Last updateMon, 01 Feb 2021 12pm

photokina is suspended until further notice

Declines in the imaging market force a hard cut after 70 years

In view of the continuing massive decline in the markets for imaging products, Koelnmesse has decided to suspend the holding of photokina at the Cologne location for the time being. "Unfortunately, the general conditions in the industry do not currently provide a viable basis for the leading international trade fair for photography, video and imaging," says Gerald Böse, CEO of Koelnmesse. "This harsh cut after a 70-year joint history has been very difficult for us. The development of the industry, with which we have always enjoyed a close and trusting partnership, is very painful for us. But we are facing up to the situation with a clear, honest decision against continuing the event, which unfortunately has no alternative for us".
Even before the Corona pandemic, the imaging market was already in a state of flux with double-digit annual declines. The dynamics have massively increased in 2020 and were last associated with a minus in the region of 50 percent. This has had a strong impact on photokina, which has been the first address for generations in Cologne for the imaging industry since 1950 and is one of the most positive and emotional brands in the trade fair world.
Since 2014, Koelnmesse, together with the Photoindustrie-Verband (German Association of the Photographic Industry), has drawn conclusions from the declining market and reacted with fundamental concept adjustments and high investments in new exhibitor and visitor segments. "However, these conceptual changes, as well as a change of rotation and a change of date, have ultimately not fundamentally improved the situation of the event," says Managing Director Oliver Frese, Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse. "There is more photography today than ever before, but even the integration of smartphone photography and videography as well as image communication, e.g. via social media, could not compensate for the loss of large parts of the traditional market. As a result, the overall situation is not compatible with the quality standards of photokina as a globally renowned brand that stands for the highest quality and professionalism in the international imaging market".
Koelnmesse made its decision in close cooperation with the Photoindustrie-Verband. PIV Chairman Kai Hillebrandt: "Our partners in Cologne have done everything to maintain photokina as the leading global trade fair. However, the event would indeed not have been able to meet the expectations of the entire imaging community in 2022. This is why the association is taking this unfortunately unavoidable step. We would like to thank the Cologne team for a great 70 years together!



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