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Jan 13, 2022

bootWhen we learned that the Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver boat shows were canceled as in-person events, it wasn’t surprising that the biggest show in Europe, boot Dusseldorf got called off too. Perhaps it was more surprising to receive continuing confirmation that the show was “on” even as we learned that in December Covid-19 cases were rising quickly in Germany.

The shoe finally fell on December 30 with this press release:

Due to the spread of the Omicron virus variant, further restrictions have been in place in Germany since December 28, also concerning events. Following the meeting of the Minister Presidents of the German federal states on the pandemic situation on December 21, 2021, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) banned the staging of large events with spectators in January. This also affects boot Düsseldorf, which as a supra-regional leisure trade fair cannot take place in 2022 due to the measures decided by the state government.

NRW Health Minister Karl-Josef Laumann explained: “We have to continue to be very careful at the moment. The omicron variant is spreading in a dynamic we do not yet know. But we have to act today. That is why we had already banned large soccer matches and sporting events with spectators in the current Covid Protection Ordinance. It is only logical that no large public trade fairs with many visitors from different regions and countries from all over the world take place in January either.”

bootIn previous years big teams like these Bavaria reps welcomed huge crowds

Düsseldorf's Lord Mayor Dr. Stephan Keller also supports the state's decision: “Of course we had hoped that the pandemic situation in January would allow boot to be held under strict hygiene conditions. But in the end, it is only consistent to do without large public trade fairs such as boot in order to contain the spread of the Omicron variant. Even before the country's ban, I agreed with the management of Messe Düsseldorf not to take an unjustifiable risk and to cancel boot if necessary.”

boot organizer Messe Düsseldorf also agrees with the decision of the politicians, in view of the current pandemic situation and the challenges in the coming weeks. Wolfram N. Diener, President and CEO of Messe Düsseldorf, stated: “The pandemic must be overcome as quickly as possible so that the trade fair industry can once again have planning security for exhibitors and visitors. It is therefore with a heavy heart that we have to announce that boot will not take place in January 2022. However, the decision of the state government is also in line with the wishes of many exhibitors who are very worried about participating in boot during the Omicron wave. I ask all those involved for their understanding and support so that we can get back to work together in full force in 2023. The heartfelt thank you of the entire boot Düsseldorf team goes to all exhibitors, associations and partners who have stood by our side all this time. I am sure that together we will head for a successful boot 2023, after hopefully overcoming the crisis.”

The other trade fairs planned for spring 2022 in Düsseldorf, Germany are not affected by this decision. Unlike boot, these are trade fairs attended exclusively by people for professional reasons. Messe Düsseldorf considers each event individually and, in addition to the infection, travel and legal situation, also takes into account the specific requirements of the respective trade fairs and their sectors.

The next boot Düsseldorf will take place from January 21 – 29, 2023.