Back in September 2020, a decision was reached by Messe Frankfurt and the industries involved to forgo any physical events at its home base in the first quarter of 2021. Now, following close consultation with customers, the organization announced that “it has become necessary to postpone the international physical trade fairs planned for April and May – Prolight + Sound, the International Consumer Goods Show, Heimtextil, Techtextil and Texprocess – as a result of the regulations and travel restrictions that have been imposed.”
There is currently no end to the pandemic in sight. Events are effectively banned in Germany, and ongoing international travel restrictions mean that it is impossible to make any trade fair plans for April or May 2021. “The coronavirus pandemic has taken centre-stage, and our plans have not escaped its impact. In light of the current situation, it would not be possible for us to satisfy our customers’ requirements for international trade fairs in April or May,” said Detlef Braun, member of the executive board of Messe Frankfurt.
That is why Messe Frankfurt has decided, following close consultation with its customers and partners, to postpone the hybrid Prolight + Sound event planned for April and the three textile fairs Heimtextil, Techtextil and Texprocess scheduled for May, and to cancel the International Consumer Goods Show scheduled for April. An annual spring event is essential for the trend-based order cycles in the entertainment, technology, consumer goods and textile industries, which means that postponing these events until the second half of the year would not serve the interests of exhibitors. In addition, this is the time when industry participants normally shift their preparations into high gear — logistics lead time that is particularly essential for exhibitors at Techtextil and Texprocess, some of whom need to bring machinery to Frankfurt for their presentations. As a result of the current situation and ongoing travel restrictions, exhibitors are faced with huge uncertainties regarding who will be allowed to be present and their customer contacts, making it extremely difficult to commit to trade fair participation. It simply is not possible at present to offer any planning certainty for investments in trade fair presentations for April or May.
Focus on digital formats
Due to the fact that physical events are not possible, Messe Frankfurt has created numerous digital offerings for its customers. Consumer Goods Digital Day on April 20, 2021, for example, offer customers the opportunity to get together at a digital location where they can engage in dialogue and obtain information. The content of the Digital Day will be focused on ways in which retailers can help their businesses, particularly since it has not been possible to hold any international flagship fairs in Frankfurt featuring the relevant presentation possibilities and supporting programs since Ambiente 2020. This content will be supplemented by the opportunities presented by Nextrade, the first order and data management portal for the home and living sector. Nextrade also offers attractive possibilities for manufacturers of finished home and household textiles to present their products, as well as a frequently used channel through which they can promote business with retailers and traders. Additional digital information and content offerings are already being planned for Heimtextil, Techtextil, Texprocess and Prolight + Sound.
Braun: “The ongoing shutdown of retailers in our visitor countries has made relevant up-to-date information and solutions essential, and we are satisfying this demand with our digital offerings during this volatile time. As you know, we are also continuing to do everything in our power to make safe and successful trade fairs possible, because nothing can take the place of face-to-face encounters.”
As a result, Heimtextil will now take place from 11 to 14 Jan. 2022, followed by Christmasworld from 28 Jan. to 1 Feb. 2022, and Paperworld and Creativeworld from 29 Jan. to 1 Feb. 2022. Ambiente will be opening its doors from 11 to 15 Feb. 2022 in its customary slot, followed by Prolight + Sound from 26 to 29 April 2022. Techtextil and Texprocess will then take place in the second quarter of 2022.