Home Cameras/Lenses Leica Leica opts out of Photokina

Leica opts out of Photokina

In the heyday — Photokina 2016 (image Mike Evans)

Leica, along with Nikon and Olympus and others, will not be exhibiting at Photokina in 2020. It isn’t the first time Leica has missed a show, but I suspect the company now feels that the revamped Photokina is no longer an essential part of its marketing strategy. In the past, Photokina has been the launchpad for many iconic products, including the M3 which featured at the 1953 exhibition.

Olympus at the 2016 Photokina
Olympus at the 2016 Photokina — another absentee from the 2020 event

The show press office has issued the following statement (translated from German):

It was already clear following the last Photokina that the new concept has succeeded in attracting new exhibitors. Also, the proportion of younger visitors has risen significantly over the past two events. Interest in Photokina remains strong and many visitors and exhibitors are expected at Photokina 2020.

In the heyday — Photokina 2016 (image Mike Evans)
In the heyday — Photokina 2016 (image Mike Evans)

Christoph Werner, head of the Business Unit at Koelnmesse said: “We are are pleased by the strong level of demand and the applications from new and established sectors.”

“Exhibitors include, among others, Canon, CEWE, GoPro, Sony, Panasonic, Kodak Alaris, Sigma, Tamron, Carl Zeiss, Hasselblad, Hahnemühle, Arri, Rode Microphones, DJI and Insta360.

“Leica, Nikon and Olympus have declined to attend in 2020.”

Via Leica Rumors


    • I think this is a growing trend. In the days of YouTube and social media in general, there is less need for big international trade shows — at least as far as the general public is concerned. They are still useful from a trade aspect, I presume. In the past Leica used to spend a fortune on Photokina. I remember in 2014, I think, finding a large stand and an enormous private exhibition area for valued guests. I was able to sit in the large Leica cafe and eat and drink at the company’s expense. Opting out must save a small fortune and, I think, the money is better spent elsewhere.

  1. Are trade shows needed when you have your own distribution network? Are trade shows really necessary in an online world? There are other issues, but I will leave it at that. The world is moving on.


    • I agree. See my reply to John Nicholson. I once made the trek to Cologne but I see absolutely no reason to go to Photokina any more. I probably wouldn’t go even if Leica were exhibiting.

  2. In this day and age, I think Leica can better invest elsewhere. However, small specialty manufacturers such as half case companies could get valuable exposure at photokina with a modest booth.

  3. My first Photokina was in 1984 with the introduction of the M6. I went every other year for almost 20 years, a lot of them with my father. I have many fond memories of them, especially the ones where Tom Abrahamsson and I attended together. My last was in 2006, when I brought my older son with me. Over the many years I attended, I made a lot of the contacts and friends with the Leica company that I have maintained to this day. However, as with everything, times change. Stefan Daniel had hinted to me that Leica may not be at next year’s show, and this confirms it. The writing was on the wall as Leica had not had a major Photokina introduction in many years.

    These days, the money is better spent elsewhere.

    • Bill, I’ve been only in more recent years but, despite the size of the exhibition, there is less and less to interest me. Mind you, this is the same for exhibitions in general. Perhaps they’ve had their day now everyone can gain instant gratification from the internet.


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