Koelnmesse Releases Update for photokina Showgoers


Chicago, IL—Every two years, players large and small in the photo-imaging sector join industry professionals at the photokina trade fair. This year, organizers of the biannual event, Koelnmesse GmbH, are presenting a new concept as well as a new campaign for the show. Open to every segment of the photo-imaging and video industries, photokina 2016 will be held September 20–25, 2016 in Cologne, Germany, at the Koelnmesse Fair Grounds.

Hundreds of North American photo-imaging retailers, distributors, imaging professionals as well as photographers attend this event to source the latest in camera equipment, accessories, kiosk software, scrapbooking, lab options and printing equipment.

More than 1,000 exhibitors from all over the world are expected to showcase their products and services during the 37th edition of photokina, under the new banner “Imaging Unlimited.”

“Thanks to smartphones and also tablets, new target groups of image enthusiasts are arising which we want to reach with the concept,” said Katharina C. Hamma, chief operating officer of Koelnmesse GmbH. “The concept exploits the full potential of the imaging branch and also offers chances for sustained growth in the changing imaging environment.”

photokina 2016’s executive team shows off the new campaign concept (L-R): Markus Oster, vice president, Koelnmesse; Christian-Müller-Rieker, executive director, German Imaging Association; Katharina C. Hamma, COO, Koelnmesse; and Rainer Führes, chairman of the board, German Imaging Association.

Among the companies attending this year’s photokina will be DJI, Atomos, Arri, Leica, Hasselblad, Phase One, SanDisk, Nikon, Olympus, Epson, Ricoh, Carl Zeiss, Manfrotto, DNP, Noritsu, Mitsubishi, Hahnemühle, Canon, Profoto, Fujifilm, CeWe, HP, Sigma, Tamron, Rollei, Sony, Blackmagic, Polaroid, Hahnel, Bresser, Ringfoto, Panasonic, Kodak and GoPro.

Besides the regular exhibit spaces, photokina offers programs for professional photographers, the photo trade and amateurs seeking to advance their skills and upgrade their equipment. Stage events featuring the latest equipment will showcase action cameras, drones, multi-copters, mobile solutions and the latest apps. Hall 6 will feature copters and an indoor obstacle challenge course. Hall 9.1 will present the latest solutions in “Social Media,” “Connectivity,” “Mobile Apps” and “Action Cams.”

In addition, the photokina action hall will showcase action cameras performing under “live” conditions.

Koelnmesse, Inc., the Chicago-based subsidiary of Koelnmesse GmbH, serves as the main contact for North American exhibitors, attendees, media and trade associations interested in taking part in Koelnmesse events. The office assists North American companies and attendees in all their planning steps and works with a broad network of selected suppliers that offer such services as travel, product shipping, customs handling, booth construction and design, preshow preparation and attendance procedures. Koelnmesse, Inc., issued the following tips and information for photokina 2016.


Attendees should book their flights early enough to take advantage of lower rates. Economy class tickets from the East Coast start at $1,000. All major North American airlines offer service to Frankfurt International Airport (FRA). The airport has its own train station. High-speed Inter-City Express (ICE) trains run three times per hour and reach downtown Cologne in less than an hour. One-way tickets cost about $60.

Entrance Ticket/Show Hours

Discounted entrance tickets ordered online offer a 35% savings. Two-day passes can be purchased for $60. The all-days pass costs $96. Preregistration started May 9 at

Entrance tickets provide attendees with free transportation on buses and subways during all show days. Furthermore, photokina is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., including the last day.

Staying in Cologne

Cologne’s Old Town, “Altstadt”

Prebooked hotel rooms in Cologne are available via Koelnmesse’s New York-based travel partner, TTI Travel, at 212.674.3476 or TTI holds a wide variety of room blocks in Cologne. It also offers advice to North American attendees to Cologne on the hotels’ proximity to the fairgrounds. The travel agency provides maps, commuting tips and a list of Cologne restaurants.

Preshow preparation

Attendees are urged to use the exhibitor listing at to plan the trip and search out the companies they would like to visit. Furthermore, they can sort the listing by product category or geography. Koelnmesse recommends making preshow appointments via photokina’s “online matchmaking services,” a service available six weeks prior to the event. “Take some time to learn about products and also competition prior to visiting photokina. Make a list of companies you plan to visit and organize it by hall, saving you time during your show visit,” they advise.

On-site Tips from Koelnmesse

photokina takes place at the fifth largest fairgrounds in the world. The halls are connected via a central “boulevard” that is the main artery to all 10 halls. According to the organizers, exhibitors at photokina are easy to find in clearly categorized and marked halls.

A tip: “Use your cell phone camera for recording images of products and people you meet. It will help you to organize your follow up! Take advantage of the International Buyers’ Lounge at the Congress Center East. The Buyers Lounge provides detailed trade fair as well as product information, cell phone charger stations and PCs with Internet access.”

The lounge is open daily between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. And, of course, wear comfortable shoes; the aisles at photokina are not carpeted.

Things to Do in Cologne

Koelnmesse also encourages attendees to leave some time to visit the attractions Cologne has to offer, such as the famous Cathedral (Dom) and the Old Town “Altstadt,” consisting of a large row of unique restaurants and bars. Recommended Brauhauses include Paeffgen, Frueh as well as Peters Brauhaus.

“With the reorientation and the focus on future-related themes and strategic growth areas of the industry, we have set the course for the expansion and reinforcement of photokina as a leading international show,” said Christian Müller-Rieker, managing director of Photoindustrie-Verband e.V. (German Imaging Association), co-organizer of photokina.