Merkel puts on brave face for CeBITs future
Its that time of year when the tech industry flocks in droves to that dreary, grey German city called Hanover to celebrate the sector, to make deals, to network and connect and to round it all off in the evenings with swanky company dos, right? Well, that used to be. We know that CeBIT has lost its glam factor, its lustre â even if it still claims to be the worldâs No.1 tech and IT fair. And, alas, we know that the industry is increasingly shifting its focus to the much hotter trade shows in Spain and the United States. In hindsight, could it have been a desperate attempt to ward off the slide into oblivion when CeBIT invited Californian governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to open the fair last year? Or a sign of times to come? Schwarzenegger symbolises a mix of Californian innovation and Hollywood glamour. But the state he governs is in a budget crisis and some are asking is California AmericaÂs first failed state? Not a comforting sign. And then thereÂs this: GermanyÂs very own chancellor Angela Merkel said what has been on the mind of industry experts for years now, given a massive decline in visitors and the absence of top executives. âIt hasnât always been easy and even now, one has to be hard-nosed about it â it is still the (sectorâs) biggest tradeshow, but one does feel the breeze of the competition, â Merkel said, speaking at this yearâs CeBIT opening ceremony â the 25th since its inception. Merkel also said that she wanted CeBIT to remain the industryâs biggest event, looking forward to the fairâs 50th birthday (that would be in 2035â¦). Yet, if the top-dog barks, itâs clear that somethingâs not right. What do you think, whereâs CeBIT headed? Does it have a future or will it sink into oblivion?