The organizer of the Fakuma trade show has announced to exhibitors that it is canceling the 2020 event, which had been scheduled for Oct. 13-17 in Friedrichshafen, Germany.
The decision comes as a growing number of exhibitors, including major plastics machinery makers, have announced that they were not going to actively participate at the trade show because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
P.E. Schall GmbH & Co. KG, the show organizer, sent exhibitors an email announcing the decision July 23. It noted that the 2021 show would have been the 27th Fakuma. That distinction will now fall to the next Fakuma, which is scheduled for Oct. 12-16, 2021.
"This decision is based on rational thinking and our sense of responsibility, and we feel certain that you'll support our choice," the email to exhibitors said. Plastics News and its European partner Sustainable Plastics were Fakuma exhibitors, and planned to produce English-language daily newspapers at the trade fair.
Schall officials said they thought that Fakuma could have been held safely in 2020, with some changes.
"Together with all involved parties, we struggled for a long time to amend the general conditions demanded by the corona pandemic in such a way that Fakuma 2020 could have been successful. A hygiene and security concept was developed for safe event promotion expressly to this end," the email said.
"But current uncertainties, for example with regard to sending an adequate number of employees to the event, are making it necessary to look to the year 2021 with pragmatism and confidence."
The email said exhibitors will soon receive details on participation in a virtual Fakuma, where they can highlight innovations and products.
Fakuma is the latest in a long string of international plastics industry events that have either canceled or postponed since the March, or transformed to virtual events. Fakuma, which is held annually except for during K show years, would have been the largest plastics show in Europe in 2020.
Fakuma seemed likely to cancel or postpone when a growing number of major plastics machinery makers announced that they would not actively participate in the show. Austria's Wittmann Group was the first, on June 22. It was followed by Engel, KraussMaffei, Sumitomo and others, including auxiliary equipment and materials suppliers.