The organisers of the Orgatec office furniture announced that the 2020 event will not take place as numerous exhibitors and visitors cancelled their tickets to the event.
"The situation of this trade fair increasingly began to reflect current developments around Covid-19 and the economic situation," said trade fair organiser Koelnmesse.
"In recent weeks, a large majority of exhibitors and trade visitors decided not to attend Orgatec after all."
"These cancellations are motivated by concern for the health of employees, but also by the economic situation of the companies themselves," it continued. "This is something we completely understand."
Orgatec will return in 2022, when it will take place from 25 to 29 October.
"It was best to respond to wishes of the majority of industry"
The organisers made the decision even though they already prepared a plan to operate in a "coronavirus-compliant manner".
"We reassessed the overall situation and decided that it was best to respond to the cancellations and wishes of the majority of industry exhibitors and trade visitors by not implementing Orgatec 2020," continued the statement.
"This was a very difficult decision for us. With our comprehensive package of measures, #B-SAFE4business, we were already very well prepared to host our trade fairs in a coronavirus-compliant manner," it continued.
"Leading international trade fairs such as Orgatec require a certain completeness where exhibitor and visitor attendance are concerned. Internationality at the European and global levels has an important role to play for this trade fair."
Koelnmesse will refund all tickets that have already been paid for in the coming weeks.
Orgatec one of many fairs to be impacted by pandemic
Orgatec is just one of many events that have been cancelled or changed format in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The 2020 editions of Art Basel and Design Miami/Basel have been cancelled altogether after being postponed from June to September.
While this year's London Design Festival will go ahead as planned in September, it will take place in a revised format that includes being part-online and part-physical.
Similarly, visitors to Dutch Design Week in October 2020 will be able to book slots on pre-planned events, but all other activities will take place online.
The 2021 edition of IMM Cologne, which is also organised by Koelnmesse, is still planned to take place from 18 to 24 January.