"The revamped CEBIT has been a big success," said Heiko Meyer, Chairperson of the CEBIT Exhibitors' Committee and CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, on Friday in Hannover. "Congratulations to the entire CEBIT team on the premiere of an all-new CEBIT. By courageously undergoing such a radical transformation, they have laid a solid foundation for the future. The reinvented CEBIT has been a genuine business event and festival all rolled into one. Participating companies have embraced the new concept and are looking forward to the next CEBIT in June 2019."
Oliver Frese, the member of Deutsche Messe's Managing Board responsible for CEBIT, remarked: "We're getting highly positive feedback on the future viability of the new approach, and for our decision not to just talk about disruption, but to roll up our sleeves and actually make it happen. Right from the start, we succeeded in combining real business in the halls with a festival atmosphere on the d!campus. The revamped CEBIT has put an emotional spin on digitization, making the associated technologies more accessible to society, while at the same time underscoring the real-world opportunities emerging from it."
With its young and fresh appeal, the new CEBIT embodies the very winds of changes it features. "The show proves that generating leads works better in a casual setting. Our customers are delighted, and that means we've definitely reached our main objective," commented Frese.
The mix of elements chosen for the new CEBIT worked perfectly. Exhibitors spent the daytime hours generating leads in the halls. One in three of their visitors came from top management, and more than one in four came from abroad. The conference-only "Take-off Monday" was booked out in advance, and the many keynotes, presentations and panel discussions held on the subsequent days attracted 30,000 attendees keen on hearing about the opportunities and challenges of digitization. "The revamped CEBIT provides a perfect setting in which to explore and debate the digital transformation of the economy and society at large," remarked Frese. The spotlight of the premiere edition of the all-new show was mainly on artificial intelligence, the blockchain, future mobility, fast networks, security, unmanned systems and human robotics.
Meanwhile, the d!campus enabled visitors to chill out and immerse themselves in digitization in a lounge-like atmosphere, for example in a Ferris wheel, the VR Dome and the Cloud Lifter. And every night was partytime, with Mando Diao, Jan Delay and Digitalism all appearing, plus a drone show as well.
CEBIT's new concept created a buzz right from the start. Day after day, CEBIT was a trending topic on the Internet, with live online streams of the conferences attracting more than 400,000 viewers. On social media, CEBIT reached more than half a million people a day. Exhibitors also reported millions of hits. The hashtags #cebit, #cebit18 and #cebit2018 topped the German Twitter charts on the first days of the event, and a total of 120,000 visitors attended the show on site in Hannover.
The whole of Hannover became "CEBIT city" for the entire week. The d!lounge set up on Kröpcke Square treated thousands of passers-by to live streams straight from the CEBIT showgrounds, as well as to onstage panel talks at the heart of downtown Hannover. Another popular event was the CEBIT Club Night, with several thousand guests expected for the big open-air concert and party taking place at Kröpcke Square on Friday night.
"Wherever you look, the all-new CEBIT has stirred up winds of change that are giving wings to digital transformation," said a delighted Oliver Frese. "The relaunch has been a resounding success. Now it's time to roll up our sleeves and – together with our partners – get straight back to work on the next CEBIT."
Many big-name digital enterprises that took part in the premiere of the new CEBIT have already said they will be back for the next edition, which runs from 24 to 28 June 2019.