The global coronavirus crisis is having tremendous consequences on the international trade fair business and leading to repeated cancellations and postponements of events at all locations, with impacts for numerous sectors. The most sweeping effect was announced on 21 September 2020 by Messe Frankfurt, indicating that it would not be organising physical trade fairs of its own at the location in Frankfurt up through and including March of 2021. Against this overall backdrop, the management of Koelnmesse takes the following position:
Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse:
“The timing of the Frankfurt decision is surprising, especially with the trade fair market now coming back to life in Germany, too. But every trade fair location has to face the effects of the pandemic in its own way and take decisions of its own based on the particulars of its own portfolio.
Naturally, we here in Cologne will continue to pursue our plans to begin organising fairs on our trade fair grounds in the near future. These plans have been discussed and coordinated extensively with our exhibitors and visitors. The sectors want to start taking part in trade fairs again – always subject to the premise of safety and, of course, approvals by the authorities.”
Oliver Frese, Executive Board Member and Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse:
“Here in North Rhine-Westphalia, as our colleagues in Düsseldorf in particular have shown in the case of Caravan Salon, trade fair operations can now resume, subject to certain conditions. This is how we will proceed for each individual event, guided by the needs of each of the sectors involved. We do not expect a return to the international dimensions of previous events right at the beginning of the new year. Participation will become much more focussed: the art fairs in November will revolve more around the German market; the emphasis at imm cologne in January, for instance, will be heavily directed towards Europe. But the trade fairs are going to take place.
We will meticulously prepare them in close consultation with our exhibitors and partners. We know what our customers need in the key fields of expertise of our trade fairs, and we will benefit from the experience of gamescom and DMEXCO @home – which were held in purely digital form for the first time – to enrich the other trade fairs in our portfolio with additional digital reach at a global level. We remain confident and look forward to our trade fairs in Cologne!”