The photography world woke up to a bit of a shock surprise this morning when the organizers of the world’s largest optical expo – Photokina – announced they were canceling the 2019 show.
They promise things are still on track for 2020 but, even so, that’s probably not very comforting given the word that next year’s show is a no-go.
This news comes after the event switched from a twice-a-year- schedule to an annual event starting last year. Many are beginning to wonder if Photokina is falling victim to what has claimed so many trade expos across different industries: Rising costs and less return on a company's investment.
After all, these events used to be where companies showcased the latest and greatest. But, with the Internet, the incentive to engage in a perpetual drip feed of news, rather than attending twice or annual expositions, is really changing the way firms approach these kinds of events.
A press release on Photokina’s website reads in part: “The decision to postpone the start of the announced annual cycle by one year is intended to give all participants the opportunity to further develop the new concept for Photokina and to tap into new target groups among exhibitors and visitors in order to heighten the status of the trade fair as a global platform for the photography and imaging industry.”
German Photo Industry Association CEO Rainer Führes commented, “It is therefore unlikely that, in May 2019 after just over seven months, we will once again be able to create the same enthusiastic atmosphere that characterized Photokina 2018…This is why we have decided to start the planned annual cycle in 2020.”
As PetaPixel highlights, Photokina has been around since 1950. Yet many are taking this scaled down approach as a further sign of how the optical industry is changing and how much less relevant this kinds of events are becoming for companies and their marketing departments.