If CeBIT was to retain its business character it would have to be "reprofessionalized" and attendance by non-professionals reduced. As a first move, admission prices were raised significantly. Secondly, the duration of CeBIT was reduced to seven days in line with exhibitor wishes. In addition, Deutsche Messe announced the creation of a new show targeted at distributors, SOHO (small office, home office) customers and private users of PCs, multimedia and the Internet. Called "CeBIT HOME, the World of Home and Consumer Electronics", this offshoot was scheduled to take place every two years as of August, 1996.
The premiere of CeBIT HOME in 1996 attracted 632 exhibitors, who occupied 52,248 square meters of display space. 215,000 visitors attended the event. In 1998, CeBIT HOME brought together 586 exhibitors on a display area of 48,370 square meters. Visitor attendance stood at 175,000. CeBIT HOME 2000 was scheduled to take place in Leipzig in order to make way for the World Exposition EXPO 2000 in Hannover. However, the event was ultimately not staged due to a lack of sufficient exhibitor response.
CeBIT attendance by non-professionals has declined steadily since 1996, today amounting to just under 12 percent. Accordingly, industry professionals account for over 88 percent of the show's visitors.
For many years now, CeBIT has been the unrivalled international showcase for IT, telecommunications, software and services. With 6,146 exhibitors occupying a total rented space of about 308,000 square meters, CeBIT 2005 once again underscored its standing as the largest trade show of any kind, anywhere in the world. CeBIT can also lay claim to attracting more exhibitors from abroad than any other trade show for the ICT industry namely about 3,300 exhibitors from 68 different countries.