Difficult Trade Show Year Should Improve

After a promising re-start in autumn, the 2021 trade fair year in Cologne ended on a conciliatory note, says Gerald Böse, president and chief executive officer of Koelnmesse. In the months leading up to that, Koelnmesse had to accept significant declines in sales and high losses, as in the previous year. Despite renewed cancellations and postponements at the turn of the year 2021/2022 due to the pandemic, the company's management is confident about the rest of the year. Only 34 of the 68 trade fairs planned worldwide as part of Koelnmesse's programme took place in 2021. These included 13 of the company's own events in Cologne, Germany; 11 guest events; and 10 events in eight countries abroad. Several of the company's own events – h+h cologne, insureNXT, interzum, gamescom, and DMEXCO – were held in purely digital form, while others managed to combine the physical live experience in the trade fair halls with new digital services as hybrid events, thus setting the course for future formats. Implementation of the planning for 2022 largely depend on the further development of the pandemic as well as the political requirements and travel regulations. Koelnmesse is planning a total of 64 events for 2022 including 21 of its own and 22 guest trade fairs in Cologne as well as 21 abroad.