IFA 2021 will not take place in September as a physical live event as originally planned. Messe Berlin and gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH have announced that the decision was made following detailed conversations with public health experts and multiple stakeholders. Due to several key global health metrics, for instance, the rapid emergence of new COVID-19 variants in South Asia to continued uncertainties about the speed of the rollout of vaccination programs around the world, the event has been canceled.
The global health metrics are adding uncertainty for the companies, media as well as visitors who were committed or interested in coming to Berlin. The press release said that Messe Berlin continues to support the fight against COVID-19 by converting parts of its exhibition area into a vaccination center and an emergency hospital facility. Preparations for Berlin Photo Week at ARENA Berlin and SHIFT Mobility are continuing as planned. The organizers of IFA are now working with their partners from industry, trade, and media to get everything ready for IFA 2022, which is planned to be held as a full-scale live event.
It will be interesting to see how MWC 2021 organizers react to this since the Mobile World Congress is still scheduled to take place physically. Meanwhile, companies like Samsung, Sony, Nokia, and Ericsson have already opted out of the upcoming MWC 2021. Let’s wait and watch what steps the organizers of MWC take after IFA 2021’s cancelation.
“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.”