Preparing for photokina - September 18-23, 2012

Every 2 years, photokina sets the stage for innovations and trends in the international photography and imaging industry. This event regularly attracts hundreds of North American photo imaging retailers, distributors, imaging professionals and photographers all seeking to source the latest in camera equipment, accessories, kiosk software, scrapbooking, lab options and printing equipment.

1,250 exhibitors from all over the world are expected to showcase their photo/imaging products and services during the 35th edition of photokina. KoelnMesse Inc., the North American arm of the photokina organizer, today issued following tips for North American attendees to make the most of their travel and photokina experience:


Book your flight early enough to take advantage of lower rates. Economy class tickets from the East Coast start at $ 900. All major North American airlines offer service to Frankfurt International Airport (FRA). The airport has its own train station. High speed Inter-City Express (ICE) trains run three times per hour and will take you to downtown Cologne in a little more than 50 minutes – one way tickets cost about $ 50. Discounted air fares are available to Photokina attendees at using the code “DEZUYG”.

Entrance ticket /Show Hours:

Discounted entrance tickets ordered online offer a 35% discount. 2-day passes can be purchased for EURO 47 (approx. $ 60) and a permanent show pass costs EURO 76 (approx. $ 98). Entrance tickets provide you with free of charge transportation on busses and subways during all show days. photokina is open daily from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. including the last day. This six day show will commence on Tuesday, September 18th and end on Sunday, September 23.

Staying in Cologne:

Pre-booked hotel rooms in Cologne are available via our New York based travel partner, TTI Travel, at 212.674.3476 or holds a wide variety of room blocks in Cologne and offers advice to North American attendees to Cologne on the hotels in the proximity to the fairgrounds. The travel agency provides maps, commuting tips to the fairgrounds and a list of Cologne restaurants.

Pre-show preparation:

Use the exhibitor listing at to plan your trip and search out the companies you would like to visit. You can sort the listing by product category or geography. We recommend making pre-show appointments via photokina’s “online matchmaking services”, a service available six weeks prior to the event. Take some time to learn about products and your competition prior to visiting photokina; make a list of companies you plan to visit and organize it by hall saving you time during your photokina visit.


photokina takes place at the fourth largest fairgrounds worldwide. The halls are connected via a central “Boulevard” providing a main artery to all 10 halls. Exhibitors at photokina are easy to find in clearlycategorized and marked halls. The halls represent the respective industry segments representing the product cycles of images: Image input (Halls 2,3,4.2,5,9), storage (hall 9), processing (hall 4.1) and output (Hall 6).

Use your cell phone camera for recording images of products and people you meet. It will help you to organize your follow up! Take advantage of the International Buyers' Lounge at the Congress Center East. The Buyers Lounge provides detailed trade fair and product information, cell phone charger stations, and PCs with Internet access. The Lounge is open daily between 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Last but not least, make sure to wear comfortable shoes, the aisles in Cologne are not carpeted!

Things to do in Cologne:

Leave some time to visit the attractions Cologne has to offer, such as the famous Cathedral (Dom), a visit to the Old town “Altstadt” consisting of a large row of unique restaurants and bars. Feel like a hearty dinner and a taste of the locally brewed beer? Try one of the Brauhauses where you will meet people from all over the world during photokina. Recommended ones are Paeffgen, Frueh and Peters Brauhaus.


hufaholderpr's picture


Great advice on how to prepare for Photokina! :) I just wanted to leave a quick comment to let you know about our awesome gadget for photographers of every level and that we’re going to Photokina. For those going please come find our booth for free giveaways! The Hufa Holder lens cap clip was designed by photographers after they had, like many other photographers do, lost a TON of lens caps. The nifty little device just clips right on your strap and keeps your cap in place while you're shooting! Turns out, we lose a whole lot less lens caps this way! :) This also works no matter what camera you are using. Here is a video for you to check it out Thanks again for sharing all of your information on preparing for Photokina! Hope you'll check out our gadget when you get a chance.

Have a great day,