Europe’s largest photographic exhibition, Photokina in Cologne, has been a biennial fixture in September for as long as I can remember: An event for big announcements and a magnet for trade, press and public from around the world. From next year, however, the landscape is changing. The 2018 show will be the last of the biennial autumn events. The dates have also been changed from the earlier published information and will now run from from 26 to 29 September 2018.
Starting in 2019, Photokina takes place in May and will become an annual event, still based at the Kölner Messe complex in Deutz. Apparently the main motivation for the change is the rapidly increasing rate progress in the digital camera industry. In the days of mechanical analogue equipment, pace was relatively leisurely. But now change comes much more rapidly and, in these days of electronics, two years is a long time. However, after being used for so long to a Photokina every other year, during 2018 and 2019 we will have the pleasure of attending two events separated by just seven months. What this means for the camera manufacturers and other leading exhibitors I am not sure. I imagine many will be examining their marketing budgets and wondering whether they will be able to put on such a big show every year instead of every two years. It could lead to a shrinking of floor space.