Preparations for LIGNA '21 are already in full swing. The world's top international wood-industry trade show is enjoying strong industry support despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The scheduled opening day is a good eight months away, but according to its organizers, demand for exhibition space is already strong.
“The event will once again fill ten halls as well as the open-air site booked. All the big industry players are on board. After many weeks of social distancing, lockdowns, online-only events and video conferencing from the home, the industry is really looking forward to meeting up face-to-face," said Christian Pfeiffer, Deutsche Messe's Global Director LIGNA. “Obviously, we all hope that the worst of the pandemic will be over by May,” Pfeiffer commented, “but it's impossible to say when case numbers might start to drop off or when a vaccine might become available. So we have to be realistic. The global travel restrictions alone suggest that we are will have fewer international visitors than at LIGNA 2019. The virus is likely to be with us for some time to come, so we need to find new ways of enabling businesses to engage with their markets. We need LIGNA '21.”
“LIGNA will present the pioneering developments and visionary ideas that will be shaping wood-industry production and business processes just a few years from now,” remarked Dr. Bernhard Dirr, director of the German Engineering Federation (VDMA). “LIGNA is our window onto the future, and that’s more important than ever given the COVID-19 pandemic. If we manage to showcase our industry in a way that people can physically explore, experience and engage with, then I think we can call LIGNA 2021 a success, regardless of the visitor and exhibitor turnout,” Dirr said.
The LIGNA 2021 format incorporates a public hygiene strategy that Deutsche Messe has developed in consultation with the relevant authorities. The show will have comprehensive measures in place to protect the health and safety of exhibitors and visitors in all areas of the venue. Hannover's hospitality sector is also ready for the new tradeshow normal. "For us, facilitating business and protecting health go hand in hand," explained Pfeiffer. "To protect exhibitors and visitors, we will ensure that LIGNA '21 meets the highest standards of hygiene, safety and healthcare. This will entail hygiene and distancing measures at the entrances and exits to the venue as well as for in-hall aisleways, exhibition stands, on-site restaurants and even local hotels."
Deutsche Messe's LIGNA team is currently developing a digital participation option that will be offered alongside the show's trusted in-person format. It will make the show available to exhibitors and visitors from key markets who may be unable to travel to Hannover.