Cologne, Germany—The organizers of what was to be the first annual photokina photo-imaging show announced that now photokina is suspended indefinitely.
“We can join the imaging industry in looking back upon a successful, colorful and innovative era: 70 years of photokina in Cologne,” they announced. “Since 1950, for generations it has been the top address for photography, video and imaging. It indisputably ranks among the most positive and emotionally charged brands in the global trade fair world.
“This is precisely why it is an extremely difficult step for us to have to suspend implementation of photokina at the location in Cologne for the time being; in light of the continuing steep decline in the markets for imaging products as well as the increasingly heterogeneous needs of the different market segments.
“Even before the coronavirus pandemic began, the imaging market was already subject to strong upheaval, with annual percentage declines in the double digits,” they added. “The momentum in this direction intensified massively in 2020, most recently reporting a decline in the 50% range.”
photokina Is Suspended Indefinitely
In the past several years, photokina’s organizers tried to reinvigorate the international event, including appointing a new director, Fabian Ströter. In addition, the biannual show was to begin its new annual cycle in May 2019. However, following a successful photokina in September 2018 and less than robust interest in the May event, the show’s sponsor, German Photo Industry Association, and organizer, Koelnmesse, moved it from May 2019 to May 2020.
Koelnmesse GmbH then announced that it had canceled photokina 2020. The next photokina was scheduled for May 18–21, 2022.
What’s more, the organizers also planned conceptual changes for photokina. They comprised the inclusion of the smartphone and new imaging technologies. However, along with the change of cycle and schedule change, it was not enough to compensate for the downturn in the numbers and marketing budgets of exhibitors.
Imaging Unlimited Says Goodbye
“The overall situation at the moment is not compatible with the quality standards of a photokina as a globally renowned leading trade fair and brand representing the highest quality and professionalism in the international imaging market,” the organizers now state.
“After decades of shared history, this deep cut is a painful one indeed. Nonetheless, we must face the situation and the trend in the industry and take a clear, honest decision against continuing this event; it’s a decision to which, unfortunately, we have no alternative.
“We would like to thank you very much, indeed, for your long-standing loyalty to photokina and the enthusiasm that this has involved. We can hardly put into adequate words the things we have experienced together; the history we have written together; and our appreciation for your work for and participation in photokina. We trust that you know quite well how grateful we are to you, and how difficult it is for us not to be planning a photokina with you in the foreseeable future. If not for you, photokina would not have evolved into the great and emotional world-leading trade fair it has become.
“It is the memory of these unforgettable snapshots that we will always cherish; the opening of the exhibition areas; the spectacular premières of new products to journalists from all over the world; and the enthusiastic responses by our international visitors. Nothing short of Imaging Unlimited,” they concluded.