The next photokina will take place in May 2020

Imaging industry and Koelnmesse decide on a new starting point for the new annual cycle

Following a successful photokina 2018, the German Photo Industry Association (PIV), as conceptual sponsor of the trade fair, and the event's organiser Koelnmesse have agreed not to organise the next leading global trade fair in May 2019, as initially planned, but in May 2020. From Wednesday 27 May 2020 to Saturday 30 May 2020, all the market leaders in the imaging industry are expected once again in Cologne. The decision to postpone the start of the announced annual cycle by one year is intended to give all participants the opportunity to further develop the new concept for photokina and to tap into new target groups among exhibitors and visitors in order to heighten the status of the trade fair as a global platform for the photography and imaging industry.

“photokina 2018 clearly exceeded our already optimistic expectations with groundbreaking innovations and 180,000 visitors from 127 countries,” explained PIV's CEO Rainer Führes. “As a result, we set the bar very high for the next event. It is therefore unlikely that, in May 2019 after just over seven months, we will once again be able to create the same enthusiastic atmosphere that characterised photokina 2018. This is why we have decided to start the planned annual cycle in 2020. The Photoindustrie-Verband would like to thank Koelnmesse for its willingness to quickly comply with this request. This shows once again the great professionalism and excellent customer orientation that has characterised our trusting partnership for decades now.”

“We understand that even the most powerful technology companies cannot ensure that they will once again be able to bring such innovative strength to the exhibition halls as we experienced at photokina 2018 within an extremely short lead time of just seven months,” added Koelnmesse's CEO Gerald Böse. “It is precisely these innovations, however, that shape the character of photokina as the world's leading trade fair – as does the presence of all the leading suppliers in the industry as well as important users, retailers and service providers worldwide. In order to make sure we can continue to fulfil this requirement in the future and meet the expectations of exhibitors and visitors with every event, we have responded flexibly to PIV's wishes. This will ensure the continued unique impact and public appeal of one of our flagship trade fairs in the future.”

This year, photokina had successfully presented itself with a new concept, which included the increased involvement of new exhibitors from innovative areas such as mobile, imaging analytics, digital workflow and moving images, as well as a stronger focus on experience for visitors. This combination of experience and product presentation, which was very well received by younger target groups in particular,

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Go to discussion...



  1. It's hard to believe an excuse like "The products shown in 2018 were so amazing that we're worried 2019 would be a disappointment," after declaring it to be an annual rather than biennial event. Translated from marketing happy talk, maybe they mean, "Vendors weren't that enthused about coming back and spending a bunch of money only seven months later rather than the previous 24 months later."

    Given the industry's troubles, they might wish they'd left it at every two years.
  2. It makes sense, things don't progress like they did in the 2000's. With the Olympics in Tokyo in July 2020, I bet they're preparing for a range of new flagships from all the major players (canon, Nikon Sony) at this event. I reckon they're behind this. It should be a good showing. Hopefully we get that 5Dsr replacement before then.
  3. I think I remember a rumor that Canon won't participate in 2019 or even that the whole 2019 fair would be cancelled.
    Although this was negated it seems that it came true.

    Bad times for fairs as the famous CeBIT fair got totally cancelled a few days ago due to the lack of interest (visitors and exhibitors).
  4. I remember the 1988 photokina when Canon presented their USM motorized lens mockups and I had to free a friend of mine after getting her hair in a micro usm motor model :) it was the usm motor of the 1.4 50 with some gear inside.
    There was a lot of new things which had some wow-effect on me. Not only the silent USM drives but also good color printers and a lot of concept models I missed on this years photokina. I decided not to wait 2 hrs on Canons stand and skipped Canon (despite that fact they sold one piece of the excellent EF-M 32 later via an online warehouse).

    Lots of fairs are no longer show cases IMO but only some business contact events or "customer-has-to-be-convinced-to-buy" events.

    But I have to tell about one exception @ this years photokina: While searching a video microphone for stereo recording I got some very good information from RODE employees. Now I have in preparation for some video documentary a matched pair of M5 microphones with their dead kittens and these (1) perform excellently and (2) are small / robust enough for serious work with a mobile video setup.
  5. well, we shall see whether they get their act together in 2020 or not. I would not bet on it. Large, "open to general public" trade fairs are over. At least in Europe.
  6. The Photography Show in the UK is well attended in March every year. What saved the show was allowing retailers to sell both new and S/H equipment many with trade show discounts from the likes on Canon, Nikon, Sony etc.
    We exhibit at both The Photography Show and Photokina and by comparison Photokina whilst much larger was stale and boring and badly needed a make-over.
    The visitors to The Photography Show now come expecting to spend money and partake in workshops, demonstrations and areas to try equipment out its much more vibrant.

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