CeBIT 2013: Strongest performance in years
Date: Tue, 03/26/2013 - 08:25
CeBIT, the world’s leading event for the digital economy, raised the bar this year: “International business was at the top of the agenda,” said Frank Pörschmann, the Deutsche Messe Managing Board member in charge of CeBIT, at the closing press conference on Saturday. “With even more trade professionals in attendance – accounting for over 84 percent of the total – plus the show’s highly international mix of visitors from over 120 nations and the highest number of IT decision-makers and purchasing managers in attendance since a long time, CeBIT has delivered the strongest performance we have seen in the last several years. Over five action-packed days, international business and networking have clearly been the name of the game here in Hannover.”
Over 4,000 enterprises from 70 countries participated in CeBIT 2013, among them a great many startups. “This CeBIT is the most youthful ever. Over 200 young companies came to Hannover to impress their audience with inspired innovations and ideas. They have found CeBIT to be fertile ground on which to achieve rapid business growth,” said Pörschmann. Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Germany’s Federal Minister of Economics and Technology Philipp Rösler were among the prominent delegates and delegations whose CeBIT agenda included a visit to the start-ups participating in the international CODE_n competition. Young businesses were also strongly represented at pavilions sponsored by the German Ministry of Economics and Technology and exhibits staged by the featured Partner Country, Poland. “The startup halls were bursting with fresh inspiration and energy destined to stimulate lots of downstream innovation and business growth throughout the digital economy,” remarked Pörschmann. He was also delighted with the success of the brand-new participation options for app developers. “The response of this youthful digital elite has been outstanding. Many of them see CeBIT as a ‘cool’ event because of its special mix of professionalism and emotional appeal.”
The commitment and drive demonstrated by Poland as this year’s Partner Country resulted in a major show of strength. In the words of Pörschmann: “Poland has set a high benchmark for future Partner Countries. With Poland’s Prime Minister and several cabinet ministers in attendance and over 150 Polish businesses exhibiting, Poland’s tremendous achievements and potential as an innovative, high-tech nation truly came across,” he remarked. “Poland’s passion and commitment at CeBIT not only delighted but also impressed the audience, helping the country to confirm its rightful place among the world’s promising high-tech nations.”
This year’s CeBIT delivered big on the kind of integrative, cross-industry dialog for which it is known. The Opening Ceremony keynote by EADS CEO Dr. Thomas Enders as well as a program targeted at 800 top IT managers from international user companies and special events for CHROs, CMOs and CFOs from all industry sectors all serve to prove the point. “The success of such programs shows that this is the way forward. Putting users of digital solutions in closer touch will make CeBIT even more powerful still,” said Pörschmann, who added that trade visitors had shown keen interest in the many real-world solutions on display at the exhibition stands, particularly for the energy, automotive and aviation industries as well as in government/public administration and healthcare.
CeBIT also plays an invaluable role as a socio-political sounding board. This year’s CeBIT attracted more international industry delegations than ever before, e.g., from Asia, the U.S., Australia and Europe, several of which were led by high-ranking government leaders. This trend was supported by the special Match and Meet delegation services on offer for the first time this year. More than 350 participants from China, Iran, the U.S., Colombia, Switzerland and Germany availed themselves of these unique services.
Pörschmann spoke of this year’s chosen lead theme, “Shareconomy”, as having scored an impressive success for all concerned. “With the Shareconomy theme, CeBIT has stimulated an unprecedented degree of worldwide debate, well beyond the confines of the digital economy. All sectors of industry have come to recognize the great potential involved in sharing data, resources, goods and infrastructure.” Shareconomy has also been the subject of lively debate across social networks.
The show’s dedicated recruiting arena also met with a favorable echo, with many businesses using the event to get in touch with promising next-generation candidates and seasoned professionals in search of new career challenges. In many cases, these encounters resulted in employment contracts being signed right on site. “This CeBIT has made a major contribution towards addressing the current shortage of skilled specialists in the high-tech sector,” said Pörschmann.
The CeBIT Global Conferences program ended on Friday, with the best results ever. “With a powerful lineup of 130 speakers, a program spanning three stages and 75 hours in total, plus its unique mix of themes, the CeBIT Global Conferences proved its reputation as the most pivotal conference for the digital community and a veritable think tank for the world at large."
In his remarks on attendance, Pörschmann said: “Over the course of the past year we have been working hard on further enhancing CeBIT, particularly in terms of its quality. Our concerted efforts to sharpen the show’s focus and its profile have certainly paid off.” Lowering the number of complimentary admission tickets by 20 percent during the run-up to the event was a deliberate move in this direction. “Our strategy was to focus on qualitative impact rather than sheer numbers,” emphasized Pörschmann. “Viewed in terms of attendance figures, the show attracted around 285,000 visitors. With regard to the impact achieved, we can rightly claim that the 2013 show has turned out to be one of the strongest and most effective CeBIT events in the past several years.”
Exhibitors were unanimous in praising their tradeshow results. Thanks to excellent pre-show preparations, many exhibitors indicated having exceeded their targets by more than 50 percent. A total of over seven million business meetings took place over the five days of the event, which is on a par with last year’s excellent outcome. Online exposure was very much on the rise, especially via social media channels. According to Pörschmann: “Anyone who participates in CeBIT automatically sends ripples throughout the Internet community. An audience of millions followed the rich array of themes on the CeBIT agenda.”
The next CeBIT will be staged from 11 to 15 March 2014