In a press release on its website, Photokina has confirmed that Nikon, Leica and Olympus have all opted out of attending the 2020 trade show.

The press release, titled ‘Photokina 2020: An Industry in Transformation, a Decisive Chance for the Future,‘ buries the lede by first elaborating on the current state of the camera market and following it up with the significance of a trade show such as Photokina. The press release starts out saying:

The imaging industry is currently undergoing massive changes, which also have an impact on Photokina as the industry's leading trade fair - and this in a dimension never seen before. While on the one hand the classic camera market reports strongly declining sales and turnover figures, the enjoyment of photography continues to grow - with a positive effect on the demand for pictures.

Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse GmbH, goes on to say that Photokina ‘represents a unique opportunity’ and notes that ‘[Photokina is] relying on the major players of the industry to make the greatest possible use of this opportunity.’

It’s not until two paragraphs later the press release confirms three ‘major players’ won’t be attending the trade show after first expressing gratitude to multiple other manufacturers for attending:

”We look forward to strong demand and applications from both the new and the classic segments of companies like Canon, CEWE, GoPro, Sony, Panasonic, Kodak Alaris, Sigma, Tamron, Carl Zeiss, Hasselblad, Hahnemühle, Arri, Rode Mikrophones, DJI and Insta360,” says Christoph Werner, Vice President of Koelnmesse. These are contrasted by cancellations, including from Leica, Nikon and Olympus.

The press release goes on to say these cancellations change nothing for Photokina 2020 and ensures that the show will go on, but losing three major manufacturers in a single year is never a good sign. We saw this happen with PMA years ago and once a few left the expo, the rest quickly followed.