imm cologne, the international trade fair for furniture and interior design, will not take place on the planned dates in January 2022 in Cologne. The executive board of Koelnmesse reached this decision in close consultation with the Association of the German Furniture Industry (VDM) and in agreement with other industry representatives at the international level. However, Koelnmesse will be sticking to their plans for spring events.
Oliver Frese, chief operating officer of Koelnmesse, said: “This step is restricted exclusively to imm cologne and its specific requirements for trade fair operations. We are principally planning, as before, to carry out our spring events in 2022. The political guidelines allow for this, and, following the excellent and safe course of the past autumn trade fairs, this must remain our mission in the interests of the participating industries.”
The VDM, as the industry sponsor of the event, and against the background of the current pandemic situation, sees the economic success of the event and thus the successful restart of imm cologne in January as extremely endangered, as Jan Kurth, CEO of the VDM, said: “Following consultation with numerous exhibitors, industry representatives and trading partners, there is either no question of participation on the part of German exhibitors or exhibitors from the German-speaking region, or this is very much in doubt.” Similar feedback also came from many European countries.
The cancellation is restricted to imm cologne and expressly does not include other B2B events planned for spring 2022 in Cologne. In autumn, the Cologne art fairs and the nutrition fair Anuga, among others, demonstrated that trade fairs are also once again possible at the international level and can be carried out safely for everyone.
“We have determined a heterogeneous estimation among the exhibiting companies in the face of the enduring pandemic situation in Germany,” said Frese. “The assessments vary in degree specific to different industries, sometimes with a greater impact on the respective trade fair and sometimes hardly palpable. In the interests of cooperation in a spirit of trust, we are of course communicating closely with our industries and customers, in order to be able to reach just these kinds of industry-specific decisions.”
A positive picture was still taking shape for imm cologne as a whole with the end of the term for cancellation without penalties in mid-October: with 600 exhibitors from more than 50 countries, the event would still have been the largest and most relevant forum for the interiors industry, hosted in Europe’s biggest furniture market, even in this smaller form in terms of numbers. Koelnmesse, together with the VDM and the exhibiting industry, have reassured the public that they will do everything possible to get a powerful and innovative imm cologne 2023 on its feet.