This year's CeBIT generated positive impulses for growth, triggering a distinctly optimistic mood within the industry. Exhibitors and organizers alike were very pleased with the outcome of CeBIT 2005, which registered more trade visitors, more decision-makers, higher visitor traffic at the stands, increased international participation and attendance, and more SMEs and retailers at the show. The rise in exhibitor numbers to 6,270 (compared with 6,109 last year) and projected industry growth of 4.3 percent worldwide are sure signs of an anticipated turnaround in the global ICT market.
The show drew a solid 480,000 visitors, of whom a record high of 88 percent were trade professionals. This constituted an almost four-percent rise in professional attendance - strong confirmation of a well-targeted CeBIT campaign. This year's new concept, with its sharper thematic focus, also resulted in much greater traffic at the stands. While attendees visited an average of 21 stands in 2004, this year they averaged 27 stands - an increase of around 30 percent. A clear trend towards more business contacts at CeBIT was also evident in the average length of stay of individual visitors, now up to two days, and the first increase in many years.
The show's new concept, with its strong appeal to specific target groups, was right on the mark: SMEs and dealers turned out in full force, and 70 percent of all applications and solutions at CeBIT 2005 were pitched to SMEs. About two thirds of this year's trade attendees came from firms with up to 500 employees. Planet Reseller as the "specialty retailing center" also recorded growth of over ten percent. Particularly pleasing was the response to the special presentations "future parc" and "Public Sector Parc". Visits to future parc were up by more than four percentage points to around 19 percent (80,000 visitors), while the Public Sector Parc registered a total of 43,200 guests - an increase of more than three percent. The new IT Outsourcing Solutions presentation got off to a very successful start, attracting some 30,000 trade visitors in its debut year.
CeBIT: biggest networking opportunity in the world
Not only ICT products and solutions were in the spotlight at CeBIT, but also international networking and information-sharing. More than 300 000 visitors used the trade show primarily for educational purposes or to swap information. Along with definitive CeBIT themes like convergence, networking and security, a high-caliber conference and seminar program was a highlight at CeBIT 2005. The day before the show opened, some 110 managing directors and CEOs from exhibiting companies networked on issues facing the ICT industry at the "Technology Industry Summit at CeBIT," an event which featured 15 keynote speakers from leading international firms, plus the new EU Commissioner for IT and Media, Viviane Reding. Some 270 top-level decision makers also took the opportunity to exchange news and views about the changed business environment in the wake of an expanded European market at the "ICT World Club Lunch" on the first day of the trade show.
Some 2,050 attendees took part in a total of 23 conference events held at CeBIT 2005 - representing a significant increase compared with the previous year (1,300). A total of 188 corporate lectures also met with the interest of around 8,000 trade show visitors. Apart from German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, a total of 32 federal ministers, minister-presidents and state ministers came to CeBIT to update themselves on the latest developments and trends in the ICT industry. A total of 30 delegations of high-ranking politicians from all five continents also made the trip from abroad.
Top themes at CeBIT
Top themes at this year's CeBIT were Mobile Services, Digital Lifestyle, IT Security and IT Outsourcing Services. In the Telecommunications domain, the main highlights were UMTS and Voice over IP, which are now becoming increasingly attractive for private users. A big buzzword at CeBIT 2005 was convergence, i.e. the convergence between information and telecommunications technology and consumer electronics. More and more terminal devices now offer features more commonly associated with office and entertainment products. They are also equipped with multiple interfaces, allowing them to communicate with one another through open standards. High Definition (HD) was another hot topic this year. At CeBIT the entire product spectrum, from shooting and editing to playback of high-definition video material, was on display. On the computer front, notebooks continue to gain in ascendancy over PCs. Exhibitors showcased numerous business models powered by the latest-generation technology with faster memory access, enhanced performance and minimized energy consumption.
In the business software domain, the focus was on service-oriented architectures that enable simpler integration and maintenance of individual systems. ERP, SCM and CRM systems are designed to provide flexible support for business processes. In the field of RFID technology, full-service solutions for trade and industry were unveiled, including compatible interfaces to existing infrastructure solutions. For banks and financial service providers, the main aim is to keep distributions costs down, while increasing the quality of customer service. IT security continues to be a central aspect of the CeBIT show. Interest is now increasingly turning to issues like spyware, phishing and protection of mobile networks and terminal devices. Key issues at the Public Sector Parc were public administration IT networks, electronic health care cards and ID documents containing biometric features.
The next CeBIT Hannover will be staged from Thursday, 9 March to Wednesday, 15 March 2006.
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