Messe Frankfurt
Petition for Tendence and Nordstil 2020

Foto: Messe Frankfurt

Open letter to the consumer goods industry by Stephan Kurzawski, Senior Vice President and Philipp Ferger, Group Show Director:

Dear Sir/Madam, 

"Change! Change! Aren’t things bad enough already!" - these words of the "iron" Duke of Wellington came to our minds these days. Yes, the situation is challenging and for many entrepreneurs in our industry, it is threatening their very existence. And yes, change is here and it is continuing to pick up speed at a rapid pace. Perseverance and team spirit are needed. 

The corona pandemic is presenting us in Germany, Europe and around the world with challenges that our generation has never faced before. New records for short-time working here in Germany every day, an expected global recession and no prospect of an early, comprehensive relaxation of existing measures to stop the further spread of the epidemic. Corona will accompany us at every turn in the coming weeks and months. Whether we like it or not. Falling sales, consumers in a non-buying mood, interrupted supply chains, to name just a few keywords - even if individual companies can benefit, the majority of our industry is not finding any growth impetus here. 

As Messe Frankfurt, we are also sailing into unprecedented stormy seas. And this both at home and abroad. While some still thought that our spring fairs this year, and Ambiente in particular, were already suffering massively from the initial effects of the pandemic and the storm Chiara, it is only in retrospect that we realise that it was the last safe haven for our global industry: the last chance to place orders nationally and internationally, to engage in intensive exchange and to be inspired. 

Trade fairs are under enormous pressure and are pulse monitors for entire industries. We in the consumer goods industry have experienced this with renewed clarity, especially in recent weeks. Internationally, major industry meetings have been postponed first because of the worsening pandemic and then cancelled altogether. For example, due to current health protection regulations, we first had to cancel Tendence and now Nordstil on the scheduled dates. But trade fairs in particular provide impulses for consumption, inspiration and know-how for retailers. They are essential when the local and regional economy is restarted after the lockdown. In particular, our regional trade fair formats Tendence and Nordstil can provide decisive support here. 

Therefore, we will continue to make every effort to find solutions for holding Tendence and Nordstil in late summer/early autumn. After all, if trade fairs can be held again in the second half of the year, it will be precisely these regionally limited industry events - subject to the hygiene and safety standards applicable at that time. Messe Frankfurt has already developed corresponding concepts. Of course, these fairs would look significantly different from the familiar formats before Corona. But the most important thing is: we are again giving the industry a platform for exchange. As soon as we receive a clear and unequivocal signal from politicians and local authorities as to whether and in what form trade fairs will be possible again after August, 31st 2020, we will inform you all immediately with further details and next steps. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Europäischer Verband Lifestyle (EVL) and the trade associations, who have already provided massive support in this respect. 

In this connection, however, we are also pleased that trade fairs like Ambiente and Christmasworld already have their usual good level of registrations. 90 and 98 percent of their spaces are already filled. You are placing your trust in us for the restart of the sector and we will not disappoint you. 

In addition to our established trade-fair formats, we also made a very conscious investment in the consumer-goods sector digitally last year with the launch of our two new internet platforms, Conzoom Solutions and Nextrade. Take a look there, make the most of your digital challenges, take advantage of the opportunities that both platforms offer your business, and keep your finger on the pulse of the times and on what's happening. 

Only together, we have a chance to master our challenges. Stay with us.