Hannover, Germany—Domotex Hannover 2021 has been postponed from Jan. 15-18 to May 20-22. The reasons for the postponement are based on the latest developments regarding the worldwide rampant COVID-19 pandemic, the show said, including a general uncertainty in relation to traveling abroad. Domotex is now also planning a digital conference to take place on Jan. 15, 2021, the show’s original start date.
According to Deutsche Messe AG, the show’s producer, 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, clients, exhibitors and visitors asked for Domotex to be held at a later date.
In January 2020, 70% of visitors came from abroad and more than 80% of exhibitors represented more than 60 nations. Many countries have now introduced strict travel and quarantine regulations and it is impossible to predict for how long these regulations will be in place, the show said.
“It is our duty to act responsibly,” said Andreas Gruchow, board member of Deutsche Messe AG. “From many conversations with exhibitors and partners we have learned that, first and foremost, we have to ensure planning security in good time. 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. 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.”
A hybrid experience
According to the show, something became 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 as a hybrid event: a physical show complemented by virtual formats. Visitors who 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.
The Domotex team said the keynote theme of the digital conference, “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.