The photokina is the world's largest trade fair held in Europe for the photographic and imaging industries. The first photokina was held in Cologne, Germany, in 1950, and since 1966 it has been held biennially in September at the koelnmesse Trade Fair and Exhibition Centre in Deutz. Starting in 2018, the fair will become an annual event, and beginning in 2019 it will be held in May. Many photographic and imaging companies introduce and showcase state of the art imaging products at photokina. The show has two main competitors, both annual shows held in different parts of the world. The CP+ show in Yokohama, Japan, originally the Japan Camera Show, has been held since the early 1960s. In the U.S., the main photography show is [email protected], which since 2012 has coincided with the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The first photokina was held in 1950 at the initiative of Bruno Uhl (de). Noting the importance of the trade show, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent a greeting telegram marking the opening of photokina in 1956.
- The 2008 show featured 1,579 exhibitors from 46 countries and had over 169,000 visitors from 161 countries.
- The 2010 photokina took place from 21 to 26 September. It featured 1,251 suppliers from 45 countries and had over 180,000 visitors from 160 countries.
- The number of visitors still increased to 185,000 from 166 countries for photokina 2012, which took place from 18 to 23 September 2012 and hosted 1,158 suppliers from 41 countries. The 2014 attendance remained roughly constant, at an estimated 185,000.
- The 2016 photokina was the first taking place under the new slogan "Imaging unlimited" from 20 to 25 September 2016. It saw about 191.000 visitors.
- The next photokina will take place in Cologne, Germany from 26 to 29 September 2018. The dates were originally announced as 25–30 September, but the format was shortened as a part of the change to an annual event.
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