THE PHOTOKINA TRADE SHOW SHUTS DOWN INDEFINITELY AFTER 70 YEARS
The organisers of Photokina at the Koelnmesse have just announced that Photokina, the Biennial photography trade show in Cologne, Germany, has come to an end after 70 years. It had sent out emails to exhibitors this morning, letting them know what was going on, and then announced the news publicly via press release.
They say that this hasn’t been directly caused by the coronavirus pandemic, although it did cause the cancellation of Photokina 2020, stating that “the imaging market was already subject to strong upheaval, with annual declines in the double digits”. 2020 simply amplified this effect and has led to their current decision.
In view of the further massive decline in markets for imaging products, Koelnmesse has decided to discontinue organising photokina at its Cologne location for the time being. “Unfortunately, at present the framework conditions in the industry do not provide a viable basis for the leading international trade fair for photography, video and imaging,” according to Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse. “This hard cut after a 70-year shared history was very difficult for us. The trend in this industry, with which we have always had a close and trusting partnership, is very painful for us to witness. But we are facing the situation with a clear, honest decision against continuing this event, a decision to which, unfortunately, we have no alternative.”
The press release begins that it is “suspended until further notice”, suggesting that it may return one day, but I suspect that it won’t. The next Photokina show was scheduled for 18–21st May, 2022. This will now obviously no longer go ahead. This essentially makes The Photography Show in the UK the largest photography show in Europe now.
Even before the coronavirus pandemic began, the imaging market was already subject to strong upheaval, with annual declines in the double digits. The momentum in this direction intensified massively in 2020, most recently reporting a decline in the 50-percent range. Recently, these developments have had a profound effect on photokina, which — in Cologne since 1950 — for generations has been the top address for the imaging industry and ranks among the most favourably and emotionally charged brands in the trade fair world.