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Hannover Fair is postposed in response to Coronavirus

04 March, 2020

The organisers of the world’s largest industrial exhibition, the Hannover Fair, have decided to postpone this year’s event from 20–24 April to 13–17 July, in response to the Covid-19 Coronavirus outbreak. Deutsche Messe made the decision in cooperation with the Hannover Region Health Authority, the event’s Exhibitors' Council and its partner associations, VDMA (German Engineering Federation) and ZVEI (German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association).

The regional health authority had strongly recommended that Deutsche Messe follow the advice of the Robert Koch Institute, a German government agency and research institute that is responsible for disease control and prevention. The Institute has recommended measures to safeguard health when hosting major events, such as installing fever-measuring stations at all entrances and not allowing people from risk areas or those who have had contact with people from risk areas, to enter the exhibition.

This would have required a comprehensive assessment of all of the fair’s participants – from exhibitors and visitors to service providers, stand-builders and catering companies, and Deutsche Messe felt it was unable to implement these measures. In addition, the organisers believed that implementing the measures would impair the staging of the event to such an extent that it would not fulfil its purpose, or would do so only with considerable restrictions for exhibitors and visitors.

Deutsche Messe says that because the health of exhibitors, visitors, employees, and the public was its top priority, it decided, in consultation with the show’s exhibitor advisory councils, to switch to the July date.

“With the July date, we offer our exhibitors the earliest possible timeslot to present their innovations to a global audience and to initiate business,” explains Dr Jochen Köckler, chairman of Deutsche Messe’s board. “In view of the global economic challenges triggered by the Coronavirus in the first half of the year, the new date offers great opportunities. Thus the world's most important industrial trade fair can provide important impetus for the global economy at an early stage.”

Thilo Brodtmann, chief executive of the German Engineering Federation, VDMA, says that his organisation “supports the decision of Deutsche Messe AG. In regards to the current challenges caused by the Coronavirus, postponing Hannover Messe until July is the best possible option. We assume that the situation will calm down in the coming months and that the mechanical engineering industry will then benefit from a reviving business situation.”

“Today's decision by Deutsche Messe AG to postpone Hannover Messe comes at the right time,” agrees Wolfgang Weber, chairman of the ZVEI management board at ZVEI, the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association. “As an internationally important industrial trade show, its USP is the gathering of people from all over the world. This can only happen if there are no health risks. Furthermore, it is important for the electrical industry to present its products for Industry 4.0, electrification and greater energy efficiency to the public this summer.”

This year's Hannover Messe has been postponed by three months in response to the Coronavirus outbreak
Image: Deutsche Messe

The organisers have produced a list of FAQs about the postponement of the event, that answers questions for both exhibitors and visitors.

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