photokina: 18.–21.05.2022 #photokina

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photokina 2018: impressive images from Cologne

The excitement was already quite tangible in advance of photokina 2018. The upcoming changes to the event moved the industry and visitors, as did the anticipation of a large number of eagerly-awaited new products, including the presentation of new mirrorless, full and medium-format cameras, a broad range of mobile applications and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) over the entire image creation process. In connection with an outstanding workshop and event programme on all stages, photokina once more confirmed its status as the leading trade fair of the industry. 180,000 visitors ensured an energy-charged atmosphere, lots of activity and good business at exhibitor stands, on stages and in special areas.

The consistently pursued reorientation of photokina means many changes and challenges for organisers, exhibitors and visitors: four instead of six days, a new date in May in future, an annual cycle, new hall allocation, and especially new thematic areas and an intensified experience orientation. The goal in future is to increase the nearly unlimited potential of imaging technologies together with new exhibitors and visitor target groups, and to thus guide photokina into a new era.

Initial results were clearly apparent at photokina 2018: rarely have so many innovations been presented in the core segments, as well as in the mobile, motion and software segments that will provide important impulses for business in the coming months. Event highlights like the Olympus Perspective Playground show that the linking of experience and product presentation is very well-received, especially by the younger target groups. The strived for balance between innovation and inspiration, between business and event was thus optimally achieved.

Positive signals for the future
"The feedback of exhibitors and visitors has been entirely positive. Exhibitors at the stands were especially pleased both at the frequency and the quality of the visitors. Visitors in turn very much appreciated what they experienced here. This confirms that we are absolutely on course with the commenced with reorientation", Gerald Böse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Koelnmesse GmbH, confirms the positive overall impression. "Several companies have already signaled that they wish to expand, return or exhibit for the first time in 2019 based on their experience this year. This especially applies to the broadcast and cine segment, in which we expect especially high growth in 2019."

Rainer Führes, chairman of the German Photo Industry Association (PIV), the industry sponsor of photokina, was optimistic: "We have experienced the most innovative photokina in years, with many new products in all areas of the value creation chain. The industry once again demonstrated in Cologne that it is to be reckoned with: imaging technologies have become indispensable in every day life and in all industry branches. We manufacturers offer the complete portfolio of solutions and products for this. We have derived from many good talks this week that we are on the right course as an industry and with the restructuring of photokina."

It can already be anticipated that photokina 2019 will come with many new products. Thus, for example, a new strategic alliance between the major industry players Panasonic, Leica and Sigma, with the planned L-Mount system, will move the industry in the coming months prior to the introduction of the first, market-ready products at photokina 2019. 

Pioneering new products
In 2018, the presentation of new mirrorless, full and medium-format cameras from the development departments of Fujifilm, Nikon and Canon was received enthusiastically. They set new standards both in terms of image quality and with regard to the merging of photography and video. A new level in the mobile segment was also reached by the smartphone manufacturer Huawei with its latest flagship model, which, in addition to the proven lens technology of Leica and three cameras, also delivers outstanding image results thanks to AI.

The supplementing of imaging technologies with artificial intelligence has arrived in all areas of the value creation chain. Thus, Europe's largest finishing company Cewe showed how photo books can be created and ordered on the smartphone in a few seconds with voice commands. The image selection and layout takes place with AI.

Surface feel continued to play a major role. From printed memorabilia to high quality, large-format prints in museum quality on a variety of materials, a gigantic range of products was presented. Exhibitors of many years, such as HP and Epson, were pleased at the active interest, especially in B2B solutions and professional products. Especially Fujifilm, whose Instax cameras in the meantime not only make instant prints, but also enable the subsequent digital processing of the image, was pleased at the sustained boom in the instant image segment.

The image processing and software segments presented themselves in a clearly stronger fashion with many first-time exhibitors and start-ups, who will in future considerably simplify the lives of photography pros and enthusiasts, as well as of graphic artists and illustrators. The moving image section in hall 5.2, with clear growth, especially in the audio area, showed the direction in which the segment should develop in future at photokina. A clear increase in the number of exhibitors and many new products is already expected here in 2019 due to the new dates in May. In 2018, Sennheiser, at photokina for the first time, presented the wireless Memory Mic for smartphones, with which journalists and content creators can easily and quickly produce videos with high quality sound. HumanEyes presented the first mini-virtual reality glasses for simple attachment to the smartphone.

Successful event areas
The importance of the product experience was made clear at the Olympus Perspective Playground in hall 1. Visitors clearly had fun taking a time-out from the bustle at the trade fair stands and discovering the area through a camera with the installations of Morag Myerscough and Luke Morgan, Numen/For Use, Liz West, Martin Butler, Maser and Patrick Shearn/Poetic Kinetics. For many professionals, the WEDDING ZONE, with a high-class lecture programme, was a highlight of their visit. In the newly-created Imaging Lab, start-ups, investors and scientists came to show and discuss what will be possible in future. The section is to be further expanded in the coming years.

Worldwide communication platform
For many visitors, the focus of their photokina visit this year was once again on the exchange of ideas with kindred spirits and the wish for inspiration. Permanent, intense activity prevailed on the stages of Koelnmesse and in the lecture areas of the exhibitors. Many young creatives who are successful on Instagram or YouTube with their works also made use of this year's photokina for intensive networking. Many of them follow the Instagram channel of photokina, which has more than doubled its number of subscribers since June with a new concept. The project curated by Michael Schulz (@berlinstagram) has the ambition of being a high quality digital photo magazine and featured precisely those creatives who often appeared on the stages of Koelnmesse and as brand ambassadors with exhibitors. The objective is to also promote a creative exchange between the events, to serve as an international communication platform and to adequately address the needs of a younger public. The number of visitors under 30 also increased further in 2018.

photokina 2018 figures:
812 companies, 69 % of them from abroad, participated in photokina 2018. These included 167 exhibitors and 87 additionally represented firms from Germany, as well as 362 exhibitors and 196 additionally represented firms from abroad. Including the estimates for the last day of the fair, around 180,000 visitors from 127 countries came to photokina 2018.

The next photokina will take place from
Wednesday, 8 May to Saturday, 11 May 2019.

 Koelnmesse – Global Competence in Digital Media, Entertainment and Mobility: Koelnmesse is an international leader in organising trade fairs in the Digital Media, Entertainment and Mobility segments. Trade fairs like photokina, DMEXCO, gamescom, INTERMOT and THE TIRE COLOGNE are established as leading international trade fairs and are being expanded by future-oriented formats like DIGILITY. Koelnmesse not only organises trade fairs in these areas in Cologne, but also in other growth markets like, for example, China, Singapore and Thailand, which have different areas of focus and content. These global activities offer customers of Koelnmesse tailor-made events in different markets, which guarantee sustainable and international business.

The next events:
INTERMOT Cologne - International Motorcycle, Scooter and E-Bike Fair, Cologne 03.10. - 07.10.2018
DIGILITY - Conference & Expo on Digital Reality, Cologne 08.05. - 09.05.2019

Note for editorial offices:
photokina photos are available in our image database on the Internet at in the “Press” section.
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Your contact:
Judith Mader
Communications Manager

Koelnmesse GmbH
Messeplatz 1
50679 Cologne
Tel +49 221 821-2486
Fax +49 221 821-3544

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Judith Leyendecker


Judith Leyendecker
Communications Manager
Tel. +49 221 821-2486
Fax +49 221 821-3544
Write an e-mail