drupa 2024 sets five Special Forums with focuses on key future themes

Being the biggest leading trade fair for print technologies, drupa is associated with innovations and novel approaches like no other. This is why again five Special Forums—drupa cube, drupa next age (dna) as well as touchpoints packaging, textile and sustainability—all are planned as hot spots for new technologies, applications and ideas.


The five Special Forums of drupa 2024 will open up new perspectives as they are designed to provide a deep dive into tomorrow’s print and packaging industries, connect technology leaders, newcomers and users and specifically focus on the top trends in the industry. The forums pick up on global mega trends, future technologies with growth potential and best practices covering a comprehensive spectrum of themes.

The experts among the drupa 2024 partners for the forums include DITF Deutsche Institute für Textil- und Faserforschung Denkendorf (German Institutes for Textile and Fibre Research), epda (European Brand and Packaging Design Association), ESMA (European Specialist Printing Manufacturers Association), The Marketing Cloud UK as well as VDMA (German Engineering Association).

“In times of continuous change, disruptive processes and the resulting new business models our Special Forums provide important guidance and are indispensable for the sector,” says Sabine Geldermann, Director drupa, Print Technologies Messe Düsseldorf. She underlines, “Jointly with our partners we bank on impressive industry expertise and on the topics defining the future for our target groups.”

drupa cube

The drupa cube stands for Thought Leadership and will also serve as the central stage for pioneering content in 2024. Keynotes, expert panels and workshops ensure knowledge transfer and interaction. The conceptual and strategic partner is the British agency The Marketing Cloud, which was already in charge of programme implementation at the previous editions.

drupa dna

The Special Forum drupa dna is the innovative technology driver for connecting industry newcomers, young talents, start-ups and well-established companies. dna offers scope for networking at eye level and gives a preview of tomorrow’s technologies setting the pace for the industry. Focal themes include Additive Manufacturing, Artificial Intelligence, Business Intelligence, New Materials, Platform Economy, Predictive Maintenance, Printed Electronics, Remote Services, New Business Models, and Process Design, amongst others,

touchpoint packaging

touchpoint packaging (tpp) focuses on visionary packaging solutions and introduces brand owners to designers, material suppliers, print service providers and converters. The involvement of students and young talents such as NABA, Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti (New Academy of Fine Arts Milan) in partner projects with exhibitors promises to deliver smart packaging solutions for folding boxes, labels, flexible packaging and corrugated cardboard. Furthermore, important questions regarding such focal themes as sustainability or e-Commerce will be discussed. The participating companies will represent the complete process chain.

Responsible for the Special Forum is the European Brand and Packaging Design Association (epda), Europe’s leading association of brand and packaging design agencies. MINTEL Germany, an innovative enterprise in the area of consumer research will be the content partner of this project and is guaranteed to provide insights into consumer trends and their impact on the industry. The tpp enjoys the additional support of the EHI Retail Institute Cologne as a representative of retail.

touchpoint textile

The textile industry offers cross-industry technologies for many sectors – touchpoint textile brings these companies together providing a space for cross-sector cooperation, new projects as well as product and manufacturing ideas. In co-operation with industry partners DITF, Deutsche Institute für Textil- und Faserforschung Denkendorf, will set up a digital textile micro factory at drupa and, hence, a fully connected, integrated process chain ranging from the buyers’ requests and design through to large-format digital textile prints. Many exciting projects such as the efficient, personalised production of sportswear and outerwear from sustainable materials in one consistent digital workflow or a creative competition for young and upcoming designers are featured on the agenda. touchpoint textile is supported by renowned partners such as Assyst, Brother, d.gen, the Albstadt-Sigmaringen University, KURZ, Luxion (KeyShot), Mey, Mitwill, Multiplot, Vaude and Zünd.

Another partner responsible for the lecture programme at touchpoint textile is ESMA. Speakers from research, development, and industry will address questions related to print and finishing technologies, workflows, market developments or sustainability, to name a few. The focus is also on trends and applications that tap into ever new potentials through the interplay between digital printing and textile print substrates.

touchpoint sustainability

touchpoint sustainability is THE ‘port of call’ for learning more about the circular economy and sustainable print production. This Special Show comes care of the VDMA as a longstanding partner of drupa. Visitors can look forward to best-practice examples as well as innovative solutions associated with the sustainability theme: How can energy and resource consumption be reduced by using optimised techniques in manufacturing processes? How are materials and printing inks reduced to a minimum in new low-threshold areas? And how is finishing applied in an environment-friendly manner? For these and many other questions touchpoint sustainability will provide a central platform and stage for high-calibre knowledge transfer.

drupa 2024 is scheduled to be held from May 28 – June 7, 2024 at Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre, Düsseldorf, Germany.