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IFA 2021 cancelled due to pandemic uncertainties

Paul Lipscombe
May 19, 2021

The announcement comes a month before MWC21 is due to take place

IFA 2021 has been cancelled due to the ongoing uncertainty brought on by the global Covid-19 pandemic.

The show had been due to take place between September 3 to September 7, but has been officially called off by the event organisers.

In a statement event organisers Messe Berlin and gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH jointly confirmed the cancellation.

The event was due to be a full-scale live event, but has been cancelled due to uncertainties around planning and ‘the latest public health developments’.

“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.”

IFA has confirmed the event will return next year, running from September 2 to September 6.

Vaccination hiccups 

The CEO of Messe Berlin – where the IFA trade exhibition takes place – Martin Eckning added that the vaccine roll-out has ‘not happened at the pace we hoped for’.

Eckning said: “We did not take this decision lightly. IFA Berlin is arguably the most important event of the year for brands and retailers alike. IFA Berlin connects our industry with trade visitors, media and real consumers like no other event.

“However, the health and safety of everybody has to be absolutely paramount. The efforts to contain this pandemic – from the roll-out of vaccination programs to the resumption of international travel – did not happen at the pace we had hoped for.”

MWC 2021?

The cancellation of IFA is sure to throw up questions around the likelihood of The Mobile World Congress going ahead in Barcelona next month.

MWC 2021 is due to be a significantly scaled down ‘hybrid’ event with people physically attending and keynotes being streamed virtually.

It is anticipated close to 50,000 people will attend the event, significantly down from the usual 100,000 plus participants in attendance.

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