The organisers of LIGNA, the biannual wood and woodworking trades how held in Hannover, Germany, has announced a new strategic course in terms of dates.
From 2027 onwards, it will leave the usual event period over Ascension Day and will continue to be held in the odd-numbered years — but detached from the public holiday — in spring.
LIGNA 2027 will be held from 10-14 May 2027, and LIGNA 2029 will be held from 14-18 May 2029.
The date of LIGNA 2025 over Ascension Day from 26-30 May 2025 remains unchanged.
A look at LIGNA’s history shows that the trade fair was originally deliberately scheduled for Ascension Day week. Ascension Day is a Christian holiday that often falls in May. The visitor focus on the public holiday was particularly on the skilled trades sector.
Stephanie Wagner, head of LIGNA, Deutsche Messe, explained about the decision made by Deutsche Messe and VDMA Woodworking Machinery: “The decisive factor for LIGNA’s rescheduling from 2027 is the change in visitor behavior on Ascension Day and the following Friday as a bridge day.
“The leisure behavior of visitors has changed significantly in recent years. Thursday as a national public holiday and the following Friday as a bridge day are very popular as an extended vacation weekend, particularly by German visitors from the skilled trades sector, but also from the industry. Our visitor analyses clearly confirm this.
“As the world’s leading trade fair for the woodworking and wood processing industry, we want to present our exhibiting companies with a high quality and quantity of national and international visitors on all five days of the fair — from all visitor target groups. From our perspective, this will only be possible if LIGNA leaves the Ascension week in future.”
VDMA Woodworking Machinery considers a new event period for LIGNA from 2027 onwards to be of fundamental importance. Dr Bernhard Dirr, managing director of VDMA Woodworking Machinery, Frankfurt am Main, said: “Efficiency is the key to a successful trade fair these days, and that applies to exhibitors and visitors alike.
“Time at a trade fair is valuable and needs to be used optimally. This is best achieved when the number of visitors is spread as evenly as possible over all days. This is exactly what the new LIGNA date ensures.”
When rescheduling a world-leading trade fair such as LIGNA, many different aspects and complex interrelationships have to be evaluated and taken into account, according to the organisers.
Especially with regard to the international LIGNA visitors from overseas, the proximity of dates to interzum in Cologne is a factor. The two trade fairs are traditionally held close to each other and together attract international visitors overseas, for example. interzum Cologne is traditionally held before LIGNA, in early or mid-May.
The organisers said that it is overseas visitors who benefit from the proximity of the two thematically complementary trade fairs when planning their travel and visits.
Wagner concluded: “We are scheduling LIGNA 2027 before interzum. From 2029, LIGNA will then run parallel to interzum. By taking this step, we will enable all visitors to visit both trade fairs in a balanced and time-efficient manner and thus contribute to the average length of stay of an international visitor at European trade fairs, which according to our analyses is around 2.5 days.”