CeBIT 2014

CeBIT 2014
March 10 – 14, 2014
Hanover, Germany
Hannover Exhibition Center

Attendees: 210,000
Exhibitors: 3,400
Media/Analysts: est. 1,000+

Calysto Overview

CeBIT has transformed from an event heavy on consumer electronics and end-users to one for IT professionals and the enterprise. As many observed, nowadaysBerlin has the hipsters, Hanover has the nerds.” For an event that’s been around since 1986, that’s a very good thing. After all, it was a case of evolving or going the way of shows like COMDEX, but organizers at Deutsche Messe are calling the new look of CeBIT a success.

Here are some statistics for #CeBit from Deutsche Messe:

  • 92% of all visitors were IT professionals.
  • More than 2,000 CIOs and other managers attended.
  • More than 25% of visitors came from outside of Germany.
  • 10% of exhibitors were startups.

However, as any CMO will tell you, when it comes to leads and booth traffic, it’s the quality, not the quantity that matters. Hailing this year’s event “big data, big show, big success,” Oliver Frese, the Deutsche Messe Managing Board member in charge of CeBIT, announced, "25 billioneuros worth of business have been negotiated here at CeBIT, up by as much as 25 percentoverlast year’s figures."

What were they talking about?

CeBIT’s primary theme in Hanover this year was the same as pretty much everywhere else: Big Data -- what it is and what businesses can do with it. And, while NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden didn’t speak in Hanover via teleconference from Russia like he did at Austin’s South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) that took place roughly during the same time period, Snowden’s presence was pervasive according to many. Data security and encryption were hot topics, as was the Internet of things and the cloud.

This show also had a heavy emphasis on robotics. Although CeBIT didn’t have a video chat with Snowden (if you’re the type that can’t look away from an accident), it did have pole-dancing robots. Really.

As for keynotes, Apple co-founder and tech luminary Steve Wozniak (“The great and powerful Woz”) and Wikipediafounder Jimmy Wales were among the headliners who drew the crowds.

For an intriguing concept, during some of the presentations graphic recording artist Anna Lena summarized graphically what was being said on stage.


While the show used to stretch out over a period of 10 days, including a weekend, CeBIT 2014 is now held Monday to Friday to better align itself with the business week – a move generally welcomed by exhibitors.

Overall, the exhibition floor was smaller, with approximately 3,400 exhibitors from 70 countries and regions, including Accenture, Cisco, Dell, Deutsche Telekom, HP, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Samsung, SAP, Telefonica and ZTE. While the number of exhibitors was down from previous years, most were pleased that the focus was on IT and business.

In Hall 16, a big draw again this year was the CODE_n showcase, where 50 startup finalists presented their concepts to VCs and business press.


At a glance, the pole-dancing robots apparently drew the most interest from the media. (Even the Huffington Post ran a mention of them under the snarky headline: “You'll Need Therapy After Watching These Pole-Dancing Robots.”)

However, the location itself seems to be a negative for some journalists. Attending a show in Hanover doesn’t have the appeal of Las Vegas or Barcelona.

The timing itself could be better as well. From the perspective of Désiré Athow at TechRadar, “To make matters worse, CeBIT is the third big event in the global tech calendar this year, taking place only a few days after the end of MWC. That barely gives any time for respite for journalists, fearful of having to tread through its 27 gargantuan halls. The declining number of key tech publications covering the event coupled with the lack of major announcements means that CeBIT has lost a lot of its clout, with companies preferring either to invest their event marketing budgets in CES, MWC, IFA or more niche events like World Hosting Days.”

According to one blogger: “The chief complaint, registered by both myself and the other journalists I spoke to throughout the week, is that CeBIT attracts a noticeably less prestigious crowd than other major tech showcases. Because reduced entry to the exhibition can be had for as little as €25, the event is rife with freeloaders and teenagers gnawing at each other to nab the next cheap USB stick or tacky novelty hat.”

Although InfoWorld’s Robert Cringely wrote, “I don't go anymore -- I can't justify the jet lag, and I hate lurching through a convention hall in a sleep-deprived haze or being wide awake at 4 a.m. arguing with Joachim the sullen night clerk. Instead I contact one of my European minions, members of the Cringing Corps. They're mostly retirees with newspaper backgrounds (read: dinosaurs), but they're cheap, they come through in a clinch, and they can drink any startup punk under the table with nary a burp.” However, after reviewing the dispatches, he admitted, “By all accounts, this week in Hannover was an epic tech fest that broke new ground in debutante technologies, political fist shaking, and culinary cataclysms. I'm sorry I missed it.”


CeBIT 2014 attracted more than 210,000 visitors. “This means we reached 90% of our overall visitor targets,” said Frese. “This gives us a firm foundation on which to continue enhancing CeBIT as the No.1 international, business-only event for the digital industry.”

For companies with an emphasis on consumer electronics, this is not your milieu. However, for those in the European ITC ecosystem, CeBIT hopefully continues as a solid choice.

Next: CeBIT 2015, March 16-20, 2015, Hanover, Germany

Articles of Interest

TechWeek Europe@ CeBIT 2014

Sad, sexy, or self-sufficient, your robot overlords await
By Robert X. Cringely
March 14, 2014

Farewell, CeBIT 2014
By Daniel Cooper
March 14, 2014

How to make your big data smart, useful and accurate
By Michael Passingham
March 17, 2014

CeBIT in business focus
The Australian
By Stuart Kennedy
March 14, 2014

Give me Galaxy or give me death: An honest verdict on CeBIT 2014
IT ProPortal
By James Laird
March 14, 2014

CeBit: Think North By Northeast
By Ina Fried
March 13, 2014

CeBIT needs to improve fast or go COMDEX's way
By Désiré Athow
March 12, 2014

CeBIT 2014: M2M Zone roundup
By Iain Morris
March 12, 2014

'Tactile internet' presented at CeBIT
March 13, 2014

CeBIT Strives to Break the IT Industry Trade Show Curse
By Wayne Rash
March 13, 2014

CeBIT Code_n Exhibit Shows Why Useful Innovation Is the Best Kind
By Wayne Rash
March 13, 2014

CeBIT Shows How Big Data Is Being Put to Work Around the World
By Darryl K. Taft
March 12, 2014

CeBIT Shows How Big Data Is Being Put to Work Around the World
By Darryl K. Taft
March 12, 2014

Spirit of Edward Snowden permeates CeBIT tech fair
Irish Times
By Derek Scally
March 13, 2014


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