After intensive consultation, Koelnmesse GmbH has decided to cancel photokina 2020, originally planned to be held 27 to 30 May 2020. The next instalment of the leading international trade fair for photography, video and imaging will be presented from 18 to 21 May 2022. The Imaging Innovation Conference will not be celebrating its première in 2020 as originally planned; a new date will be coordinated.

In general, the management team of Koelnmesse has decided not to organize any own events on the part of Koelnmesse until the end of June 2020. This decision is supported by the crisis management team of the City of Cologne, which also recommended in its meeting on 18.03.2020 to cancel the trade fairs during this period.

This also happens against the background of the agreement reached on 16.03.2020 between the German federal government and the governments of the German states – laying down common guidelines for dealing with the coronavirus epidemic and explicitly including the general closure of trade fairs and exhibitions. This impairs the planning security for Koelnmesse and the participants of the trade fairs in Cologne far beyond the scope of the current scenarios. With this early announcement, Koelnmesse wants to give its exhibitors and visitors planning security.

The decision not to host the next edition of photokina until May 2022 was made within view of several factors: Even before the appearance of the coronavirus, the imaging market was already subject to strong dynamic movements. This trend will now gain momentum and must be factored into plans for the upcoming photokina. Added to this is the fact that our customers’ resources are already under heavy strain in 2021 – as a result of general economic trends as well as rescheduled events on the global trade fair calendar. The orientation towards 2022 gives everyone involved time enough to design the next photokina with an eye to the needs of the market, and of our exhibitors and visitors.

Kai Hillebrandt, Chairman of the Photo Industry Association [Photoindustrie-Verband e.V. (PIV)]: “It goes without saying that PIV completely stands behind the decision taken by Koelnmesse to cancel photokina 2020. The health of exhibitors and visitors is the top priority at the moment. As the conceptual sponsor of photokina, we will do our utmost to assist the Koelnmesse with the planning of the next edition of photokina.”

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  1. Wow, that's a big pushout.

    Meanwhile manufacturers will still be wanting to release next generation kit and will do so more through pure digital channels. With more direct to the consumer contact forced by this pandemic business will probably change to this model for good.
  2. For people in Germany it was almost clear that the fair wouldn't take place at the initial date.

    But to cancel it now completely means that it is now canceled for the second time in a row.

    Last year it was canceled after they shifted the date from autumn to spring and to an annual interval.
    And so the gap between the 2018 and the 2019 fair was too short so there was not enough interest from the exhibitors.
    Let's hope it'll take place now in 2022. Otherwise we'd have 4+ years without it and the question would be if we really need it.
  3. Even before the virus, several major vendors had declined to participate. The world of physical trade shows is rapidly shrinking as companies focus their marketing dollars (and yen and euros) on internet presence. Photokina will go the way of COMDEX and other expensive marketing gimmicks.
  4. By the spring of 2022 it will be canceled also. There will be no need for a large trade show because vendors will have shifted to a on-line product introduction strategy and/or individual events. The large gap between Photokina shows have shown it was not indispensable to the photo industry for anything other than resume sharing and partying.

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