International Hardware Fair Cologne 2021 was still receiving very positive feedback at the European press conference at the end of October. However, due to the dynamic infection situation and international travel restrictions, the majority of exhibitors have ultimately decided not to participate in the trade fair. Even the comprehensive #B-SAFE4business hygiene and safety concept for coronavirus-compliant implementation of trade fairs was still not able to provide the trade fair participants with more planning security. After careful consideration together with the associations and exhibitors, Koelnmesse therefore decided to cancel the EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair Cologne hybrid event planned from 21 to 24 February 2021 due to the pandemic.
"We sincerely regret the need for this decision. We were well-positioned and believed that many things would have been possible with our hybrid format. A purely digital format would also not have been a substitute for the new, hybrid approach because the focus of EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair Cologne is still the physical presence of exhibitors, who can make good use of the offerings and possibilities of the EISENWARENMESSE@home digital platform. But with broad commitment from the industry, we are now looking forward optimistically and with renewed energy to the event in 2022," emphasises Catja Caspary, Vice President of Koelnmesse.
Matthias Becker, Director of EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair Cologne had this to add: "An important unique selling point of the trade fair is the high level of internationality of both the exhibitors and visitors, and the innovative range of topics. Nevertheless, in view of the continuing rise in infections worldwide and the associated lockdowns, it was no longer possible to guarantee enough participation of international exhibitors and visitors.”
"The decision to cancel was also very difficult for the Advisory Board because we are convinced that the industry needs this trade fair in order to be able to do business successfully in the long term," said Wolfgang J. Kirchhoff, Chairman of the Advisory Board and Managing Director of Witte Tools. “Still, we remain positive about the future and are especially looking forward to 2022, when the industry can start the year again in person here in Cologne with the EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair and EISENWARENMESSE@home.”
“As the largest tool manufacturer in Europe, Germany needs the EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair Cologne as its leading trade fair. The planned concept is absolutely viable for 2022 as well, and we will do everything possible to put on a powerful and innovative EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair Cologne together with Koelnmesse," says Stefan Horst, Managing Director of the Association of German Tool Manufacturers (FWI).
"Koelnmesse has completely convinced our members with its #B-SAFE4business concept and we have no doubt about the ability to ensure the safe execution of an event. Nevertheless, we made the recommendation to cancel in consultation with our members because the EISENWARENMESSE – International Hardware Fair Cologne would not have been able to become the meeting place expected by our members due to the present unforeseeable events," explains Ralf Rahmede, Managing Director of the German Association of Home and Garden Manufacturers (HHG).
And actually there is reason to be excited – from 6 to 9 March not only can exhibitors and visitors look forward to the new, hybrid trade fair format with even more international reach but also an attractive event programme.
This includes a top lineup of informative special events and theme platforms such as the eCommerce area, which will feature a variety of innovative, disruptive solutions and strategies for business in the areas of payment, shop systems, ERP, hosting, search engine optimisation and multichannel.
Source: Koelnmesse GmbH