The physical edition of the international leather trade show ILM scheduled in April and located in Offenbach am Main, near Frankfurt, has been cancelled. The organizer, Messe Offenbach, said that the occupancy rate reached 70 percent but that the conditions were not met to hold a large physical event due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. A digital edition, the ILM Virtual Order Show, will be held April 10-12. A follow-up event, Xtra Order Days, is scheduled July 6-8.

Separately, Ulrike Kähler, managing director of the trade show organizer Igedo Company, confirmed that the special edition of Gallery Shoes & Fashion Industrial Showroom will take place April 18-20 April at the Areal Böhler venue in Düsseldorf.

The physical event will have a hybrid format with digital presentations. Kähler pointed out that the format would be modified if by the beginning of April Covid-19 related restrictions are eased. 

Pepijn van Bommel, commercial director at the Dutch shoemaker Floris Van Bommel, explained that due to the late date of the event, this company will not focus on season orders which are usually completed by the end of March. ”At this stage, it’s mainly about using the platform to meet up with people in person,” he said, adding however that his company will be showcasing a small part of its collection that ”can be ordered later and sent out on a later delivery date.”

Manfred Junkert, the general manager of HDS/L, the German association of the footwear and leathergoods industry, also backed the physical event. “Live, face-to-face encounters take communication to a whole new level compared with digital meetings,” he commented.