Preparations for Ligna 2021 are in full swing. The world’s top international wood industry trade show continues to enjoy strong industry support, despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. The scheduled opening day may be some seven months away, but demand for exhibition space is already strong.  

“The event will once again fill 10 halls as well as the open-air site booked. All the big industry players are on board. It seems that after many weeks of social distancing, lockdowns, online-only events and video conferencing from home, the industry is really looking forward to meeting up face to face,” says Christian Pfeiffer, Deutsche Messe’s global director, Ligna & woodworking shows. 

“Businesses in the wood industry are keen to resume normal production and sales. They want to be able to advise and inform their customers in person. So, we’re doing everything we can to provide a safe and effective marketplace where the wood industry can meet, showcase new products and developments, and get business moving again.”

Ligna is undoubtedly the flagship fair of the global wood industry, and serves as a marketplace for woodworking and wood processing plants, machinery and tools, as well as a platform for exploring and debating the hot topics set to shape the future of the industry. 

At the upcoming show, the following three topics will feature prominently – woodworking transformation, prefab building processes, and green material processing. Exhibitors will be highlighting these topics at their stands, and the topics will also be featured across various forums and special displays.

“Ligna will present the pioneering developments and visionary ideas that will be shaping wood industry production and business processes just a few years from now,” remarks Dr Bernhard Dirr, director of the German Engineering Federation (VDMA). 

“Ligna is our window onto the future, and that’s more important than ever given the Covid-19 pandemic. If we manage to showcase our industry in a way that people can physically explore, experience and engage with, then I think we can call Ligna 2021 a success, regardless of the visitor and exhibitor turnout.

Christian continues: “Obviously, we all hope that the worst of the pandemic will be over by May, but it’s impossible to say when case numbers might start to drop off or when a vaccine might become available. So we have to be realistic. The global travel restrictions alone suggest that we will have fewer international visitors than at the 2019 fair. The virus is likely to be with us for some time to come, so we need to find new ways of enabling businesses to engage with their markets. We need Ligna 21.”

Safety at Ligna

The Ligna 21 format incorporates a public hygiene strategy that Deutsche Messe has developed in consultation with the relevant authorities. The show will have comprehensive measures in place to ensure the health and safety of exhibitors and visitors in all areas of the venue. 

Hanover’s hospitality sector is also ready for the new trade show normal. “For us, facilitating business and protecting health go hand in hand,” explains Christian. “To protect exhibitors and visitors, we will ensure that Ligna 21 meets the highest standards of hygiene, safety and healthcare. This will entail hygiene and distancing measures at the entrances and exits to the venue as well as for in-hall aisleways, exhibition stands, on-site restaurants and even local hotels.” 

Deutsche Messe’s Ligna team is currently developing a digital participation option that will be offered alongside the show’s trusted in-person format, and will make the show available to exhibitors and visitors from key markets who may be unable to travel to Hanover.