The Corona summer 2021 will at least take place without toy fairs: Both the game! in Duisburg and the Nuremberg Toy Fair in the "Summer Edition" are cancelled. Both trade fair organizers have announced this. This is what many fans had already suspected. Both events are canceled without replacement, restarts will only be dared in the coming year. The format of the International Match Days in Essen is still uncertain. 

The dates of the Nuremberg Toy Fair and the family convention Spiel weren't for a long time! in Duisburg. For a long time, fans had hopes that both events could have taken place somehow. Now it is clear: it will not work. Summer 2021 will have to do without major toy events.

cancel the game! 2021 due to "risk situation"

All assumptions have been confirmed: Even the game! 2021 has to be canceled due to the Corona situation. "Due to the uncertain pandemic development and the associated risk situation for the participants in the event, the unclear conditions and possible travel restrictions, further planning of the trade fair for June 2021 was unfortunately impossible," explains the organizing Nostheide Verlag about the cancellation.

For the game! the renewed cancellation is bitter, because with the implementation of only the third edition of the event it does not really work out. The coronavirus and the unclear pandemic development have once again put a big throat for the organizers.

There is already a new date, but only in the "tried and tested" period of March next year: In consultation with the Landscape Park Duisburg, the fair has been postponed to its original date of March 25th to 27th, 2022. "Tickets already purchased remain valid, but can also be returned at face value," says Nostheide Verlag.

The organizers regret the cancellation, but had no other choice to protect the health of the visitors. After all: from July onwards, planning for the coming year will begin.

Toy Fair in Nuremberg: “Summer Edition” goodbye

The summer edition of the Toy Fair in Nuremberg will not work either. The popular trade fair should have taken place alternatively in July - the corona situation does not allow that. As the organizer, the Spielwarenmesse had set all levers in motion with the postponement in order to offer the industry an adequate platform for networking this year.

"Due to the great uncertainty that is still emanating from the corona pandemic at national and international level, the date will be canceled and the focus will now be on the Spielwarenmesse 2022," this is the result of the decision made at the Supervisory Board meeting on April 25 was arrested in March.

The Chairman of the Board of the Spielwarenmesse, Ernst Kick, explains: “We initially received good feedback on the Summer Edition from both exhibitors and trade visitors. In recent weeks, however, the disappointingly slow improvement in the development of the pandemic has been causing uncertainty in the industry. For us, the health of everyone involved is still our priority.”

There will also be a digital part at the Spielwarenmesse 2022. Image rights: Rawpixel Ltd.

There will also be a digital part at the Spielwarenmesse 2022. Image rights: Rawpixel Ltd.

Above all, the lack of perspectives on everything to do with the trade fair on the part of politicians would have had a significant impact on the planning of the trade fair organization and the travel arrangements of international manufacturers and buyers.

Despite the measures that have already been taken, the Spielwarenmesse Summer Edition will not be able to be held successfully without the necessary, secure advance notice.

There is no new digital alternative for the Spielwarenmesse either – a new online format, “Brand New”, had already been installed at the beginning of the year. The plans for the restart in the coming year are underway, but not without further development: The focus will be on the regular toy fair from February 2nd to 6th, 2022 in conjunction with the digital toy fair.

With this, the organizer wants to link the on-site trade fair experience with the virtual world for the first time in order to “optimize participation for suppliers, specialist dealers and buyers and offer them the best possible service”.

CEO Kick is optimistic about the future: "We've only received positive feedback - the market players can't wait to get together again in February. And we look forward to personally welcoming everyone to the 72nd Toy Fair in Nuremberg.”

SPIEL 2021 in Essen? Principle of hope!

Two major events for board and card players will therefore be omitted due to the corona pandemic. It is currently unclear in which format SPIEL'21 will take place. What is certain, however, is that the fair will take place. This can be seen from the comments recently published on Facebook by Friedhelm-Merz-Verlag.

"One way or another, there's nothing standing in the way of a," the organizers said in response to a fan comment, which was more of a cancellation of the on-site fair. The organizing Friedhelm-Metz-Verlag states that they are “busily planning for SPIEL'21. "There's still a long way to go before the registration deadline, but there are still a lot of bookings from exhibitors," says the publisher.

However, there has not yet been a final decision on the international match days in Essen in 2021. Due to the current situation, this hardly seems to be possible: The incidence value in the city of Essen is rising continuously and, as of March 30, is 124,8. At the moment, there are signs of closings rather than further openings - at least if the pandemic situation continues to develop in this direction.

The current Corona situation does not indicate playing together on site. Photo: Volkmann

The current Corona situation does not indicate playing together on site. Photo: Volkmann

However, the Essen city administration itself gives hope. As a model municipality, they are currently using the Luca app. The software, developed with the participation of rapper Smudo, is intended to automate contact tracing and, among other things, reduce reporting times in the event of an infection. The app is considered one of the pillars for the return to culture and events. This is also stated by the Essen city administration, which "wants to check the use itself as an organizer", for example for the city museums. It would be conceivable that the application could also be used at a trade fair event, provided other safety and hygiene measures support such a major event.

The progress of the vaccination campaign, which, however, suffered a setback, also gives rise to hope. Only today has the NRW state government temporarily suspended vaccinations with Astrazeneca for people under 60 years of age, with this the state is reacting to the current recommendation of the Standing Vaccination Commission on the preparation of the Swedish-British pharmaceutical company.

The corona situation is - as experts and representatives from politics emphasize almost every day - dynamic and therefore partly unpredictable.

A cancellation of SPIEL'21 has not yet been announced, so all hopes of the fans are on the international match days.

Gamescom 2021 is also still in the running as a partially physical fair, even if the date in August for an on-site fair still seems unlikely. The KoelnMesse and the Bundesverband Game had the hybrid concept in the middle of the burgeoning third corona wave trumpeted into it. It remains to be seen whether Gamescom 2021 will actually take place with an on-site part or whether it will have to go 100 percent to the Internet again.

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