Back with Pat McGrew. This is my special bonus video because, because of Pat and the awesome team at HP PageWide Press, I'm actually going to get to go to drupa this year, and I don't think anyone I’ve told that I'm going to drupa hasn’t asked this first question of me. What’s your shoe strategy? So, because you are the queen of strategy as far as tackling drupa, I thought maybe you could give everybody a little background about how many drupas you’ve been to, and maybe some Pat McGrew tips on how to conquer the Messe. Pat McGrew. Pat McGrew.” The person I know who’s been doing drupa the longest is of course, Frank Romano, who I think was at the first. But, I’ve been doing drupa since the ‘90s, and – Actually, that's not true. It’s the ‘80s, since the end of the ‘80s. So, you know, a good long run, thirty plus years of drupa. And so, drupas are normally every four years and sometimes they’re every five years, because we went from ’95 to 2000, beyond the millennium. But, it's going to be in three years next time, so it’s a little hard to keep track of, but a lot drupa. And, over the years, the fairgrounds itself, and so when we talk about drupa, it’s not like going to Jacob Javits or going to the Orange County Convention Center or whatever the big convention center is in a typical US city. This is a fairground. Dusseldorf has been the home of trade fairs for its entire existence, and this area, there are now 17 permanent buildings that are each halls in of themselves, plus some special purpose buildings and transportation hub and the main office building, which is also the press building. It’s the only trade show you’ll go to that has a grocery store onsite and a hardware store.
And a soccer stadium?” And a soccer stadium, because you should have a soccer stadium. That’s part of your complex. There are two metro stops within the Messe. So, it is a really, really big area. And, when I first started going, there was no building 8 or 8A. There was no transportation hub. In the big field out there, there was no soccer stadium. It really has grown quite a bit over the years. And, it’s why we talk about shoe strategy. If you are coming too drupa and have never been before, you need to realize that if you bought your little Fitbit device or whatever on, you’re going to see numbers that you’re not used to seeing because you will be walking in steps in a way unlike you normally do. When we were there for a site visit back in November of last year, one of my team members had just gotten a Fitbit, and had set it set for, you know, 10,000 steps for the day and we exceeded that by ten o'clock in the morning, and we just kept going. It just keeps getting bigger, and yes, it does keep getting bigger because this is a really big complex. And, where we’ll be in Hall 17, we’re sort of at one end of it and then there’s all the other halls, and, you know, to get to any of them, it’s a walk from one to the other to the other. So, my strategy forever has been to always have two pairs of shoes with me, that I have the morning shoe and then after a couple hours, I switch to my other shoes, and then I switch back and forth to alternate couple of hours on most days, because your feet get tired. Really. I mean, this is concrete that you’re living on, and if you're not used to living on concrete, then your feet could get tired. Good shoes. Don’t buy a pair of shoes and bring them, you know. Make sure you got a pair of shoes that are broken in, and that you understand. If you've never used arch supports in your life, this would be a time to start. Go stand on one of those Dr. Scholl scanners or go into a walking company store and stand on one of their scanners. I wear Danskos or a Dayos for most of the show. I’ve done the show in Crocs, but Crocs high heels, in past years. I may bring a couple pairs of those with me. The thing is that you want to make sure that these are shoes that you and your feet are really comfortable in. Even Shelley Sweeney from Xerox made this funny pun. She said, ‘You know, no high heels for drupa because when she's working on Xerox.’ And, frankly no matter how much you love your high heels, this is not the show to be wearing them, or especially not for walking around. If you want to wear high heels in your booth area, that’s one thing, but bring flat shoes or some good trainers to be walking from hall to hall, because it’s just concrete, right? And, it’s concrete from building to building to building to building, and in the whole complex, it’s all concrete, and it really wears your knees, it wears your ankles, it wears your hips out. And, if you’re there as long as we’re going to be there, and we're going to be there a good long time, right? We’re going to be there over ten days. It really does – It does start to really build up. The other thing that you want is to remember that the weather is variable at drupa, and so you’ve got to want to be planning for layers. It can get really hot and humid, but in the evening, when the sun goes down, it can get, you know, a little chilly if the wind comes of the water. This is the world's biggest print trade show, so you need a strategy for what you are going to collect and what you're going to do with it after you collect it. You know, you go through 17 halls, you can wind up with boxes of stuff, and then you’re going to decide, you know, are you really going to trash it in the hotel room or are you actually going to send it back and use it. Be aware that there is a DHL depot right there on the hub next to the grocery store, where you could mail things home to yourself, and they have handy boxes to build, and take advantage of that. Usually, if you pick up the sample, you had a reason, right? You didn't just take it up because it was there, you picked it because it was triggering something. Then, you get back to your hotel room and you look at your suitcase and you go, ‘Oh, do I really need this print sample?’ The answer is, ‘You probably really do, but you don’t want a whole of them.’ So, don’t even take it back to your hotel, make your last stop of the day the DHL FedEx booth, and just build a box and send it back to yourself.
Right. That’s a good idea. So, what about planning for – How should people plan attendees or how to get to see everything? Is it even possible to see everything?” SO, you know, it is possible to see everything. You have to decide, for your business, what's the most important thing? And, if you look across the hall, the drupa team really have – They’ve worked hard to label the halls and sort of group things together in a logical way. So, if you’re coming for the post ton, you probably know what vendors you want to go see. You probably want to see whoever is supplying your technology today, and then you want to go see their competitors. So, one of the things to do is, you know, figure out who’s close to the vendors that you really want to see and who can you see in that same timeframe. You know, out in 8A and 8B, you’re going to get the folks like Hunkeler and a lot of the media vendors, the paper vendors are out there. Maybe there are things that you need to talk to somebody who sells paper, this is drupa, go talk to them, because they're going to have some really cool strategy for new stuff that they’re bringing out that might be of interest –
And samples.” And samples. And, go talk to the finishing guys, even the guys you don’t use, because everybody's bringing their best and brightest for this event. My take on it, when I had come to the show as an analyst, and it’s been a few years when I came as an analyst. But, when I came as an analyst, my strategy was to start at 8, start at the back, right? And then, work my way towards the front.
That’s smart.” The metro stopped in the middle that we panned in, and I always had to get back to my car that was parked in the parking garage anyway. Most people come to the show either on public transportation or on a bus of some kind or on the metro, right? And, if you're coming in on the metro, it leads you off right in the middle of the hall. If you're coming in on a bus that will lead you outside of the hall, the east or the west entrances, you know, take advantage of that. Walk at what’s close by and then plot a strategy for seeing the people you need to see. But, whatever you do, go see stuff that doesn’t at all apply to your world. If you are doing mostly digital printing that is for the transactions-based, go look at the big book printing machines, go look at the finishing equipment out in the book printing hall. It might give you some ideas. If all that you do is book printing, go take a hard look at the people who are doing die cutting. Go look at high cut. Go – in differentiated finishing because they might give you some ideas to think – to help your customers. Drupa is one-stop shopping for everything you can do with paper. So, you owe it to yourself. If you spent the money to get there, right? You owe it to yourself to be walking through as many of the halls as you can. Biggest mistake people make is they think that they come spend one day and go. And, if you’ve already booked your ticket and that’s what you’ve done to yourself, I’m really sorry, because you will never get the whole drupa experience in one day. It’s just too big. It’s massive. I could spend one day just going through our Hall 17. Run along to go see Meccanotecnica and going over to team to see, you know, Muller Martini, and going to see manroland. By the time I would get to see all of my partners, I’m two and half days into the convention. So, that’s what I’m trying to get through. A lot of first timers don’t understand how big this show is.
Right. I mean, I just published a blog recently with the director of drupa, and I had an aerial shot of it. It’s a city. It’s a city. It's crazy. Question for you. I know you’ve mentioned that Mark Johnson – Yes, Mark Johnson. He loves to end up in the media store to buy gadgets and stuff, and you mentioned a grocery store. What are some other little known things that people – Whoa, I said little known, but little spots that people might not know exist in Messe?” Over the years, because they expanded out the hall 8A and 8B, they actually built this sort of long corridor that sort of gets you up and over there. So, there’s all sorts of interesting small vendors along those halls that are always worth taking a look at. The center core of that area, there’s the drupa store, so if you need a drupa t-shirt or your drupa keychain or – I actually have a drupa teddy bear. I have to confess –
I have one of those.” I have a drupa flip-flop. When you walk, it leaves the imprint of the drupa logo in the sand.
Oh, how cool.” I mean, there’s all sorts of drupa paraphernalia you can get your hands on, but it's worth spending a lot of time looking for the smaller things, right? So, when I first met the Locr guys – I met them at drupa four years ago in Hall 7, which is where a lot of the small software vendors are, and they just – they caught my attention, because that bright orange logo color and the story of the maps, just intrigued the heck out of me. I spent probably a good 40 minutes with them, when I first met them, and I kept going back. And now, they’re one of my partners for the show. If you walk up and down the hall in Hall 7, where a lot of these guys are, a lot of software vendors are, you’ll see a lot there. There are also a bunch of them out in Hall 8, and then they sort of move around. You’re going to want to take a hard look. You know, there are a lot of people bringing inkjet web presses. There are a lot of people bringing sheet-fed inkjet presses. There are a lot of people bringing wide format presses. You know, even if you don’t think it’s part of your business, spend a little bit of time looking at what else is out there that might help you be on edge to differentiate your business, because competition’s just going to get up. It’s not going to get easy, and understanding what you can do to differentiate yourself, there is no better place than drupa to come and learn that.
Right. Well, thank you so much for Pat’s tips on tackling the show, and if you've been playing along our little video series here, you'll know that we are going to be at drupa together. Thank you very much for the invitation. And, I will be helping HP PageWide Press tell their partner stories with the #PWPPartners, PWPPartners, one word. And, on my Twitter account, you can find a Twitter list that lists all the partners that you could connect to. Connect with @PatMcGrew on Twitter, @PrintMediaCentr, and look for our reports, videos, tweets, shares, friends, pictures, periscopes, blabs, everything we can do all drupa, all the time, and I will definitely be discussing my shoe strategy from the show. Thank you so much Pat McGrew. See you later.