Nikon, Leica and Olympus pull out of Photokina 2020

(Image credit: Photokina)

Photokina still remains the best known of all the photographic trade shows - but the German expo's quest to adapt to a changing international industry has faced yet another setback. Nikon, Olympus and Leica have all cancelled their stands at next year's event in Cologne, according to a press release from the organizers.

Thee setback follows the cancellation of the 2019 event on the banks of the Rhine. In 2018 the organizers made the surprise announcement it would double in frequency to become an annual event taking place in May rather than the traditional September. But this year's event was cancelled a full five months before the doors were meant to open. Previously, the exhibition had run every two years since 1966 - although the number of halls used for the show has gradually diminished over the years.

"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," says Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse GmbH. "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".

Kölnmesse - the giant expo park in Cologne that is the home to Photokina

Kölnmesse - the giant expo park in Cologne that is the home to Photokina (Image credit: Koeln Messe)

The press release goes on to point out some big names in the industry will be there at the show, which is set to run from 27 to 30 May, 2020.  Key exhibitors that will be there include Canon, GoPro, Sony, PanasonicSigma, Tamron, Carl Zeiss, Hasselblad, and DJI.

"We strongly believe that trade shows should always have a place in the marketing mix - nothing can beat seeing your customers face to face - so it's always disappointing when companies choose not to show," says Jonny Sullens, Events Director from the UK's The Photography Show. "With that in mind I am pleased to confirm that both Nikon and Olympus will be at our March 2020 show alongside all the major manufacturers we had at the 2019 event and we remain incredibly grateful for their continued support".

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Chris George

Chris George has worked on Digital Camera World since its launch in 2017. He has been writing about photography, mobile phones, video making and technology for over 30 years – and has edited numerous magazines including PhotoPlus, N-Photo, Digital Camera, Video Camera, and Professional Photography. 

His first serious camera was the iconic Olympus OM10, with which he won the title of Young Photographer of the Year - long before the advent of autofocus and memory cards. Today he uses a Nikon D800, a Fujifilm X-T1, a Sony A7, and his iPhone 11 Pro.

He has written about technology for countless publications and websites including The Sunday Times Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, Dorling Kindersley, What Cellphone, T3 and Techradar.