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Photokina Calls It Quits After 70 Years

Photokina, the photography trade show that’s been running in Cologne since 1950 has announced that 2018 was its final year.

This year's trade show was scheduled to take place in May this year but its cancellation was announced in March as a result of the impact of the global pandemic. Since then it seems to have been attempting to figure out its future but in a statement released on the promoter Koelnmesse’s website, it thanked fans for their support and said that it will “discontinue organizing Photokina at its Cologne location for the time being.”

“Unfortunately, at present the framework conditions in the industry do not provide a viable basis for the leading international trade fair for photography, video and imaging,” explained Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse.

The statement goes on to detail that the industry’s decline was already presenting challenges to the show even before coronavirus arrived. The organizers had been making changes to the show to adjust to downward market trends, tweaking the timing and regularity to attempt to adjust to an industry that continues to be hugely impacted by the arrival of smartphones.

At its peak, Photokina regularly drew more than 180,000 visitors to shows that featured companies from more than 40 countries.

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John Martin's picture

What pandemic. Trump said it would magically disappear after the election. Guess he lied again.

Rick Rizza's picture

It will open again when the time is right

Jim Sternhell's picture

One can argue that events like Photokina are one of the reasons we see such competition in the photography industry. The phenomenal gains - attaining ever superior quality at an affordable price are the result of competition.
I look back at how much Photokina has spurred manufacturers to grab the limelight with the latest category killer.Like it or not, the spectacle of announcements of the latest and greatest at Photokina give us the latest and greatest.

I hope they reemerge or some alternative emerges to keep the entire industry on its toes, striving toward Nirvana.