Photokina show terminated after 70 years

The historic photographic industry exhibition Photokina is over. Management blame the decline of the camera industry, and couldn’t even organise a show for 2022 by which time the pandemic will be well under control.

This news is extremely sad, and hardly satisfactory that the camera companies and Photokina management couldn’t work something out.

Here’s what the exhibition space CEO had to say on the situation:

In view of the further massive decline in markets for imaging products, Koelnmesse has decided to discontinue organising photokina at its Cologne location for the time being. “This hard cut after a 70-year shared history was very difficult for us. The trend in this industry, with which we have always had a close and trusting partnership, is very painful for us to witness. But we are facing the situation with a clear, honest decision against continuing this event, a decision to which, unfortunately, we have no alternative.” – Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse.

Maybe it’s time for something new to take over, or perhaps it is the end of the era altogether. Event spaces and exhibition fairs have all been decimated by the pandemic this year, and many won’t be coming back to life… So are we all doomed to sit in front of a screen permanently from now on, watching some dull corporate presentation over YouTube? Hope not. New imagination is needed and new people to come to the front and organise exciting events for camera enthusiasts. Online is just no substitution for real life shows, meeting the camera company staff in person and other photographers & filmmakers.

There’s some suggestion that the camera industry might find at a home at IFA in Berlin each year, alongside smartphones and other consumer electronics. I can’t really see the manufacturers embracing any show, anytime soon. Announcements that all revolve around a single date or event, are a thing of the past unfortunately. Launches will go online completely and events will be less of a factor for all companies, not just the camera manufacturers.

Hopefully we, the customers, can change their minds!

End of an era.