Lighting Industry

Official: Light + Building 2020 show is cancelled

three men in suits admire a light fitting at the Light + Building trade fair
This year's Light + Building exhibition has been cancelled, it is understood

THE LIGHT + BUILDING 2020 exhibition will not take this year, organisers have confirmed.

The huge biennial event, postponed from April this year to September because of the coronavirus outbreak, will next take place in 2022.

It’s believed that organisers took the decision due to two majors factors, the withdrawal of major bellwether brands including Signify and Zumtobel, and the difficulty of holding the popular event while observing social distancing guidelines.

In a statement, they said: ‘In view of the worldwide situation caused by the corona pandemic, and the prohibitions on events and travel restrictions associated with it, Messe Frankfurt has decided, jointly with its partners – ZVEI and ZVEH – and with the Trade Fair Advisory Council, to defer the eleventh Light + Building and to hold it, in accordance with its normal sequence, from 13 to 18 March 2022.

‘Having considered the current situation again, and ten weeks after the initial postponement, in view of the joint decision by the Federal German Government and German States that major events cannot be held in Germany until at least the end of August, no properly scheduled preparation and holding of the event can be guaranteed. 

‘When holding events of all kinds, travel conditions and regulations prohibiting assembly play a central role. It is the aim of the industry, and of business in general, to hold Light + Building, as a leading world trade fair, in conformity with its customers’ expectations and in accordance with its conception and service commitment. 

‘At the moment Messe Frankfurt cannot guarantee that this aim can be assuredly achieved.

‘The current regulations, combined with continued global travel restrictions and the potential threat to individual health, make it impossible to hold Light + Building in 2020″, Light + Building CEO Wolfgang Marzin told the press. 

‘At the same time, in the interests of exhibitors and visitors, we must avoid unnecessary costs in good time. 

‘The decision has not been easy for any of us, but now we shall be directing our energies to holding the next Light + Building in its accustomed sequence in 2022.’

‘Light + Building is of quite particular importance for companies engaged in lighting and building services technology – it is here that industries with the latest technologies look far into the future,’ said ZVEI president Michael Ziesemer 

‘However much we regret the cancellation, we are also in favour of it. 

‘Given the manifold uncertainties and challenges, it was right to make this decision now, jointly and in a dialogue between partners’.

The judgement appears to have been made that it would be better to cancel altogether than proceed with an impaired exhibition, which would have damaged the Light + Building brand. 

Organisers have been in intensive discussions with exhibitors, German trade bodies including the ZVEI and the ZVEH, and the public-health authorities of the City of Frankfurt in recent months.

In March, organisers were forced to  postpone the show due to the threat from the coronavirus. It was sparked by the outbreak in Italy of the highly contagious disease and an announcement from Signify that it was pulling out of the show. 

Signify was one of the first major players to confirm that it wouldn’t take part in the rescheduled September event, citing the health and wellbeing of its employees.

Behind the scenes, it’s understood that other major brands were urging the abandonment of the event this year.

It’s believed that a significant number of major exhibitors pulled out before the rescheduled cancellation deadline of 20 April .

Even if the event had gone ahead, an extensive and onerous multi-stage health check on exhibitors and visitors would have had to be implemented along with travel restrictions. 

In the coming months stand designers and builders were due to begin work on creating and assembling the elaborate stands for which the Light + Building show is famous. 

The cost of visitor tickets already purchased for 2020 will be refunded. All ticket holders will be contacted by email in the coming weeks.