While the coronavirus pandemic has brought the trade fair industry to a standstill, with several hundreds of events in Europe hit by restrictions, postponements and cancellations, the organizers of the international leather goods fair ILM, held in Offenbach am Main, near Frankfurt, is making plans for a post-pandemic future. 

Messe Offenbach is preparing to host a new trade fair for the footwear and leather goods industry next July, with a new format and opportunities for exhibitors. Slated to take place at the same time as the Frankfurt Fashion Week, the Xtra Order Days trade fair will run from July 6 to 8, and will also include footwear as a new fashion category. 

The fair aims to offer increased opportunities to liaise with customers and generate additional business. A shuttle service between Xtra Order Days and the Frankfurt Fashion Week will be provided. 

During the trade fair, visitors will have a chance to meet established ILM exhibitors as well as new exhibitors in the footwear category, and will have the opportunity to place orders. A supporting program with conferences and digital events will also be offered. Messe Offenbach offers exhibitors various options for the Xtra Order Days, including “all-in-one packages” with 15, 21 or 30 square meter stands. 

According to the association of the German trade fair industry, Auma, more than 70 percent of all trade fairs planned for 2020 in Germany (a total of 368) were cancelled or postponed. After almost six months of standstill, major trade fairs were held again in Germany in September and October, but on Oct. 28, a temporary ban was again introduced nationwide. 

By next summer, the trade fair industry could return to near-normal, albeit with cautionary restrictions. 

ILM has been running for over 70 years. Held in Offenbach am Main, at the heart of the Rhine-Main metropolitan region, it ranks as one of the largest and most important trade fairs of its kind.