IDS postponed to September 2021
COLOGNE, Germany: For some weeks or even months, the global dental community has been speculating about whether the International Dental Show (IDS) will actually take place among the global dental community. Today, the organisers made a difficult decision and announced that the world’s leading dental trade fair will not take place from 10 to 13 March 2021 as planned but will be postponed to 22 to 25 September instead.
According to IDS’s organisers, Koelnmesse and the Association of the German Dental Industry (VDDI), this step was taken in the light of the ongoing progression of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and the related containment decisions by governments. Owing to the still increasing number of infections and deaths related to SARS-CoV-2, many federal states in Germany have announced the tightening of their coronavirus rules, the application of which is expected to be extended well into the new year. In a plenary session on Wednesday this week, German chancellor Angela Merkel urged for a tough, country-wide lockdown. Today, a new peak was recorded; 29,875 new infections within 24 hours. According to the Robert-Koch-Institute, 598 associated deaths were registered.
The current and future political decisions to contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2 will have a significant effect on the trade fair landscape in Germany, and IDS 2021 has now been impacted. “After assessing the current facts, we have had to refrain from staging IDS in March and are postponing the always successful dental show to the autumn of next year,” said Mark Stephen Pace, chairman of the VDDI, and Oliver Freser, chief operating officer of Koelnmesse, in a joint statement to the public. VDDI CEO, Dr Markus Heibach, told Dental Tribune International (DTI) that the association “deliberately decided on a date in the third quarter of 2021 in order to offer exhibitors and visitors the best possible planning security under the current circumstances.” Assuming that other trade fairs will have taken place already at that point, VDDI hopes to use the experiences gained at those fairs to successfully conduct IDS in September, Heibach added.
By postponing the 39th edition of the show, the organisers hope that more international attendees and companies will be able to come to Cologne later next year as they expect the general health situation to have improved and travel restrictions to have been eased by then. “One of the most important unique selling points of the fair is its high level of international exhibitors and visitors, and the variety of innovations. Owing to the global and local increase in the number of infection and associated lockdowns, the participation of international exhibitors and visitors could no longer be adequately guaranteed,” Pace told DTI.
Despite growing uncertainty owing to the increase in daily COVID-19 cases worldwide and the cancellation of participation by major exhibitors such as Dentsply Sirona, VDDI and Koelnmesse representatives kept reassuring dental professionals and the dental industry that the event would take place as planned over the past months. In an interview with Dental Tribune International in August, Pace was still “confident that IDS 2021 will become the decisive kick-off for a new start after the SARS-CoV-2 crisis”.
The organisers further announced that the new trade fair concept in development throughout the past several months will still be applied to the show, on the new dates. The #B-SAFE4business concept aims to offer the exhibitors and visitors a safe exhibition experience through extended hygiene measures and a number of supportive digital elements.
Editorial note: This article was updated on 5 January 2021.