After last year’s defection, even in 2021 the Berlin IFA announced the cancellation of the popular event. The organizers, Messe Berlin and gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH are reporting on this in a joint press release.

The world’s leading consumer electronics and home trade fair will be back in 2022.

The decision was taken following detailed discussions with public health experts and stakeholders.

Ultimately, several key metrics on global health did not move quickly in the right direction as hoped: from the rapid appearance of new Codiv-19 variants, for example in South Asia, to the continuous uncertainties about the speed of vaccinations at global level.

This in turn adds uncertainty to companies that were committed or interested in coming to Berlin, as well as to the media and visitors . They all have to plan well in advance regarding budget, investment and travel.

• not only for IFA, but all similar events around the world. Another consideration is the fact that Messe Berlin continues to support the fight against Covid-19 by converting parts of its exhibition area into a vaccination centre and an emergency hospital structure; now it is likely that both are needed longer than originally planned.

The statements of the IFA 2021 organisers

Kai Hillebrandt, chairman of the Gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH Monitoring Board, said that innovation needs a platform; it needs the global focus.

That’s why brands and manufacturers in the technology sector were very keen to come to the Berlin 2020 IFA. Unfortunately, recent developments in public health have brought too much risk into the planning of the event by everyone. Hillebrandt says there’s just too much uncertainty. Therefore, the president concludes, at this moment it has become almost impossible for anyone to plan their participation in any fair in a responsible way.

Martin Ecknig, CEO of Messe Berlin, also pointed out that the decision was not taken lightly.

According to Ecknig, IFA Berlin is without doubt the most important event of the year for brands and retailers. IFA Berlin, continues the CEO, connects the consumer electronics industry with professional visitors, media and real consumers like no other event.

However, the health and safety of all must be absolutely fundamental. Efforts to contain this pandemic • from the introduction of vaccination programmes to the resumption of international travel • have not occurred at the desired rate. Given these developments, Martin Ecknig concludes, the difficult decision to cancel IFA 2021 has become inevitable.

IFA organisers are already working with their partners in industry, commerce and media to prepare IFA 2022 as a real live event at the Berlin trade fair.

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