The High-End Society, organisers of the annual Munich High-End hi-fi show, has announced that its May 2021 event has been postponed. Munich High-End 2021 will now run September 9th – 12th.
No prizes for guessing why. Covid case numbers in Germany remain on the rise despite the country being two weeks into a ‘lockdown light’ that forced all bars, restaurants and cafes to take-away only mode, restricted personal groups to a maximum of three households but kept schools and shops open, the latter with patron numbers capped according to the store’s square meterage.
No doubt spooking the High-End Society is this week’s political chatter that points to the current lockdown being extended by several months. The specifics have yet to take shape but the German government’s messaging is clear: we must remain vigilant until a vaccine programme starts to take shape. And with the pandemic still raging in the USA, it’s clearly not the time for a show organiser to ask the hi-fi industry to schedule international travel plans for an event that’s ‘only’ six months away.
Per Munich High-End 2020’s cancellation, the High-End Society once again earns praise for its early decisiveness. However, their move to postpone to September plonks the world’s best-attended hi-fi show into the middle of already crowded Autumn schedule*: AXPONA 2021 is scheduled to run in Chicago August 27th – 29th; Denver’s RMAF 2021 is slated for October 8th – 10th; the Warsaw AV Show has its calendar marked for November 5th – 7th.
And then there’s IFA 2021 that will run 3rd – 7th September in Berlin. Perhaps it will make sense for some of IFA’s hi-fi exhibitors to stay on in Germany and take the train south to Munich for another long weekend of showtime? Wir werden sehen.
Further information: High End Society
*All dates correct at time of publication but subject to change.
UPDATE: The High-End Society has since issued a press release on the 2021 postponement:
THE HIGH END 2021 MOVES FROM MAY TO SEPTEMBER
Perfect timing for added reassurance
Good news for the HIGH END 2021: the audio show, which was planned to take place in mid-May, has now been moved to the late summer, namely from 9th to 12th September 2021. By choosing these later dates, the organiser of the event, the HIGH END SOCIETY SERVICE GmbH, is taking a huge step towards a successful relaunch of the trade show and also increasing planning reliability for all parties involved.
The new OEM show IPS will also move to September and will take place from 9th to 10th September 2021 in the MOC Munich alongside the HIGH END.
The HIGH END SOCIETY SERVICE GmbH feels that it is necessary to take this step despite receiving an extremely positive number of bookings and implementing a comprehensive hygiene and infection protection concept. “We are gaining four months, which will provide our clients from outside of Germany in particular with more time to reliably plan their participation”, explains Managing Director Stefan Dreischärf. At the end of September, Dreischärf and his team sent out invitations to the HIGH END 2021which was scheduled for May. They have been continuously receiving bookings ever since, with uninterrupted demand displaying similar tendencies to that of last year’s event. Nonetheless, the organiser is also receiving worried enquiries on a daily basis, namely from trade show participants expressing growing concerns regarding the new significant increase in cases of infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus worldwide. Strict travel and quarantine requirements are causing exhibitors from abroad, in particular, to hesitate given that they cannot yet foresee when these restrictions will be lifted.
The latest news on a highly promising vaccine has now increased the likelihood that the spread of the coronavirus will slow down significantly. Dreischärf is convinced that: “In light of this positive prospect, there’s every reason to believe that the effects of immunization will be much more prominent in the late summer of 2021 than in May. We, therefore, expect that by then, virtually no more limitations will apply to international travel.” For exhibitors and visitors from outside of Germany, the later dates of the event, therefore, make the entire planning of the trade show much easier – without the current concerns and with more scope for decision-making until the new registration deadline at the end of March 2021.
The organiser of the world’s leading audio trade show has spent the past few months working on new concepts to ensure that exhibitors can be provided with the optimal conditions for successful business despite the pandemic and that all parties involved can feel safe and at ease. “We strongly believe that live trade shows are still absolutely essential for the audio industry and are doing everything possible to continue our success story”, emphasizes Dreischärf. The organiser is, however, also aware of the huge responsibility involved in ensuring the smooth running of an event that revolves around personal contact without any concerns. “Nobody can predict the future”, states the head of the trade show. “We do, however, have to assume that the infection protection measures will continue to influence many aspects of life and business next year.” A return to life before the pandemic is seemingly still a long way off. Nevertheless, Dreischärf dares to hope that the requirements for trade shows will be less strict by September 2021 if the pandemic has been significantly curbed by then. The workable and flexible hygiene and infection prevention concept for the event will, of course, remain in place and be adapted based on the current circumstances.
The HIGH END, the internationally renowned audio trade show, is the undisputed leader when it comes to impressively setting the tone for top-class music reproduction. It has been providing ideas and impetus for producers, sellers and consumers of high-quality consumer electronics for four decades. On the four days of the event in May, the entire world of audio experts and professionals will gather in Munich to visit hundreds of exhibitors from more than 40 different countries as they showcase their latest innovations in the halls and atriums of the MOC Event Center.