The hybrid event of imm Cologne and Living Kitchen has been cancelled for 2021 as a result of Covid-19 developments in Europe and Germany.
The decision was made today, despite organiser Koelnmesse’s statement in September that it was determined the shows would return in 2021.
Imm Cologne has been rescheduled for January 19-23, 2022 and Living Kitchen has been postponed until 2023.
Messe Frankfurt, the organiser of Europe’s biggest bathroom trade event, ISH, was also forced to pull the plug on its 2021 event in September after pressures from attendees and exhibitors. Several other trade shows in 2020 were cancelled or taken fully online, such as Kbis and Eurocucina.
Gerald Böse, chief executive of Koelnmesse, said: “We’ve had to face the reality, even though it’s painful. In the end, because of the very dynamic way things are developing right now, the uncertainty among our exhibitors and visitors was just too strong. This decision was geared to the interiors industry and made in close consultation with our conceptual sponsor, the VDM (Association of the German Furniture Industry), as well as our exhibitors and partners.
“Because the concept for the special edition was based on the offline and online formats being closely interlinked and mutually dependent, not even a purely digital event made sense under these circumstances.”
He added: “With ambista – the global online business network for the furniture and interiors industry – Koelnmesse already combines the most important functions that market players in the furniture and interiors sector need on a daily basis in a single platform.”
Preparations for the next trade fairs are already under way, as Koelnmesse believes that in-person trade fairs still provide an important experience.
Böse continued: “ ‘We make it happen’ was our unambiguous commitment to holding imm Cologne in January 2021. With the special edition of imm Cologne, we wanted to play an active role in tackling the current crisis.
“Now we have to abandon that plan. The on-site experience of a trade fair is, and always will be, something very special, and the developments of recent weeks – and in particular the latest feedback from our customers – have shown that today’s cancellation of the special edition, which we had planned with so much dedication and commitment, is the right decision because it’s appropriate to the situation.”
Have you heard the latest episode of The kbbreview Podcast? It’s out today and you can listen using the player below or by searching ‘kbbreview’ in your podcast app of choice.