The Berlin home electronics trade show IFA will no longer take place this year and has been rescheduled for September 2022.
The event was scheduled for September, but Messe Berlin and GFU Consumer and Home Electronics have said that new health uncertainties have forced the cancellation. The decision was made after consultation with public health experts and multiple stakeholders.
Martin Ecknig, chief executive of Messe Berlin, 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 rollout of vaccination programmes to the resumption of international travel – did not happen at the pace we had hoped for. Given these developments, this difficult and disappointing decision was inevitable.”
Kai Hillebrandt, chairman of the supervisory board of GFU Consumer and Home Electronics, said: “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.
“There are simply too many uncertainties now. Therefore, right now, it has become near-impossible for anyone to responsibly plan their participation in any trade show.”
The health uncertainties that are a main concern for the company include the rapid emergence of new Covid-19 variants, such as in southern Asia, and continued uncertainties vaccination programmes around the world and the speed of their rollout.
Currently, Messe Berlin has converted parts of its exhibition areas into a vaccination centre and an emergency hospital facility. Both are likely to be required for longer than expected.
IFA 2022 takes place in Berlin from 2-6 September.