It was a lit CeBIT see, got teeny weeny, world's biggest tech show yearly party... closed its German fest's doors yesterday

Deutsch Messe reportedly would've lost €5m on a 2019 gig

Pic of Amazon's cloud booth in Hanover, Germany, Pic by drserg/shutterstock, for editorial use only

Once a juggernaut, CeBIT is no more: 33 years after spinning the tech exhibition out from Hannover Messe, Deutsche Messe has announced that declining visitor numbers have left it no choice but to shutter the show.

From a peak of 850,000 visitors, footfall had fallen to around 120,000 in 2018.

The Hannover show scheduled for June 2019 has been cancelled, organiser Deutsche Messe announced today, with surviving topics folded into Hannover Messe in April 2019.

Deutsche Messe CEO Dr Jochen Köckler said traditional core exhibitors had moved to events targeting more vertically focused trade shows (for example, addressing industrial digitisation), rather than the horizontal CeBIT.

He added: "We are currently examining the digital market to determine which remaining CEBIT topics we will develop into new events."

Lower Saxony minister of economics Bernd Althusmann said some surviving CeBIT topics would include digitisation and artificial intelligence, delivered in a "smaller fairs space".

German outlet Handelsblatt claimed that anchor exhibitors IBM, Salesforce and Huawei all wanted out completely, and others such as Vodafone, Volkswagen and SAP planned to reduce their spend in 2019.

The Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung quoted an internal letter from the exhibition board, estimating the 2019 show could result in a €5m loss.

With his exhibition discontinued, CeBIT managing board member Oliver Frese will leave Deutsche Messe at the end of the year.

The CeBIT banner will, however, live on in some other countries.

Australia's CeBIT organisers today emailed media saying their show would proceed in October 2019, and quoted managing director Harvey Stockbridge saying the group "have been working hard over the past few months to create the foundations for a reimagined CeBIT Australia".

The email emphasised that the Australian operation ran its own advisory committee and "always forged a separate path" from its German parent.

The Register has contacted Deutsche Messe to ask about the future of shows planned for 2019 in Thailand and Russia.

It seems there are people who have nostalgic feelings about the trade show, leading to the #CebitMemories hashtag drawing some Twitter love.


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