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Poor attendance at ISM Cologne 2020 due to coronavirus fears?

TradeScope's Jörg Van Wershofen was at ISM Cologne 2020 and the main feedback he got from exhibitors in general was that the show was poorly attended compared to previous years. Many said they felt it was due in part at least to the global effect of the coronavirus epidemic in China – indeed, Jörg also observed at least one Chinese exhibitor booth empty. He also saw some Asian and European visitors wearing protective masks. It seems that there were concerns about the impact of the coronavirus before the show went ahead as you may read on the Candy Industry website here.

Photo of exterior of ISM Cologne trade show in 2020

The trade show's own summary of this year's event stated: Once again this year the image of ISM was characterised by its high degree of internationality, namely 70 percent, which remained at the customary high level. The visitor quality has been excellent and very international from the very start. A large share of the European trade visitors came from Belgium, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Italy this year. Outside of Europe, Israel and Korea recorded strong growth. All of the important trading companies were represented at this year's ISM, even if in some cases with smaller delegations due to the current Corona virus situation. The high participation of decision-makers at the trade fair was particularly noticeable. This is also reflected by the trade visitor survey, according to which the share of the executive directors and plant managers rose by 7 percent. According to the organisers, the discussions held had a stronger and more targeted focus on the business aspect.

The most important returnee or new exhibitors were among others the Hosta Group from Germany, Arcor from Argentina, Cacau Show from Brazil and Fazer from Finland.

TradeScope thinks the burning question for many trade shows worldwide in the next few months, or until the epidemic abates, is whether it will adversely impact both their exhibitor and visitor numbers. We will just have to watch this space.

If you'd like to get more feedback from the show, please contact Jörg Van Wershofen here.

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