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Nikon, Olympus, no-shows at Photokina

Photokina, the largest and longest-running international photographic trade exhibition, has suffered a setback with Nikon, Olympus and Leica cancelling their attendance for the next 2020 show, to be held in Cologne next May, 27-30.

This follows the cancellation of Photokina in 2019. Show organisers, Koelnmesse, opted to change Photokina from a bi-annual to an annual event in 2018, at the same time changing the month it is held from September – when there are generally a lot of new product releases – to May.

However, the way Koelnmesse sees it is that the glass is still well over half full – key exhibitors planning to attend include Sony, Canon, GoPro, Panasonic, Sigma, Tamron, Carl Zeiss, Hasselblad, and DJI.

‘Photokina represents a unique opportunity to show the world that the themes of photo, video and imaging have not become less relevant,’ said Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse GmbH. ‘We are relying on the major players of the industry to make the greatest possible use of this opportunity.’

Koelnmesse and the German photo industry association (PIV) have been striving to broaden the scope of the show to involve the mobile, motion and digital imaging segments, as well as younger target groups, ‘ensuring the continued existence of the world’s leading trade fair for imaging,’ as the press release states.

‘We look forward to strong demand and applications from both the new and the classic segments of companies like Canon, CEWE, GoPro, Sony, Panasonic, Kodak Alaris, Sigma, Tamron, Carl Zeiss, Hasselblad, Hahnemühle, Arri, Rode Mikrophones, DJI and Insta360,’ said Christoph Werner, Vice President of Koelnmesse.

The huge Koelnmesse exhibition centre has been the home of Photokina since 1966.

‘We of course regret these cancellations, but they change nothing for the overall experience of Photokina. The unique mixture of product presentation, networking, experience and continuing training have been making Photokina a very special international event for many decades.’

Commenting on the cancellations, Jonny Sullens, the event director of the UK’s The Photography Show (Birmingham, March 14-17), told UK website Digital Photography World that ‘we strongly believe that trade shows should always have a place in the marketing mix – nothing can beat seeing your customers face to face – so it’s always disappointing when companies choose not to show.’

He went on to note that Nikon and Olympus would be exhibiting at his show ‘and we remain incredibly grateful for their continued support’.

In the press release mentioning the cancellations, Koelnmesse noted that ‘ discussions are taking place concerning a new experience area for photography, the acquisition of outstanding speakers for the stages is well underway, and specific concepts for start-ups, traders and professionals are being worked on.’



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