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Hannover Messe will not take place this year

Steve Rogerson
April 1, 2020



There will be no Hannover Messe this year. The organisers had originally moved it from its traditional April slot to July due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but now that date has been cancelled. The plan is for next year’s show to go ahead in April 2021.
 
The Hannover region has issued a decree that prohibits the staging of the world's leading tradeshow for industrial technology. From now until the next Hannover Messe from 12 to 16 April 2021, a digital information and networking offer will provide exhibitors and visitors with the opportunity for economic policy orientation and technological exchange.
 
Comprehensive travel restrictions, bans on group gatherings and a prohibition decree in the Hannover region make it impossible to stage the show this year. At the same time, the coronavirus crisis is affecting the economy, and the manufacturing industry is already struggling with serious consequences of the pandemic.
 
Demand and sales in German industry are declining, resulting in supply bottlenecks, production stops and reduced working hours for employees.
 
"Given the dynamic development around Covid-19 and the extensive restrictions on public and economic life, Hannover Messe cannot take place this year," said Jochen Köckler, chairman of the board at Deutsche Messe. "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."
 
It is the first time in its 73-year history that the event will not take place. However, the organisers say they will not let the show completely vanish.
 
"The need for orientation and exchange is particularly important in times of crisis," said Köckler. "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."
 
Various web-based formats will let exhibitors and visitors exchange information about upcoming economic policy challenges and technology. Live streams will transport interactive expert interviews, panel discussions and presentations all over the world. The online exhibitor and product search is also being enhanced, for example with a function that enables visitors and exhibitors to contact each other directly.
 
"We firmly believe that nothing can replace direct, person-to-person contact and we are already looking forward to the time after corona," said Köckler. "But, especially in times of crisis, we must be flexible and act pragmatically. As organisers 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 the VDMA, Germany's mechanical engineering industry association, 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 minimising the consequences of the pandemic in its own operations so 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, added: "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 corona. Next year, they will then present themselves with the latest products for Industry 4.0 and the energy system of the future."