It was announced last year that Photokina would take place every year instead of every two years. However, it seems like not every brand embraced this change and some of them, such as Elinchrom, have decided to drop out of the show.
Photokina is known as one of the biggest photography tradeshows worldwide. It used to take place every two years in Cologne, Germany. While it is a great place for photography lovers to put their hands on new gear they can’t find anywhere else, it is also a place for brands to talk with all the major actors of the industry: distributors, other brands, brand ambassadors, etc. However, each event has a cost, and according to some brands, Photokina is not cheap by any means. It is an investment.
After the decision to make Photokina a four-day-long annual rendezvous, rumors started to flow on the web that some brands would follow the steps of Phase One and drop out of the show altogether. Last week, the first confirmation of those rumors came from Elinchrom, who announced they would "take a breather from Photokina." The CEO of Elinchrom, Simone Whittle, stated that this break would help them analyze and refocus on what matters to its customers. The Swiss flash manufacturer has thus decided to not to take a booth for the upcoming edition. However, it’s not clear if we will see them again starting in May 2019 for the annual version of the show.
It’ll be interesting to see if other brands decide to do the same. Other photography websites had mentioned Profoto and Canon may do the same, but the rumor has since been refuted by Photokina. As Photokina is now a shorter show (four days instead of six) and the number of halls is also getting reduced by half, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see smaller actors of our industry gone from the show. One can only wonder if Photokina will remain the big and incredible tradeshow we all know or if it will become another yearly photography meeting like so many others.