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 September 21, 2020 by Messe Frankfurt, indicating that it would not be organizing 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 organizing 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!”
The next events on the Koelnmesse agenda at the Cologne location will be the art fairs ART COLOGNE and COLOGNE FINE ART & DESIGN, from 18 to 22 November 2020, along with a number of guest events.
2021 will begin with imm cologne and living kitchen in the furnishings sector (18 to 24 January 2021), followed by ISM, trade fair for sweets and snacks and the supplier fair ProSweets Cologne (31 January to 03 February 2021).
About Koelnmesse: Koelnmesse generated more than 400 million euro in revenue worldwide in 2019 and has a workforce of more than 1,000 people. As a city trade fair location in the heart of Europe, it is home to the third-largest trade fair grounds in Germany and ranks among the top ten in the world, with approximately 400,000 m² of hall space and outdoor area. Each year, Koelnmesse organises and manages around 80 trade fairs, guest events and special events in Cologne and in the most important markets all over the world. With its portfolio it reaches over 54,000 exhibiting companies from 122 countries and around three million visitors from more than 200 nations. By 2030, Koelnmesse is investing around 700 million euro in the future of the exhibition centre with the most extensive investment programme in its history.