The trade show déjà vu continues today as the 72nd Spielwarenmesse International Toy Fair in Nuremberg, Germany has been canceled.
Mirroring the recent turn of events regarding Toy Fair New York, Spielwarenmesse eG, organizers of the show sent out an email to exhibitors today confirming weeks of speculation and rumors regarding its status.
As with Toy Fair New York, hundreds of exhibitors were committed to attending, though the continued spread of COVID-19 and its new variants sparked fear resulting in several high-profile exhibitors and buyers pulling out. According to Spielwarenmesse eG, the rapid spread of the omicron variant, specifically, is what “resulted in an increasing number of cancellations to stands” for the event.
“We have fought hard to be able to hold the live event and we received strong support initially from toy markets worldwide,” says Christian Ulrich, spokesperson of the executive board at Spielwarenmesse eG. “A large number of suppliers without international distribution networks appealed to the organizers— even in December — to continue with the fair, which is so important to international business.”
The cancellation of Spielwarenmesse comes amid new restrictions on travel and live events throughout Bavaria, which, according to the organizers, meant that it was possible that the plug could be pulled at any time by government authorities.
“We regret having to make this decision and are grateful to everyone who remained committed to a physical trade fair to the very end,” Ulrich says. “A multifunctional platform is available both for exhibitors and for visitors: thanks to Spielwarenmesse Digital, they still have networking opportunities and the facility to discover the latest trends, within the original timetable of the trade fair.”
The 72nd Spielwarenmesse International Toy Fair was set to take place Feb. 2-6.