As GHM Gesellschaft für Handwerksmessen mbH announced on 14 January, the Craft Fair would have to be cancelled „due to the continued restrictions in place to contain the coronavirus pandemic. A tightening of measures and a lack of certainty in the planning are what has led to this decision.“
The GHM, the trade fair organizer, also reports: “We decided today to cancel the 2021 edition of Internationale Handwerksmesse (IHM) alongside the ‚Handwerk & Design‘ and Garten München. This means that because of the pandemic, the annual trade fair is unable to take place for the second year in a row. The reason for this is the continuation of national and federal measures to contain the pandemic, with tighter restrictions to limit and prevent contact. Dieter Dohr, CEO of GHM commented on this decision, ‚The prohibition of trade fairs was extended again last week and the measures already in place to contain the pandemic, have been strictly tightened. Further extensions of these measures can be expected. Unfortunately, these developments combined with a lack of planning certainty have left us with no other option. We would like to thank all the exhibitors who have remained hopeful alongside us so far – these are well over 80 percent of the IHM family. We take strength from this continuous encouragement, and we will turn it into motivation and an incentive to make the next event a complete success – with many new features for exhibitors and visitors and for all of those, wanting to see and discuss the future trends in the handicraft sector.‘
The ZDH – German Confederation of Skilled Crafts and the BHT – Bavarian Chamber of Crafts also regret the second cancellation of the event, but do see no other option in the current stage of combatting the pandemic. ZDH president Hans Peter Wollseifer commented, ‘The decision to cancel the fair is bad news for us, because our handicraft businesses need trade fairs to present their products, innovations and services and use these contacts to do business. After last year, this would have been more important than ever for workshops. And as a part of industry and society, we do not have this central platform to present our expertise in combination with political discussion forums, such as the summit talk on the German industry, held in Munich with the Federal Chancellor. However, we are looking ahead and focussing on the IHM 2022, which will finally provide a positive impulse for the entire handicraft sector.‘
BHT president Franz Xaver Peteranderl added, ‚The cancellation again of the IHM is a heavy blow to Bavarian handicraft businesses and the associated industrial sectors. The fact that the ‚handicraft showcase‘ will remain empty for another year is not only financial, but also an immaterial loss. The IHM shows visitors how diverse the handicraft sector is and what opportunities digitalisation offers, for instance. At the ‚Young Generation‘ special interactive exhibition, which normally takes place simultaneously under the same roof as the IHM, children, parents and teachers can obtain a plethora of information about handicraft apprenticeships. As it will be another difficult year in terms of apprenticeships, with no vocational orientation, we have to find a replacement for the ‚Young Generation‘ event.‘”
The next IHM will take place from 9 to 13 March 2022, at the Fairground in Munich.