Perhaps it was to be expected that given the pandemic situation and the knock-on travel restrictions for its many overseas exhibitors and visitors, Ligna organiser Deutsche Messe has been left with no alternative but to cancel its September 2021 event. The rescheduled event will now take place from May 15-19th, 2023.

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 – a decision made in view of the continuing high level of infection worldwide in the wake of the Covid pandemic, and what the organiser describes as ‘the slow national and international progress on vaccination’ and thus the continuing existence of travel restrictions.

“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,” says Dr Jochen Köckler - file image - chairman of the managing board of Deutsche Messe AG.

Online platform launched this autumn

“In order to offer the industry a platform for innovations, knowledge exchange and networking … 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,” explains Dr Bernhard Dirr, MD of VDMA Woodworking Machinery.

“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,” adds Dirr.

The key attraction of live events

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”, says Christian Pfeiffer, global director Ligna & Woodworking Shows at Deutschen 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 continues.

W Exhibition & Elements

When Ligna first rescheduled from May 2021 to September 2021, the UK’s prime event for machinery, equipment and materials for the furniture and joinery sector – W Exhibition and Elements – had little choice other than to reschedule its September 2021 event to February 2022. As it stands, the W Exhibition and Elements February timeline appears to be a good bet.

“We understand Ligna’s disappointing decision to postpone its event until 2023, which is, given the international scope of its exhibiting and visiting audience and the uncertainty around international travel due to Covid, sadly unsurprising,” Montgomery Group Design & Build Division MD, Nickie West commented.

“The UK market has never been stronger, and with no trade show in the sector since 2018, W Exhibition and Elements in February 2022 will come at a crucial time for the industry.

“We are all eager to reconnect with the market face-to-face, and brands keen to showcase their innovations. This, coupled with the UK Government’s capital allowance on machinery and tools, are all pointing to a very exciting and prosperous show next year.

Concluding, Nickie said: “We are anticipating more new products and innovations than any previous show. The W Exhibition and Elements line up will be a true reflection of those brands who have not only survived these challenging times, but indeed thrived and are ready to do business.”