Photokina, the biennial photo industry trade show in Cologne, Germany, has announced that it will become an annual event. Additionally, there are plans to diversify the show to include products and technologies beyond its historical focus of cameras and photography.

Beginning in 2018, Photokina will become an annual event, which it says will better reflect the 'fast-paced and briefer innovation cycles' of digital technology. Additionally, from 2019, Photokina will take place in May instead of its historical September slot. The most immediate impact of these changes is that Photokina 2018 will adopt a shorter, more focused schedule, from September 26-29.

As part of the shift to include the wider digital imaging industry, Photokina will broaden its focus, moving beyond traditional core areas to include technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, cloud computing, content management, social media, and smart home applications.

Given the current state of the camera market, these changes aren't entirely surprising, and will hopefully allow Photokina to remain a relevant and vibrant event even as the market for still cameras contracts.

Press release:

Photokina 2018: the world's leading trade fair for photo, video and imaging is repositioning itself

Photokina will take place annually as of 2018. It will in future thus optimally reflect the fast-paced nature and the ever briefer innovation cycles of an increasingly digitalised industry. As of 2019 the trade fair will also have a new date in May. In addition to innovations from the core areas of the imaging workflow, the entire range of products, applications and services of relevance for imaging shall in future be presented in Cologne. With these changes, the transformation process begun in 2016 shall be consistently continued: under the umbrella of "Imaging Unlimited", photokina last year inspired both exhibitors and visitors and accessed new target groups for the industry.

"The digital transformation of the imaging industry is advancing, and thus opening up new perspectives and value creation potential. The new date and the annual cycle should in future make photokina even more attractive to all providers of the imaging ecosystem. In this way, we show the specialised trade, the media and our users an even broader bandwidth of state-of-the-art products, applications and services in Cologne which especially suits the young imaging culture," Rainer Führes, chairman of the board of the photography industry association (PIV) is pleased to state.

The imaging ecosystem today also includes, in addition to the core areas from the imaging workflow, trend areas like virtual and augmented reality, cloud computing, as well as image recognition and holography. The growing flood of images and videos must be processed and administered, so that archiving and content management, social media and communities are coming increasingly into focus. Apps and software solutions have become indispensable both for professional use and for the end consumer. Smart home applications and computer-generated imaging are once again increasing in importance. photokina should in future serve as an important international innovation platform.

Katharina C. Hamma, Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse GmbH, has a positive perspective on the future of the trade fair: “photokina 2016 has shown us that this traditional brand in our portfolio has lost nothing of its attraction worldwide and in the region. The new concept has been a complete success. photokina has continued to develop further over time, as have the products, services and the market environment presented there. Now we are taking the next logical step by offering a digitally powered product environment an attractive annual platform for presenting the latest innovations and for entering into discussion with traders, specialist users and end customers."

For the 2018 event, only the series of days is changing: it will take place from Wednesday, 26.09. to Saturday, 29.09, and thus enables a more compact, more intensive trade fair experience.