IFA 2021’s in-person presence has officially been cancelled. The reason? COVID-19.
From IFA’s official announcement of the cancellation:
“Innovation needs a platform; it needs the focus of global attention. That’s why brands and manufacturers across the tech industry were very keen to come to IFA Berlin 2021. Unfortunately, the latest public health developments introduced too much risk into everybody’s planning for the event,” said Kai Hillebrandt, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH. “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.”
I don’t know if trends in the latest COVID-19 data or the fact too many large companies pulled out was the reason behind IFA’s in-person cancellation. It certainly seems as though the all-digital conversion of Samsung, Lenovo, Nokia, Sony, Oracle, and others played a significant role in IFA’s suspension, but it’s also clear that conditions surrounding the coronavirus overseas are far too serious to be taken lightly.
Here in the States, things are finally getting on the right track, and all signs point to CES (the largest tech show in the world) making an in-person return this January. In Hillebrandt’s statement, it definitely sounds like he tried to bring down the idea of planning to host any sort of trade show at this time, although his opinion could shift to a positive outlook as time rolls on.
IFA will still have a digital presence to make announcements from the various companies still participating in the show. But if you were planning to attend, you better go cancel your flight and hotel.