Although two thirds of the exhibition space – about 62,000 square meters – had already been booked and a comprehensive hygiene concept had been developed to comply with COVID-19 safety regulations, Deutsche Messe AG has decided to postpone the next edition of DOMOTEX to 20 – 22 May 2021. The show was originally scheduled to take place from 15 – 18 January 2021. The reasons for the postponement are based on the latest developments regarding the worldwide rampant COVID-19 pandemic and on the fact that, in view of these developments, clients, exhibitors and visitors have asked for DOMOTEX to be held at a later date. DOMOTEX is now planning a digital conference to take place on 15 January 2021, the show’s original start date.
The wide international reach and high-calibre visitors, such as top decision makers, are considered to be among the core benefits of DOMOTEX, the leading trade show for carpets and floor coverings: in January 2020, 70 percent of visitors came from abroad and more than 80 percent of exhibitors represented more than 60 nations. As every year, the flooring industry came together in Hannover. Now, the latest developments in the COVID-19 pandemic show that infection rates are rising again everywhere. Many countries have introduced strict travel and quarantine regulations and it is impossible to predict for how long these regulations will be in place. There is also a general hesitation to travel abroad and we do not know when people will feel safe to travel again. And then again, there is also the prospect that a vaccine may be available by the end of this year.
"It is our duty to act responsibly. From many conversations with exhibitors and partners we have learned that, first and foremost, we have to ensure planning security in good time", says Dr. Andreas Gruchow, board member of Deutsche Messe AG. "With our comprehensive hygiene and safety concept, as well as with the positive registration situation, we were very optimistic until very recently. But the latest developments show that we do not know whether the travel situation will have significantly improved by January 2021. Consequently, we have decided to postpone DOMOTEX from January to May 2021. The discussions that we had with industry representatives on this issue have all been positive and have shown that the postponement is the right decision!"
Something else has also become clear in the many discussions with stakeholders: there is a need for complementary digital formats in order to respond to the rapidly rising number of online channels in the flooring industry and to establish an international, neutral platform under the name of DOMOTEX. Therefore, DOMOTEX 2021 will take place from Thursday to Saturday (20 – 22 May) as a hybrid event: a physical show complemented by virtual formats. Visitors who, for differing reasons, will be unable to travel in May, will thus at least have an option to participate digitally. For exhibitors, the hybrid format also guarantees the wide international reach for which DOMOTEX is known: physically, in the exhibition halls and also digitally extended, using new presentation formats to generate an even wider reach.
DOMOTEX sets up digital conference
The DOMOTEX team is also working on a digital conference, which will take place on 15 January 2021, which would originally have been the first day of the trade show. The keynote theme of "Cover New Ground!" is intended to encourage the industry to discuss what the "new normal in times of COVID-19" will signify for carpets and floor coverings and, regarding the design and application of flooring, to provide inspiration to think beyond existing strategies, visions and experiences and to look towards the future. More information will follow in due course.
DOMOTEX 2021 will take place from 20 – 22 May in Hannover, Germany.