Cebit sees big drop in visitor numbers

Cebit saw an almost 20% drop in visitors this year but those that did turn-up were on average a higher quality of attendee than in the past, organizers said.

Europe's largest IT fair saw an almost 20 percent drop in visitors this year but those that did turn up to the six day event in Hanover were on average a higher quality of attendee than in the past, organizers said late Sunday.

Cebit ran from Tuesday to Sunday and attracted more than 400,000 visitors, Deutsche Messe said in a statement. In total 4,300 companies from 69 countries exhibited though the vast fairgrounds in Hanover hawking products as diverse as cell-phone voice scramblers, enterprise management software, computer motherboards and solar energy systems.

The show got off to a strong start in the local media spotlight thanks to the visit of California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was there to prototype IT ventures from his state. California was the partner state of Cebit this year.

But later in the week there were none of the big announcements typical of Cebit in the past. In part that's due to the lack of big-name electronics companies, many of which have decamped to the IFA trade show in Berlin, and cell phone makers, which announced their new products at the recent Mobile World Congress event, but it may also be a sign of the current economic times or product cycles. Even Intel, a long-time Cebit exhibitor, had little new to show this year.

The drop comes as little surprise considering the current state of the global economy. Many companies have cut back or eliminated travel budgets and Cebit itself saw around 1,000 mostly Asian exhibitors cancel during the last three months of 2008 after economic problems hit.

In terms of geographical mix the number of international attendees held roughly firm at about 20 percent with the drop in Asian visitors made up for by those from the Americas and Middle East, Deutsche Messe said.

Cebit 2010 will run from March 2 to 6, which is one day shorter than this year's fair. The event will end on Saturday so that exhibitors have a chance to get back home before the new work week begins -- a request made to organizers by many at the show, they said.

With the drop Deutsche Messe now needs to convince exhibitors and visitors that it isn't a sign the event is no longer worth attending -- a problem it faced at the midway point when it typically discloses visitor numbers for the first few days of the event.

This year the company broke with tradition and declined to provide any visitor numbers. The organizers feared headlines about weak attendance would cause some to cancel their trips to the fair and thus push numbers down further, they said.

What organizers have seized on to is that companies might be sending fewer staff to Cebit but those that attend are a higher quality. The event is seeing more senior-level staff than in previous years, said Deutsche Messe. But the organizer didn't provide any data to quantify that claim.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags cebit

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments





Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?