The once much-loved Photokina trade show has been canceled for 2019, according to an announcement on their website. While shocking to some, this is not a surprise in the photography industry. The next event is planned for May 27-30, 2020.
In 2017 Photokina organizers announced a bold plan to run its biennial show, the largest in the world, every year starting in 2019, and changing the show from September to April. April 2019 was planned to kick off this change – leaving a mere seven months between the 2018 and 2019 events.
In the press release, Photokina said, “The decision to postpone the start of the announced annual cycle by one year is intended to give all participants the opportunity to further develop the new concept for photokina and to tap into new target groups among exhibitors and visitors in order to heighten the status of the trade fair as a global platform for the photography and imaging industry.”
The release continues:
“photokina 2018 clearly exceeded our already optimistic expectations with groundbreaking innovations and 180,000 visitors from 127 countries,” explained PIV’s CEO Rainer Führes. “As a result, we set the bar very high for the next event. It is therefore unlikely that, in May 2019 after just over seven months, we will once again be able to create the same enthusiastic atmosphere that characterised photokina 2018. This is why we have decided to start the planned annual cycle in 2020.”
Despite the spin from Photokina the 2018 event saw many flagship brands voting on Photokina’s plans by not attending. Lighting manufacturer Elinchrom did not take part, nor did Germany Lighting manufacturer Hensel.
The new annual plan was not well received by the photo industry. Given the immense expense that goes into Photokina many company’s voiced their opposition to having to fork out for Photokina every year instead of every two years. The main topic of conversation at Photokina 2018 between companies involved was their unhappiness with Photokina’s plans and if they would or would not take part in future events.
Will Photokina take place in 2020? It’s anyone’s guess. With the speed at which the industry moves, Photokina could easily find itself redundant during the 17-month hiatus.