The world’s biggest packaging trade fair, interpack, has been cancelled. The organisers cited uncertainty over the ongoing coronavirus pandemic surging through Europe.
The show was scheduled to take place between 25 February and 3 March at the Messe Centre in Düsseldorf. It had already been postponed from May this year. The next interpack will take place in May 2023.
The Düsseldorf Messe Centre has simultaneously cancelled a host of events in the first part of the new year, including the giant drupa print trade show.
Reuters reported last week that Covid-19 infections in Germany exceeded one million and the daily death toll was 426. The news agency also reported Chancellor Angela Merkel told the German parliament that restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the virus would continue through the end of December at least.
Trade fairs around the world have been postponed or cancelled since the onset of Covid in March. The local packaging show AUSPACK has been re-scheduled from next year to now take place in Melbourne in May 2022, while PacPrint was pushed back by six months to September next year.
Messe Düsseldorf CEO Wolfram Diener said feedback from exhibitors showed uncertainty was too great to host an interpack event that would meet the standards of an international trade fair.
“On 25 November, the federal government and the German states decided to implement stricter measures in Germany, and to possibly even extend these measures into the new year," Diener said.
"This, unfortunately, does not give cause for hope that the situation will improve significantly over the course of the coming months. This will affect all Messe Düsseldorf events in the first quarter. We are now focussing on the next edition of interpack, which will take place in May 2023 according to plan, and which we will supplement with extended online offers.’
Messe Düsseldorf had already offered registered exhibitors special conditions for their participation. At the same time, the organisation granted an extraordinary right of termination for those companies that were unable or unwilling to take part.
Christian Traumann, president of interpack 2021 and managing director at Multivac Sepp Haggenmüller, welcomed Messe Düsseldorf’s decision to cancel interpack 2021
“Besides the market coverage it provides, interpack is primarily characterised by the direct exchange of information between market-leading companies and top decision-makers for brand names around the world," Traumann said.
"This is exactly what is now largely prevented by continuously high infection numbers in core Europe and the associated and continuing travel restrictions and quarantine regulations."
VDMA Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association managing director Richard Clemens said in-person meetings and live experiences are still important, especially when it comes to complex technology.
"Both enable a direct market comparison to be drawn and foster new ideas as well as new leads and networks – this is something online formats only offer in part," Clemens said.
"We are now looking forward to a successful interpack 2023, where the industry can once again come together at its leading global trade fair in Düsseldorf.”
Additional online options will be made available for exhibitors and visitors of the upcoming interpack and components 2023.