans, only to be met with blank stares. “Can you try it and let me know?” one urged in curiousity.
I don’t have to rely on shuttle buses to get from one hall to the next, I don’t have to look into the science of ~arch support~, and I don’t have to worry about being tardy. I promise to do so very, very carefully?
Fine, this last one is a joke. Sort of. I highly doubt this would be allowed because of safety protocols (all those expensive machines around, dear God no! And yes yes, people might get hurt, etc sure).
Thanks to all tippers! I welcome more tips. See you in Dusseldorf!