Information about the cancelled IHM trade fair, «Handwerk & Design» and Garten München

We unfortunately had no choice but to cancel the 2020 edition of Internationale Handwerksmesse at short notice; at least we managed to cancel it early enough before any of the exhibitors actually had a chance to start setting up their stands and arrived at the fair ground. Understandably, such cancellation has triggered numerous queries. We would like to explain the background to the decision to cancel the trade fair.

On 2 March 2020, a meeting was held with the crisis management team of the Bavarian government, consisting i. a. of the Bavarian Ministry of Health, the Ministry of the Interior and the State Office for Health and Food Safety, which had held an internal meeting the day before. The decision to as to whether to cancel a major event is currently being taken by the respective organiser in consultation with the local health authorities. The risk prevailing in a specific case must be assessed on a case-by-case basis. As far as their decision is concerned, the authorities made reference to the hand-out of 27 February 2020 of the Robert Koch Institute on the assessment of the risk posed by major events, which had been resolved by the joint crisis management team of the Federal Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry of the Interior on 28 February 2020.

On the occasion of their meeting held on 1 March 2020, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) principles had also been adopted by the Bavarian crisis management team. At the meeting of 2 March 2020, the Bavarian authorities had strongly recommended that the IHM trade fair, a major international trade fair, be cancelled. With a view to all the criteria to be analysed (composition of participants, type and venue of the event, and the event constituting an exhibition open to the public - therefore, less opportunity for control), such an event is associated with a higher risk of transmission and outbreak of SARS-CoV-2. This is why priority had to be given to preserving the health and safety of the population and therefore the trade fair had to be cancelled. Unfortunately, it was not possible to postpone the trade fair to a later date (especially with a view to the fact that the next IHM trade fair is already scheduled to take place in March 2021), since the IHM trade fair takes place at a popular trade fair venue and is a multi-day event, and it is simply impossible to predict the development and duration of the corona virus epidemic.

This means that "force majeure" contract clauses in the contract concluded between you and us are invoked by such an event; this also means that the impossibility of still holding the trade fair or the fact that it would be deemed unreasonably onerous for the organiser to stage the trade fair nonetheless operate as a cancellation of the principal obligations under the contract you concluded with us. As a consequence, the contracting parties are each released from the duty to perform their obligations under the contract. The contract is thus reformed into a mere obligation to retransfer/claim to restitution with any performance that may already have been made having to be returned as stipulated in the contract or required by law. In our Standard Terms and Conditions it is stated that in the event of cancellation of a trade fair for compelling reasons beyond our control, we may charge a percentage of up to 25% of the space rental fee as well as the costs of other demonstrable services (e.g. media contribution).

Since substantial costs, which may be charged as expenses, have been incurred both in-house and externally in connection with making preparations for the trade fair, we are currently involved in intensive negotiations with our suppliers and service providers, aiming to reach a positive outcome for our exhibitors as quickly as possible. We therefore kindly ask you for your patience and understanding. It will take us some time to complete the process. It is important for us to continue to be on good terms with our exhibitors and trade fair participants, not only for the time being but also in the future. Therefore, please rest assured: we will do everything in our power to find an acceptable solution for you as soon as possible. This turn of events has also taken us, the trade fair organisers, as a surprise. Surely nobody could have expected something like this to happen in such a way. When cancellation of the trade fair could no longer be avoided, we therefore decided to go public as soon as possible - aiming to mitigate the financial losses to be sustained by all parties involved to the greatest degree possible.

At this point in time, we expect to be able to refund your payments by 15 April 2020. The amount will be transferred back to the known account.

We again kindly ask you for your understanding. Please rest assured that we would have been ever so happy to hold the exhibition in any case, had the circumstances still permitted us to do so. 

  • print
  • to top