Even though the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be loosening its grip on many parts of the world, it appears big tech events and conferences are going to have to wait for a comeback until next year.
IFA Berlin, a major tech trade show that typically takes place in the fall, has been canceled for 2021.
“The decision was made following detailed conversations with public health experts and multiple stakeholders. Ultimately, several key global health metrics did not move as fast in the right direction as had been hoped for — from the rapid emergence of new COVID-19 variants, for example in South Asia, to continued uncertainties about the speed of the rollout of vaccination programmes around the world,” the show’s organizers, Messe Berlin and gfu Consumer and Home Electronics GmbH, wrote in a statement Wednesday.
According to the organizers, IFA will return in 2022, with planned dates for the conferences being September 2–6.
In 2020, IFA was one of the few major tech conferences that weren’t completely canceled, though the show was mostly virtual. In 2021, however, there won’t be an IFA show at all.
“We did not take this decision lightly,” Martin Ecknig, the CEO of Messe Berlin, said in a statement. “However, the health and safety of everybody has to be absolutely paramount.”
While IFA was originally still months away, another major European tech show, the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, is still scheduled to happen in late June. However, numerous exhibitors and partners, including Google, Facebook, Nokia, Ericsson, and Sony, have pulled out of the show citing health concerns.