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New CeBIT raises the bar

Hannover (ots), 09 March 2008

The relaunch of CeBIT was a success: "The new CeBIT format has succeeded across the board, drawing an enthusiastic response from visitors and exhibitors alike," declared Ernst Raue, Managing Board member at Deutsche Messe, at the close of this flagship IT show. "This six-day event has generated a fresh sense of optimism and a premonition of great things ahead in the global IT industry," he added. CeBIT 2008 had revealed a return to the days of euphoria about new technologies and solutions, he asserted, adding that the new CeBIT had again raised the bar: "This show has managed to maintain its momentum throughout. We had a fantastic opening ceremony featuring heads of state and visionaries, which was followed by a charity run attracting over 1,300 participants at the midway point, plus a great weekend to cap it off," he stated.

photo: Deutsche Messe

As Raue sees it: "We have delivered on our promise: The revamped CeBIT has asserted itself with a distinct profile, a clear-cut thematic makeup and substantially more content. The past six days in Hannover have sent some very clear signals," he explained, adding that the "Green IT" sector at CeBIT had given the international industry its first platform for dealing with this critical social challenge: "The exhibitors at CeBIT have shown the ICT industry is aware of its responsibilities in this area, and is addressing the issue with a highly innovative approach," he stated.

VIPs from research and industry as well as government figures used CeBIT 2008 to debate and promote issues of core importance to the information society.

Exhibitors and visitors alike gave the new-format CeBIT top marks across all four of its key categories: business solutions, public sector solutions, home & mobile solutions and technology and infrastructure

According to Raue, "The clearly defined layout helped visitors to find their way to the exhibitors and ICT solutions they were interested in much faster than before. The six days of the event generated over 10 million business meetings leading to fresh leads, capital investment plans and signed contracts." CeBIT visitors connected with an average of 29 companies per capita. Visitor traffic at the stands was reported to have topped last year's figures for each exhibition segment. "Many exhibitors reported that last year's turnout had already been exceeded as early as Friday afternoon," added Raue.

photo: Deutsche Messe

CeBIT 2008 was also highly successful in attracting new talent to the ICT industry, where there are currently over 43,000 unfilled vacancies in Germany alone. This year's CeBIT joined forces with the "IT Fitness" initiative to generate enthusiasm for IT careers among students and career novices. "The young people attending this year's CeBIT represent the human resources of the future, and the percentage of visitors below 30 was up 14% over last year," explained Raue. The "Women@CeBIT" campaign, coinciding with International Women's Day, brought a significant increase in the number of women interested in finding out about the latest technology and applications, with over 10,000 of them registering online for the special Saturday program. And, on Saturday, one out of every four visitors was female.

A brand new feature at this year's event, the CeBIT Global Conferences, provided significantly greater coverage of ICT themes of relevance to the industry and its target clientele. "We plan to extend this format next year, particularly because the Global Conferences have enabled us to reach several thousand people, who followed the events online in live and on-demand broadcasts," Raue noted.

CeBIT again provided a showcase for new trends and topics. "Mobile living, digital learning and working, the use of IT in medicine, the latest design trends, innovative hardware solutions and a peek through the keyhole into leading international laboratories - all this was on show at the new-look CeBIT," Raue declared. With the success of CeBIT 2008, Deutsche Messe had triggered increased growth and dynamism in the international ICT industry, he claimed.

The French ICT industry was also happy with is year's CeBIT, speaking of "renewed momentum for our Franco-German partnership." The French companies at CeBIT identified many new growth areas, forging new leads from around the world. France's status as this year's Partner Country laid the foundations for even closer cooperation between companies in Germany and France in this key sector. The decision on CeBIT's partner country for 2009 has not yet been made.

The success of the "Planet Reseller" showcase impressively underscored CeBIT's leading role as a pan-European retail forum. Higher attendance by SMEs again demonstrated CeBIT's importance to small and medium-sized businesses looking for new technology to facilitate their growth.

The 5,845 exhibitors from 77 countries reported they were leaving Hannover with bulging order books. Despite the shorter run of the new show (six days versus the previous seven), attendance was up three percent over the previous year, totaling 495,000. Visitors from abroad accounted for one out of five attendees - a total of over 100,000, with the Americas accounting for a particularly big increase.

The next CeBIT will be staged from March 3rd to 8th, 2009 (Tuesday through Sunday)

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