Cologne's International Hardware Fair postponed with less than a week to go

Following building pressure from exhibitor cancellations and concerns over the potential spread of the coronavirus, the Cologne-set International Hardware Fair has been postponed.

Originally set to run Sunday 1 March to Wednesday 4 March, the show has been postponed to to February 2021.

Significant industry players reluctantly cancelled their Hardware Fair stands in the recent days and weeks, including Wera and Knipex, Gedore, fischer fixings, Stahlwille and many others.

The pressure to postpone or cancel the Cologne show ramped up this week after Frankfurt-set show Light + Building announced it was delaying its March show to September. While other internationally-focused shows in other European cities - like Barcelona's MWC - had cancelled due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus, Light + Building was one of the first Germany-set exhibitions to make the significant move.

Other industry shows have been affected by coronavirus. Last week, the Taiwan International Fastener Show 2020 postponed from April to October.

The coronavirus has also affected the industry supply chain, with many of China's factories shut for an extended period after the Lunar New Year. There's expert comment from Hexstone and TIMco on the potential impact on the fastener supply chain.

Here's the full statement from the show organisers:

Date rescheduled for spring 2021

The INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE SHOW planned in Cologne from 1 March 2020 has been postponed to a new date in February 2021. This is how Koelnmesse is responding to the increasingly acute global situation around the recent occurrence of the coronavirus.

In addition to the countries in Asia already hit by the virus, Italy has now become the first European state affected by cases of infection. The European ministers of health are also convening in Rome today, 25 February 2020, to discuss the current situation and possible measures in response. Moreover, since the weekend, exhibitors from the tool industry have reiterated their great concern for the health of their employees.

In view of these current developments and the high share of Asian exhibitors at the HARDWARE SHOW, the management team at Koelnmesse has reassessed the current situation and set the new date in consultation with the industry.

Some 3,000 exhibitors, including around 1,200 from China, had been expected to attend the INTERNATIONAL HARDWARE SHOW, the world’s leading innovation and business platform for the hardware industry that is held every two years in Cologne. Registered exhibitors and visitors are now being notified of the postponement."