The decline of recent years seems to have been halted for the time being. This year, the number of exhibitors has risen slightly for the second time in a row. More than 4200 in 70 countries this year. In terms of visitors, the fair hopes to exceed last year’s 339,000 mark. Major exhibitors such as microsoft and IBM remain loyal to the IT show. Even google is here. And the fair is happy about some prominent returnees like samsung or sharp.
In addition, the organizers once again emphasize that the sheer number of exhibitors says little about the number of visitors. "The main thing is for customers to do business here," says trade fair director ernst raue. So we can finally breathe a sigh of relief in hannover? Even at one of the rough cebit exhibitors, it’s acknowledged that the high-tech performance show has not yet regained its old radiance.
The fact that exhibitors are leaving so quickly that the trade show could disappear from one year to the next is no longer something to be feared. But the role of the leading IT trade show and center of the digital world, much touted by the german industry association bitkom, is not yet over? The mobile world congress, which traditionally gathers industry captains in barcelona just a few days before the cebit, has taken over this role.
The weather is better in spain at this time of year, a german industry manager quips. But it’s more than that: the division in the industry is becoming more and more apparent. Everything mobile is booming – smartphones, tablets, apps. The suppliers of classic pcs and IT services, which have always been a cebit mainstay, are having to fight off a slump.
In addition, apple has now gone from being a stumbling niche supplier to a pace-setter in the industry. The problem of the cebit with the iphone and mac group: it stays away from all industry trade fairs as a matter of principle and prefers to hold crudely celebrated events on its own initiative. Apple’s next rough product presentation will be on wednesday evening: then, technology enthusiasts from all over the world will not look to hanover, but to san francisco, where apple will unveil the next ipad. Even if hardly anyone remembers it: the unsuccessful ipad forerunner from the windows world, the "ultra-mobile pc" was still presented at the cebit in 2006.
Cebit could be in better shape today if it hadn’t been sent on a zig-zag course by exhibitor discord a decade ago. The heavyweights, who wanted to do business in peace and felt disturbed by the crowds passing through, prevailed in the middle of the last decade. The vision of a "business fair" meant that consumers and technology enthusiasts had fewer reasons to go to hannover. And consumer electronics manufacturers tended to focus on the IFA in berlin, which doubled in size at an annual pace.
The cebit has been counteracting the loss of importance for several years now. First it tried to lure young internet companies to a platform called "webciety. This year, the "code_n" project will give the classic trade fair presence a new look. An artistically designed hall is to put the innovations in a new light and thus make them an experience. Is this the future of the cebit??
For friends of unintentional comedy, the cebit also has something in store this year. On thursday, an unusual world record holder will take part in the traditional messelauf cebit run. Its specialty: running backwards.