Hannover Messe cancelled because of coronavirus
Hannover Messe has been cancelled for the first time in its history as coronavirus continues to take hold in Europe, and other markets.
Deutsche Messe, which runs the show, said at the start of March it had delayed the industrial technology trade show for two months because of coronavirus, pushing it back to mid-July. But comprehensive travel restrictions, bans on group gatherings, and a decree by the local government to prohibit its staging have now seen the 2020 edition cancelled altogether.
The event’s core clientele within the manufacturing industry are also struggling with the economic fallout of the pandemic. Demand and sales in German industry are declining, resulting in supply bottlenecks, production stops and reduced working hours for employees.
Jochen Köckler, chairman of the board at Deutsche Messe, said: “Given the dynamic development around Covid-19 and the extensive restrictions on public and economic life, Hannover Messe cannot take place this year. Our exhibitors, partners and our entire team did everything they could to make it happen, but today we have to accept that in 2020 it will not be possible to host the world’s most important industrial event.”
At the same time, the show will not completely vanish, Deutsche Messe said. It revealed plans for a “digital information and networking offer” to provide exhibitors and visitors with “economic policy orientation and technological exchange”.
A policy platform and knowledge exchange will be established to engage the industrial sector in the period until the next event, scheduled for April 2021. This will include live streams of expert interviews, panel discussions, and case studies.
Köckler said: “The need for orientation and exchange is particularly important in times of crisis. That is why we are currently working intensely on a digital information and networking platform for Hannover Messe that we will open to our customers shortly.”
He added: “Nothing can replace direct, person-to-person contact and we are already looking forward to the time after coronavirus. But especially in times of crisis, we must be flexible and act pragmatically. As organizers of the world’s most important industrial trade fair, we want to offer orientation and sustain economic life during the crisis. We are doing that with our new digital offering.
Thilo Brodtmann, executive director of Germany’s Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA), said: “The cancellation of HANNOVER MESSE 2020 is an unfortunate decision, but it is the only correct one. The mechanical engineering industry must now concentrate on minimizing the consequences of the pandemic in its own operations so that it can start up again. In April 2021, the engineers will be back in Hannover in full force.”
Wolfgang Weber, Chairman of the ZVEI Management Board: “The fact that Hannover Messe 2020 cannot be hosted is a bitter loss, but it is the right decision. For the electrical industry, the fair is the showcase to the world, which unfortunately remains closed this year. So our companies will use the time until 2021 to manage the considerable consequences of coronavirus. Next year, they will then present themselves with the latest products and solutions for Industry 4.0 and the energy system of the future.”