This year CeBIT shone the spotlight on Switzerland as Partner Country. With success – at least from the point of view of the Swiss exhibitors.Jens Stark
2016 Partner Country
A festive opening with Swiss Federal President Johann Schneider-Ammann and visits from German Chancellor Angela Merkel to many Swiss stands: Thanks to its official partnership with CeBIT, this year Switzerland was the focus of much interest.
This also pleased the exhibitors at the Swiss Pavilion, who gained a very positive impression of the fair in Hannover. "It was clear to us from day one that it was worth the expense," said Johann Gevers, CEO and founder of Monetas. The company LzLabs also gave a positive assessment. "It wouldn't have made much sense for us to come alone. With Switzerland represented by a big Swiss Pavilion, it created the perfect opportunity for us," explained Thilo Rockmann, Chairman of LzLabs.
There was wide consensus on Switzerland's Partner Country role proving beneficial to Swiss exhibitors. "Our goal was to get a feel for interest outside Switzerland, and we were able to get a very good picture this week," said Michael Hügli, Head of Marketing & Sales for Twint. Josip Sunic, CEO of recently founded Prime Computer, was also satisfied with the attention from international players: "This trade fair was a springboard for us. Here we connect with decision-makers that we wouldn't reach any other way, and we generated more contacts in this week than we could have in a whole year of prospecting. We're definitely coming back next year."
Meeting place for the Swiss ICT scene
It was not just for the international visibility that being at CeBIT paid off, according to exhibitors. Hannover has also become an important meeting place for the Swiss ICT (information and communication technology) scene. This year, several hundred representatives from business, politics and public administration took advantage of the official ICTswitzerland delegation trips to come together at the Swiss Pavilion and at networking events. The organizing association, ICTswitzerland, had arranged charter flights to Hannover specifically for CeBIT.
For Marco Marchesi, CEO of ISPIN, this was a decisive factor: "It's important for the Swiss ICT sector to come together here in Germany – especially since we don't have our own big trade show. Switzerland made an excellent showing this year. When news gets around, we're going to fill up even more flights to Hannover next year."
Strong CeBIT presence to continue in the future
State Councilor and ICTswitzerland President Ruedi Noser is already looking ahead to the future. For him, the successful trade fair week was a crucial sign for Switzerland: "Partner Country was a first, important step. ICTswitzerland wants to support strong representation for Switzerland at CeBIT every year moving forward. We'll also support and expand the strong startup participation so that Swiss entrepreneurs can present their ideas to an international audience at CeBIT in the coming years."”