Hannover, Germany. CeBIT is growing stronger: In year two of focusing strictly on B2B, CeBIT impressively underscored its position as the world’s leading event for IT and digitization – more display area, more visitors, more SME involvement, more internationality, a top-notch conference program, and increased spending volume. “CeBIT 2015 has sent an impulse around the world – information, innovation and inspiration at CeBIT lead to investment,” said Oliver Frese, member of the managing board at Deutsche Messe, at the CeBIT closing press conference in Hannover. “CeBIT delivered what it promised.” More than 3,300 companies from 70 countries exhibited at CeBIT 2015.
The lead theme at CeBIT 2015, d!conomy, spotlighted the rapid digitalization of all segments of the economy and society. “The lead theme was right on target and set a forward-looking impulse for the digital industry,” said Frese. “CeBIT visitors want guidance in the digital economy. SMEs in particular have recognized they face big challenges – and they used CeBIT to reach their goals.” The percentage of visitors from companies with up to 1,000 employees increased significantly. “We also noted stronger interest from virtually every user industry,” added Frese.
Exhibitors reported that many talks revolved around the numerous applications, opportunities and solutions related to the Internet of Things and the digitization of supply chains. Companies offering ERP, CRM, business intelligence and ECM solutions noted a big increase in demand as well. “Being well-informed is crucial for anyone who wants to prepare their business for the future, and that is precisely what CeBIT delivers,” remarked Frese.
Especially pleasing was the interest in young companies. “CeBIT is younger. Start-ups have taken a permanent place at the heart of CeBIT. They revolutionize supply chains and bring innovative and disruptive business models to the event.” Numerous pitches – including daylong events from Volkswagen and RWE at SCALE 11 as well as at the CODE_n showcase – mapped out new ways to put digital innovations into the hands of user industries. “We intend to continue ramping up our activities with regard to startups,” Frese said, adding that Hall 9 had once again featured an impressive showcase of the IT industry’s innovative spirit and potential. The Research & Innovation trade fair featured projects by international research institutes and universities geared to a diverse range of applications, from forestry to electromobility.
Frese was pleased with the further development of the CeBIT Global Conferences, stating, “This conference has catapulted itself to the pinnacle of international events for the digital world.” The lineup of 200 international speakers stimulated dialogue on every conceivable aspect of digitalization. The CeBIT Global Conferences provided a steady stream of inspiration for CeBIT visitors, with first-hand insight from such leading lights as SAP CEO Bill McDermott, who opened the conference on Monday, Dr. Vishal Sikka, CEO of Infosys – India’s largest software firm, Lei Jun, founder of the Chinese device supplier Xiaomi, American economist Jeremy Rifkin, Kevin Mitnick as the world’s most famous hacker, and last but not least, investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald in a video link with Edward Snowden. Greenwald and Snowden alone attracted 40,000 online viewers. The complete CeBIT Global Conferences online program attracted 100,000 viewers. “This is the first time we have recorded such impressive statistics. The close synchronization of exhibition and conference makes CeBIT an inspiration platform for everyone who carries responsibility in the digital world.”
China’s participation as CeBIT’s featured Partner Country excited visitors. More than 600 Chinese companies showcased their products in virtually every part of the show, among them such major enterprises as Huawei, ZTE, Alibaba and Xiaomi. “This year’s CeBIT has clearly illustrated an eastward shift of the IT world atlas, underscoring China’s growing ascendancy in key areas of digitization,” remarked Frese.
Top managers and CEOs used CeBIT to do business more than ever before. “The percentage of trade professionals remained at 90 percent, but investment volume increased substantially,” said Frese. Trade visitors who came to CeBIT with buying plans had an average of €150,000 to spend on IT and digital applications in the short term, up €15,000 over 2014. For professionals from abroad, the same statistic topped the €200,000 mark for the first time ever. “These figures illustrate that CeBIT is increasingly serving not just as a prime source of information and orientation, but also as a driver of investment,” commented Frese.
CeBIT recorded a stronger overall participation in 2015 than in 2014. The number of visitors (according to FKM) increased 6 percent to 201,000 (2014:188,000). According to the international recording method, the number of participants grew to 221,000 (2014:208,000). “In addition to growth in display area, we also saw an increase in visitor participation,” summarized Frese.
The next CeBIT will be staged from 14 to 18 March 2016. The next CeBIT event in 2015 begins on 5 May in Sydney, Australia.