The originally planned number of competition exhibits in frames was 2,800 and the organisers calculated only 2,200 frames internally – due to Corona. But when the registration deadline came, at the end of September 2022, all fears were swept aside: so many exhibits were registered worldwide that 4,300 frames would be needed. Now the IBRA organising team had to find the golden mean between what was desirable and what was possible at all. After careful consideration, it settled on 3,400 frames for exhibits, almost 20 percent more than initially planned. The selection of exhibits has been made and the list has recently been submitted to the FIP, which has to examine it.

Hall 7 of Messe Essen, the so-called IBRA Hall, will therefore be entirely used. Including the hall for the International Stamp Fair, Hall 8, IBRA will offer a space of 12,000 m2 (!), which even optimists would not have expected a year ago. This will now also make it possible to increase the number of study group stands, ten more of which expressed their interest after the closing date for registrations, which means that approximately 65 (!) working groups will be presenting the world of philately.

This diversity is also reflected in the programme of the CPh-FORUM PHILATELIE and on the IBRA stage in the entrance area (trade fair foyer). Renowned experts from numerous countries, as well as connoisseurs and experts from the major sponsors Deutsche Post, the companies Christoph Gärtner and Heinrich Köhler will present currently important (advice) topics of interest to every collector on the IBRA stage. The programmes are expected to be announced by the end of the year. Then the appointment of the jurors from all over the world should also be known.

It will also be cramped in Hall 8, the hall of the International Stamp Fair. A number of postal administrations and trading companies have recently expressed their interest in participating. Deutsche Post alone will be represented with a large stand of 300 m2! Trade fair agent Jan Billion, organiser of this traditional event, sees many good reasons why this fair – despite all political and other difficulties – will  even more offer the whole world of philately to visitors.

One thing is clear: this coming IBRA 2023 will be the largest stamp exhibition that has taken place in Europe for a long time. It will thus join the ranks of its predecessors, IBRA 73 in Munich, IBRA 99 in Nuremberg and IBRA 09 in Essen. “Glückauf” is what they say in the Ruhr region!