Ligna canceled for 2021, digital event planned

More than 90,000 visitors from over 100 countries attended the 2019 LIGNA woodworking show. Photo: Deutsche Messe

HANNOVER, Germany - The world's largest woodworking show has been canceled for 2021 due to lingering concerns over COVID-19 and will now be a digital-only event in September. The next regular LIGNA will be held from May 15 to 19, 2023.

The biennial show traditionally held in May at the Hannover Fairgrounds in Germany, had already been postponed to Sept. 27-Oct. 1.

In a statement, the show's organizers said: "Due to the continuing high level of infection worldwide in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the slow national and international progress on vaccination and thus the continuing existence of travel restrictions, Deutsche Messe, together with the VDMA Woodworking Machinery, has taken the decision to cancel the world's leading trade show for woodworking and wood processing plant, machinery and tools."


"Uncertainties in the wake of the pandemic still remain very high worldwide. In close consultation with the VDMA, we have therefore decided to cancel LIGNA as a physical event in 2021", said Dr. Jochen Köckler, chairman of the Managing Board of Deutsche Messe AG. "In order to offer the industry a platform for innovations, knowledge exchange and networking, alternatively we will set up a digital networking and content platform that will be launched at the end of September. We are also planning the Rosenheim LIGNA.Conference in early summer 2022. For both event formats, we are incorporating the many new insights and positive experiences from the recently hosted Hannover Messe Digital Edition."

"The decision to cancel LIGNA in this event cycle was very difficult for all of us. Together with our partner Deutsche Messe and together with the exhibitors, the companies in the woodworking and wood processing industry, we fought to hold LIGNA as the world's most important industry platform this year. Commitment from the market has been exceptionally high right up to the end - even in these uncertain times. This has given us all a lot of tailwind in recent weeks. At LIGNA, we have to take into account that entire machine parks are designed, set up and presented in live operation with a long lead time and a great deal of effort. This requires many months of trade show planning. This is the reason, why we have now been forced to make a decision on holding LIGNA in the fall in order to give our customers the necessary planning security. Another postponement makes no sense in view of the innovation cycles of the companies and in view of the next LIGNA, which will take place again in May 2023. Unfortunately, there is no alternative to the cancellation this year", added Dr. Bernhard Dirr, managing director of VDMA Woodworking Machinery.

"LIGNA's unique selling point is live demonstrations of tools, machinery and equipment, up to complete production lines. This is what LIGNA stands for and this is what makes up the brand essence of the event. We are now focusing on planning and preparing the LIGNA in May 2023 as the next regular show date as another international and innovative trade show and having this live experience with technology to discover, to touch and to try out, back in Hannover", said Christian Pfeiffer, Global director LIGNA & Woodworking Shows at Deutsche Messe. "With the digital networking and content platform along our focus topics in September this year and the Rosenheim LIGNA.Conference in early summer 2022, LIGNA will remain the driving force for the international woodworking and processing industry," Pfeiffer added.


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About the author
Karen Koenig | Editor

Karen M. Koenig has more than 30 years of experience in the woodworking industry, including visits to wood products manufacturing facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. As editor of special publications under the Woodworking Network brand, including the Red Book Best Practices resource guide and website, Karen’s responsibilities include writing, editing and coordinating of editorial content. She is also a contributor to FDMC and other Woodworking Network online and print media owned by CCI Media. She can be reached at [email protected]