Koelnmesse AG has announced that the biennial Photokina imaging event has been canceled, citing decreases in the imaging market. In a press release on the show’s website, Koelnmesse President and Chief Executive Officer Gerald Böse says that there’s is no “viable basis for the leading international trade fair for photography, video and imaging.”
“This hard cut after a 70-year shared history was very difficult for us,” Böse continues. “The trend in this industry, with which we have always had a close and trusting partnership, is very painful for us to witness. But we are facing the situation with a clear, honest decision against continuing this event, a decision to which, unfortunately, we have no alternative.”
As you might expect, smartphone imaging, social media, and COVID-19 are all mentioned as factors in the press release: “Even before the coronavirus pandemic began, the imaging market was already subject to strong upheaval, with annual declines in the double digits. The momentum in this direction intensified massively in 2020, most recently reporting a decline in the 50-percent range.” Koelnmesse Management Board member and Chief Operating Officer, Oliver Frese, adds: “While there are more photographs taken today than ever before, the integration of smartphone photography and videography, together with image-based communication, e.g. via social media, was not able to cushion the elimination of large segments of the classic market.”
Having canceled the 2019 and 2020 shows, the organizers had promised the next show in May 2022. It will surprise few that Photokina 2018 turned out to be the last.
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