In 2017, Photokina's organizers announced the world's largest trade fair would 'reposition' itself an annual event starting in 2018 and subsequently announced that after this year's Photokina, which took place in September, the event would be moved to the month of May going forward.

Naturally, it was expected the next Photokina event would take place in May 2019, but plans have changed. According to the German Photo Industry Association (PIV), conceptual sponsor of the trade fair, and Koelnmesse, the event's organizer, the 2019 Photokina event has been postponed a year, meaning the next Photokina event will take place from Wednesday May 27th, 2020 through May 30th, 2020.

'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,' reads the announcement press release.

From left to right: Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer Koelnmesse GmbH, Rainer Führes, CEO of Canon Deutschland GmbH and Chairman of the Photoindustrie-Verband - The Imaging Association, Jürgen Roters, Mayor of Cologne

PIV CEO Rainer Führes is quoted in the press release saying Photokina 2018 'clearly exceeded our already optimistic expectations with groundbreaking innovations and 180,000 visitors from 127 countries.' He goes on to say that Photokina 2018 'set the bar very high for the next event.'

"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.'

Considering the quick turn-around time from the last Photokina — not to mention its proximity to CP+ in March and NAB in April — it was a big ask of Photokina and its organizers to expect exhibitors, media, and attendees to bounce back with enough updates, products, and cash to fill the floors.