With COVID-19 still prevalent in many parts of the world, IFA Berlin will not be happening physically in the German city from September 2 to 6, 2021.
Instead, the world’s largest consumer and home electronics trade show will take place as a full-scale live event in 2022, according to organisers Messe Berlin and gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH.
The decision was made following consultation with public health experts and stakeholders. Reasons for the cancellation include the rapid emergence of new COVID-19 variants and the inconsistent rollout of vaccination programmes around the world,
Such uncertainty has impacted companies, members of the media and visitors who were planning to attend the event in Berlin.
Additionally, Messe Berlin had also converted parts of its exhibition area into a vaccination centre and an emergency hospital facility, both of which are likely to be required for longer than originally anticipated.
“Innovation needs a platform; it needs the focus of global attention. Unfortunately, the latest public health developments introduced too much risk into everybody’s planning for the event. There simply are now too many uncertainties. Therefore, right now it has become near impossible for anyone to responsibly plan their participation in any trade show,” said Kai Hillebrandt, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH.
“We did not take this decision lightly. However, the health and safety of everybody has to be absolutely paramount. The efforts to contain this pandemic – from the roll-out of vaccination programmes to the resumption of international travel – did not happen at the pace we had hoped for. Given these developments, this difficult and disappointing decision was inevitable,” said Martin Ecknig, CEO of Messe Berlin.