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German show postponed by virus

The International Hardware Show, or Eisenwarenmesse, moved to 2021 over health concerns.

BY Ken Clark

Concerns over the coronavirus in Europe have caused the postponement of the International Hardware Fair in Cologne, Germany. The event had been slated to welcome visitors from around the world — including a large contingent from China — beginning on March 1.

The new dates for the event are Feb. 21-24, 2021.

Koelnmesse, the organizers of the every-other-year Internationale Eisenwarenmesse, released the following statement on Tuesday:

“In addition to the countries in Asia already hit by the virus, Italy has now become the first European state affected by cases of infection. The European ministers of health are also convening in Rome today to discuss the current situation and possible measures in response. Moreover, since the weekend, exhibitors from the tool industry have reiterated their great concern for the health of their employees.

“In view of these current developments and the high share of Asian exhibitors at the International Hardware Show, the management team at Koelnmesse has reassessed the current situation and set the new date in consultation with the industry.”

The show had expected some 3,000 exhibitors, including around 1,200 from China.

At the latest count, the virus has infected more than 80,000 around the world, mostly in China, killing at least 2,700. The virus broke out in Wuhan, a city in central China.

Last week, individual exhibitors began to drop out. Among them was Dutch-company Batavia Tools. On Feb. 20, the company announced it would not exhibit as planned. “We do regret this situation especially for all the people who suffer from this terrible virus and hope that a solution and cure will be made available as soon as possible,” the company said in a social media post. Teng tools also made the decision to skip the show four days prior to the official postponement.

David Silverman of General Pipe Cleaners, an exhibitor who had planned to attend the International Hardware Fair, when contacted by HBSDealer said that the event organizers made “the only prudent decision that could have been made under the circumstances.” Silverman added that a one year’s postponement was better than waiting two years for the event to return to its regular every-other-year schedule.

Earlier this year, Koelnmesse announced the postponement of CIFM / Interzum Guangzhou, Asia’s largest woodworking machinery, furniture production and interiors trade show.

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