Merkel puts on brave face for CeBIT’s future
Itâ€™s that time of year when the tech industry flocks in droves to that dreary, grey German city called Hanover to celebrate the sector, to make deals, to network and connect and to round it all off in the evenings with swanky company dos, right?
Well, that used to be.
We know that CeBIT has lost its glam factor, its lustre — even if it still claims to be the world’s No.1 tech and IT fair. And, alas, we know that the industry is increasingly shifting its focus to the much hotter trade shows in Spain and the United States.
In hindsight, could it have been a desperate attempt to ward off the slide into oblivion when CeBIT invited Californian governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to open the fair last year?
Or a sign of times to come?
Schwarzenegger symbolises a mix of Californian innovation and Hollywood glamour. But the state he governs is in a budget crisis and some are asking is California Americaâ€™s first failed state?
Not a comforting sign.
And then thereâ€™s this: Germanyâ€™s very own chancellor Angela Merkel said what has been on the mind of industry experts for years now, given a massive decline in visitors and the absence of top executives.
“It hasn’t always been easy and even now, one has to be hard-nosed about it — it is still the (sector’s) biggest tradeshow, but one does feel the breeze of the competition, ” Merkel said, speaking at this year’s CeBIT opening ceremony — the 25th since its inception.
Merkel also said that she wanted CeBIT to remain the industry’s biggest event, looking forward to the fair’s 50th birthday (that would be in 2035…).
Yet, if the top-dog barks, it’s clear that something’s not right.
What do you think, where’s CeBIT headed?
Does it have a future or will it sink into oblivion?