Automatica

automatica 2020 not to be held as in-person event—new format for 2021 under development

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The automatica exhibition scheduled for December 8–11, 2020 will not take place due to the current travel restrictions in Europe in connection with the coronavirus pandemic, which are becoming more stringent. This decision has been taken by Messe München in agreement and close coordination with the conceptual sponsor VDMA Robotics + Automation and the automatica Advisory Board. In coordination with the industry, Messe München is now developing a compact new in-person event for mid-2021, which will be adapted to the specific circumstances in times of the coronavirus. In addition, auto-matica is further expanding its digital offering.

In March, Messe München decided to move the exhibition date from June to December in agreement with the VDMA Robotics + Automation Association. Messe München had done everything it could to ensure a safe in-person exhibition by postponing the event to the latest possible date of the year and drawing up a comprehensive protection and hygiene protocol. However, current developments make it absolutely necessary to rethink these plans.

Due to the increasing number of infections, travel restrictions have been imposed for an increasing number of European countries and regions in recent weeks. Similarly, the travel situation outside Europe has barely improved. In addition, many German and international corporations have issued internal travel bans. As a result, most exhibitors fear that only a small fraction of the visitors originally expected will attend. For this reason, they no longer consider participating in automatica 2020. Under these circumstances, which are unlikely to improve, automatica 2020 is unable to perform its task of bringing together supply and demand. Holding automatica this December would cause lasting damage to the exhibition in the long run.

Falk Senger, Managing Director Messe München, on the decision: “An exhibition thrives on its participants. However, too many of our exhibitors and visitors could not have come to Munich due to travel restrictions. That is why we ultimately had to cancel automatica 2020. This situation makes it all the more important to look ahead now. We are working hard on new offerings to bring the industry together and move it forward.”

“The original decision to postpone automatica was correct. However, with external conditions having deteriorated sharply recently, a reassessment of the situation is essential. We are glad that Messe München has reacted flexibly and is now breaking new ground together with the industry”, confirmed Patrick Schwarzkopf, Managing Director of VDMA Robotics + Automation.

New exhibition format for summer 2021 under development
The industry’s need for personal contact, exchange and presentation opportunities is stronger than ever. This is why Messe München is now working with exhibitors to develop a new in-person event with digital elements, adapted to the circumstances in times of the coronavirus. The new event has been conceived as a compact ‘exhibition before the exhibition’ for early summer 2021 and is to become an add-on to automatica. Detailed information on this will follow shortly.

“We upheld automatica until the end. But the current infection rate developments make hosting a successful world-leading exhibition impossible and would have damaged its aspiration and image. That is why we will now focus our planning efforts on a new event next summer to bridge the time gap to automatica 2022—thus providing the necessary positive momentum for the industry,” says Wilfried Eberhardt, Chairman of the automatica Advisory Board and Chief Marketing Officer of KUKA AG.

Expansion of digital offering
Above and beyond that, automatica is expanding its digital offering, thus providing additional exchange opportunities and orientational knowledge. In the new online event series “Let’s talk by automatica”, for example, top-class experts, suppliers and users regularly take a closer look at current issues and trends in robotics and automation. In addition, there are plans such as offering essential parts of the supporting program, which was originally planned for the December exhibition, in a virtual setting. The International Symposium on Robotics (ISR) would be a good example for this. Details will follow in the coming weeks.

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