IFA Berlin 2021 is cancelled

IFA Berlin has been cancelled as a physical live event for this year. It will return in 2022.

Messe Berlin and gfu Consumer and Home Electronics GmbH, the organisers of the exhibition, have announced that the September show will not take place as originally planned.

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 roll-out of vaccination programmes around the world.

This, in turn, added uncertainty for those looking to visit Berlin. Another consideration is that Messe Berlin continues to use parts of its exhibition area as a vaccination centre and an emergency hospital facility; both are now likely to be required for longer than originally anticipated.

Said Martin Ecknig, CEO of Messe Berlin: “We did not take this decision lightly. IFA Berlin is arguably the most important event of the year for brands and retailers alike. However, the health and safety of everybody has to be absolutely paramount.

“The efforts to contain this pandemic – from the roll-out of vaccination programs to the resumption of international travel – did not happen at the pace we had hoped for.

“Given these developments, this difficult and disappointing decision was inevitable.”

Kai Hillebrandt, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of gfu Consumer and Home Electronics GmbH, added: “Unfortunately, the latest public health developments introduced too much risk into everybody’s planning for the event.”

Organisers are now working towards IFA 2022, which they say will be held “as a full-scale live event” at the Berlin exhibition grounds.