Following intensive consultation and in agreement with the participating industry association, Initiative Handarbeit e.V., Koelnmesse GmbH has decided to postpone this year's international trade fair for creative handicraft & hobby supplies, h+h cologne 2020 (originally scheduled for 20 to 22 March 2020) to the 2021 planned event date of 26 to 28 March 2021. The management team at Koelnmesse is following the recommendation issued by the Crisis Team of the City of Cologne at its meeting on 4 March 2020 and has decided to host h+h cologne at a later date.
The decision was taken against the backdrop of a risk assessment carried out individually for this event based on the current recommendation of the Robert Koch Institute (public health institute in Germany) for major events. This decision does not have any implications for other upcoming events, as each such event must be assessed individually with regard to the risks it involves. The numbers, structure and origins of exhibitors and visitors play a role in these assessments, as does as the spatial situation in the exhibition halls.
Added to this is the uncertainty of many customers and the complicated travel situation, especially for international participants. "Even in view of this background, it is not possible for us to provide a functioning trade fair as a place to experience industry highlights and a forum for international business contacts," says Koelnmesses' Chief Operating Officer Oliver Frese.
"Almost all our members are concerned about the wellbeing of their staff and customers," says Hedi Ehlen, Managing Director of Initiative Handarbeit e.V. "Worries about potential quarantining which could bring businesses to an entire standstill additionally persuaded us, with a heavy heart, to push for a postponement of the trade fair until next spring."
As the world's largest ordering platform of this type, the international trade fair for creative handicraft & hobby supplies annually presents its trade visitors a comprehensive spectrum of innovations in the areas of sewing, crocheting, knitting, embroidery and handicrafts. Over 400 exhibitors from over 40 countries and around 16,000 trade visitors had been expected at h+h cologne 2020.
Koelnmesse is continuing its preparations for the following trade fairs as planned.
As before, it will evaluate the recommendations of the responsible authorities regarding major events for each event and make further decisions after careful consideration.