Rehacare 2019 attendance
Credit: Messe Düsseldorf, Constanze Tillmann

Rehacare, Europe’s largest trade exhibition in the mobility, assistive tech and rehabilitation industries, has confirmed that it will postpone its 2020 event until October 2021, citing the need to protect the 36 per cent of end-users that attend the show.

Held annually in Düsseldorf, the event sees trade and healthcare professionals from across Europe and the world come together to discover new products and meet existing and new contacts.

Originally set to take place on the 23rd to the 26th of September, Rehacare will now be pushed back to the 6th to the 9th October 2021.

According to the show’s organiser Messe Düsseldorf, the decision to postpone was taken after close consultation with Rehacare’s exhibitors and partners.

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“We are constantly adapting our pre-existing high-level safety and hygiene standards for the Düsseldorf trade fair centre to the current findings. At the same time, however, we are evaluating the situation for each of our individual trade fairs individually,” explained Werner Dornscheidt, President and CEO of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH.

“Despite the regional government of North Rhine-Westphalia’s announcement that they would strive to enable the reopening of trade fairs and conferences by 31 May 2020, we have decided to postpone REHACARE until 2021 due to its specific participant demographic.”

Alongside the trade and healthcare professionals that attend, the event’s organiser highlighted that 36 per cent of visitors are also end-users, many of whom are elderly or disabled and therefore particularly at-risk if they contract the virus.

“We deliberated extensively over this decision, but we know that this is the right and responsible choice to make under the current circumstances,” stated Dornscheidt.

The organisers emphasise that decision follows the recommendation of the German government’s crisis management team to base risk assessments for large-scale events on the principles issued by the Robert Koch Institute. Among other items, these state that people in high-risk groups should not attend events.

“In addition, we want to guarantee our exhibitors the highest level of planning security,” commented Hannes Niemann, the Director of Rehacare.

“We have announced the postponement as quickly as possible in order to allow all those affected to react as early as possible.”

The postponement comes as scores of events in the mobility, access and independent living sectors have been postponed or cancelled, including Naidex postponing until November and Motability’s One Big Day cancelled for 2020.

Also, earlier in the month, the ABHI announced it was pulling its UK pavilion this year from another Messe Düsseldorf show: MEDICA 2020.

“We have received positive feedback on our decision from numerous partners. We’re all looking forward to Rehacare in October 2021 together,” finished Hannes Niemann.

Messe Düsseldorf confirmed it is now is working on digital alternatives for exhibitors and visitors to connect and discover new products until the exhibition next year.

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