Kind + Jugend 2020 takes place: a very special anniversary even

  • We would like to share our thoughts here at Childhood Business as the Leading German B2B magazine in the industry in regard of Kind + Jugend 2020: 
    With the easing of contact restrictions, which were introduced nationwide to combat the corona pandemic and have been gradually withdrawn since the beginning of May, the organisation of trade fairs - in some cases as in the area of order days for children's fashion with dates adjusted backwards - is moving into the focus of the industry. Until the end of August 2020, major events are generally prohibited - from September onwards, events such as the Kind + Jugend trade fair, which is around 60 years old and held in Cologne, should be possible again.
    Numerous formats had to be cancelled before the end of August, including Gamescon, which is also being staged by Koelnmesse and which will be attended by 373,000 paying visitors in 2019.* The resulting loss of revenue is plunging the entire trade fair industry into difficulties.
    According to a calculation made by the Institute of the German Trade Fair Industry within AUMA on 15 April 2020, the costs resulting from trade fair cancellations and postponements due to the coronavirus are estimated at around 9.3 billion euros.
    This figure only includes the turnover of the trade fair industry, including stand constructors and other related service providers, but not the turnover lost by companies at trade fairs. These figures are many times higher and cannot be fully substituted by other measures.
    Koelnmesse minimizes risks for exhibitors and visitors
    During the last few weeks, the staff around trade fair director Jörg Schmale had also been working to ensure that Kind + Jugend could take place this year. As things stand today, the date of the fair, which was set for 17 to 20 September 2020, is sufficiently long after the ban on major events has expired anyway.
    After all, according to the organisers, just under 1,300 exhibitors from 55 countries came to Kind + Jugend in 2019 and presented themselves to over 24,000 trade visitors from 133 countries. At the beginning of April 2020, Schmale was still confident and stated in the minutes that the current number of registrations was "unbrokenly high".
    According to reports, more than 70 per cent of the 1,200 companies expected to attend have announced their participation. This, however, is a statement that was made at the end of March even before the peak of the Corona pandemic and does not yet speak of bookings.
    In order to minimize uncertainties, Koelnmesse also gave an early assurance that, in the event of Kind + Jugend being postponed or cancelled due to the corona virus, not only would visitors be reimbursed for the tickets they had already paid for, but also exhibitors who did not wish to take part on the new date would be reimbursed for the payments they had made to Koelnmesse.
    According to the organisers, the companies that have registered to date include Angelcare, Artsana with Chicco, Babyzen, Done by Deer, Dorel, Dräger, Emmaljunga, Graco, Haba, Hartan, Hauck, Joolz, Lässig, Joie and Nuna, Julius Zöllner, Mamas & Papas, Mattel, Mutsy, Melissa & Dough, Peg Perego, Paidi, Pinolino, Recaro, Roba Baumann, Uppababy and Vtech.
    Companies are also invited to apply for the fair's Innovation Award, which generates international demand. The closing date for applications is 19 July 2020.
    Applications for the Kids Design Award are expected by the beginning of June.
    Changes in the hall planning
    What the trade fair in September will look like in concrete terms is probably not yet foreseeable today. Perhaps there will be special regulations in September to ensure that there are clearances. But it was planned anyway that Kind + Jugend would change in 2020.
    Instead of the previous Hall 4.1, in future Halls 2 and 3 in the Cologne exhibition centre will be occupied in addition to Halls 10 and 11. The previous level 3 in Hall 11 will no longer be used. As a result of its dissolution, the third hall level will no longer be used and the flow of visitors will be concentrated exclusively on two hall levels.
    By connecting Halls 2 and 3, the previous East and West entrances will continue to be used in future. In addition to the West Entrance, both halls can also be reached from Hall 11 and from the Piazza. In addition, the new routing will better integrate the piazza with open-air catering facilities.
    An anniversary year that will be remembered
    To commemorate Kind + Jugend's 60th anniversary this year, a special exhibition with photographic material and equipment is planned to show Kind + Jugend as a reflection of a new generation of parents and children and of a committed and creative industry that has accompanied it through the decades with innovative ideas on safety, aesthetics and fashion.
    The trade fair was founded in 1960 under the title "BABY" and from the very beginning was designed for buyers from the trade with prams and children's equipment. In 1977 the fair was renamed "Kind + Jugend" and is itself extremely "sustainable". Thanks to the repeated adjustments made to the trade fair concept - including the change from a half-yearly to an annual orientation in 2004 - Kind + Jugend has remained successful for decades as a trade fair, information hub and showcase for the industry's new products.
    Even though it is becoming apparent that the fair will take place under particularly difficult circumstances in 2020 and will certainly have to cope with the loss of some of its usual exhibitors, the organisers are very grateful that the announced orientation is a sign of reliability.
    See also: our editorial in German