After lengthy consideration, the organizers, Deutsche Messe and Rosenheim University of Applied Sciences (TH Rosenheim), have decided to reschedule the event rather than take it virtual because they believe platforms that allow face-to-face dialogue are the only way to go in the wood industry. They also decided against replacing it with a completely different type of event or relocating it to the Hannover Exhibition Center. Deutsche Messe and TH Rosenheim chose the Rosenheim campus specifically because the university is highly regarded worldwide for its quality wood technology graduates.

"The Rosenheim LIGNA.Conference is all about people," stressed Christian Pfeiffer, Deutsche Messe's Global Director LIGNA & Woodworking Shows. "Enabling real, face-to-face meetings and encounters is in our business DNA; it's our core competence, and the same is true of our TH Rosenheim partners. Given the current travel restrictions and physical distancing rules, and the prospect that they may still be in place in October, we will not be able to deliver on this vitally important networking aspect of the conference. And that aspect is at a premium after weeks or even months of social distancing, lock-down, curfews, online events, working from home and endless video conferencing. There's a real ‘hunger' in the wood industry for a face-to-face event. That's why we're postponing the event until 2022. We'll continue to run the tried and proven LIGNA.Conference series in the ‘LIGNA-free' even years."

TH Rosenheim, like its partner, would prefer not to have postponed the conference, but it accepts the realities of the situation and is already working closely with Deutsche Messe on the 2022 event and on its own showcase for LIGNA 2021. "We and the LIGNA team poured our heart and soul into developing the conference program and format and securing quality speakers from all over Germany," said TH Rosenheim's Professor Thorsten Ober. "Our enduring objective in doing so is to bring knowledge providers and the knowledge-hungry together under one roof and facilitate dialogue. We considered alternatives, but we believe interpersonal contact – the human factor – is fundamental to the LIGNA.Conference, and so, logically, postponement was the only route open to us. So we're picking up the ideas developed thus far and carefully refining them. We're looking forward to our joint conference event in 2022 in Rosenheim and, of course, to our own showcase at LIGNA in Hannover in May 2021."

The Rosenheim LIGNA.Conference originally planned for this October was to have previewed the three focus themes chosen for LIGNA 2021: Woodworking Transformation, Prefab Building Processes and Green Material Processing. That will no longer happen, but these themes will still be showcased in the lead-up to LIGNA in May 2021. Deutsche Messe will be providing initial in-depth information on the upcoming LIGNA show's focus themes and exhibition highlights as early as 10 February 2021 at its traditional LIGNA Preview in Hannover. TH Rosenheim will also be making an appearance at that event. "This is an important international media event in the lead-up to LIGNA, and we hope to be able to run it on a face-to-face basis, with numerous exhibitors, speakers and media representatives in attendance," Deutsche Messe's Christian Pfeiffer said.