Hannover. More technology, more innovations, more emotional appeal - all in a new June timeslot. This sums up how CEBIT is reinventing itself for Generation Y, starting in 2018. "We are redefining CEBIT, with our sights set on establishing it as Europe's No. 1 platform and festival for digital technology, innovation and business development for the digital economy," announced Deutsche Messe's Managing Board member Oliver Frese on Wednesday in Hannover. "Moreover, CEBIT is being rescheduled to June because a summertime slot is more conducive to staging technology with greater emotional appeal by means of a new campus-like set-up," he added. CEBIT 2018 will be held from 11 to 15 June, with the Hannover Exhibition Center's iconic wooden EXPO Canopy at the heart of a digital campus filling the open-air site.
"We are teaming up with the digital industry to rebuild CEBIT from the ground up," remarked Frese. "It's going to be more fun and entertaining, more astonishing, brighter and bolder, and open up new vistas like never before - at times even in an intentionally provocative way. For participating companies and organizations, the new CEBIT will be a lead-generating powerhouse, delivering win-win outcomes and added value for all concerned. At the same time, major emphasis is being placed on creating emotional appeal to resonate with the Generation Y crowd now surging onto the marketplace, brimming with confidence and bright new ideas," he added.
The digital industry is driving a wave of transformation that is sweeping across every corner of the economy, disrupting established models and systems at a dizzying pace. With the sector being faced with new challenges, CEBIT is called upon to evolve in order to stay in stride with the requirements of its clientele. "We have therefore decided to put an entirely new spin on CEBIT," explained Frese.
The revamped CEBIT will revolve around the open-air site, with the EXPO canopy as its central hub. "The open-air site is where we will set up a central d!campus for meet-ups and encounters, showcases, open-air demonstrations, dialogue and party-style get-togethers," explained Frese.
The halls around the d!campus will house the three main pillars of the reinvented CEBIT: d!conomy, d!tec and d!talk. The d!conomy showcase will be where digital solution providers and their commercial and public-sector customers will get down to business. Disruptive technologies, research institutes and startups will be on front and center stage at the new technology festival called d!tec. And last but not least, the d!talk program will offer rich opportunities for dialogue, debate and knowledge-sharing in a series of conferences, workshops and keynotes held at various locations throughout the grounds.
Day one of the five-day event - 11 June 2018 - will be devoted entirely to high-caliber dialogue between digital business leaders and government policymakers, with admission restricted to journalists and Welcome Night attendees. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday - with d!conomy, d!tec and d!talk on the agenda - solution providers and their customers will be in the spotlight. On Thursday (14 June) a special event will also be held to set the tone for an "open day" on Friday, when the d!campus and selected other sections of the show will be open to the general public.
"The new CEBIT is gearing up to serve as a powerful facilitator of digital transformation throughout business and society, conveying the fascination and potential of digitalization to a wide audience," commented Frese.
"We want to partner with business and government to generate enthusiasm for the digital transformation - to wow and amaze people with new formats and promote lively and fruitful debate on controversial issues, thus maximizing CEBIT's appeal for young, new target groups" he added, summing up the rationale behind the new approach.
The decision to relaunch CEBIT was preceded by months of conceptualization effort and in-depth discussion between Deutsche Messe and exhibitors represented by the CEBIT Exhibitors' Committee. The move has met with widespread approval.
Heiko Meyer, Vice President, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Group Germany and Chairman, CEBIT Exhibitors' Committee:
"The new CEBIT format is not a case of 'more of the same.' It is a total change that will surprise and inspire. Turning the keynote theme of recent shows - d!conomy - into a brand is a great idea. A strong evocative brand is exactly what CEBIT needs at this time, and the new format delivers just that. What's more, running the show in June opens up a world of new opportunities to showcase digital technologies using festival-style events on the open-air parts of the CEBIT venue."
Martina Koederitz, General Manager, IBM Germany:
"CEBIT's new format opens up exciting new opportunities for our industry. The show's new summer timing, in particular, offers great potential for presenting technologies, business development opportunities and festival events in a more captivating way. And by opening to the general public, we can help positively shape public debate around the digital transformation."
Christian Lamprechter, Managing Director, Intel Germany:
"I can only congratulate Deutsche Messe on this bold and positive step. The new CEBIT format is tailor-made for the needs of our industry. It enables exhibitors to showcase their digital solutions in an even more impactful way, and makes it easier for them to demonstrate their benefits to visitors in a direct and immersive fashion. As a leading technology firm, we absolutely back these changes and intend to actively contribute to CEBIT's ongoing development."
Dr. Hannes Ametsreiter, CEO, Vodafone Germany:
"The task now is to ensure that the right measures are taken to raise and sharpen CEBIT's international, and to set it apart from competing events. In my view, the new format achieves that. This will pave the way for new themes and new partnerships. The key to CEBIT's future is to clearly and resoundingly communicate its new direction around the world. We are delighted to support the implementation of what we feel is an excellent new tradeshow concept. The new ‘open day' is a great opportunity to convey the big digitalization issues to the wider public."
Karl-Heinz Streibich, CEO, Software AG:
"The CEBIT brand needs to tap into new growth areas. In my view, the new format delivers on that. For instance, since the show will now be held in the summer, Deutsche Messe will be able to make use of its open-air infrastructure. This will make CEBIT a much more lively and vibrant experience. This clear departure from the past will enable the show to position itself much more prominently going forward."
Dr. Bernard Rohleder, CEO, Bitkom:
"A mere facelift is not what is needed: The time has come to fundamentally redesign CEBIT. As our industry continues to develop rapidly, so must its number one event platform. The relaunch is an opportunity to make CEBIT more topical than ever - to move it away from its traditional role as an exhibition and towards more dialogue and content on key industry issues. To prevail against competing events, CEBIT has to fully exploit its key virtues, that is total commitment to offering valuable content and fostering business. This way, the show can also position itself as the rallying point and beacon of the digital transformation and the number one hub for dialogue on digitalization throughout the realms of business, R&D and politics."
Dr. Daniel Holz, Managing Director, SAP Germany:
"We at SAP are delighted at Deutsche Messe's decision to completely realign CEBIT. We are looking forward to watching the changes unfold at next year's show."
Eckhard Schwarzer, Deputy Chairman, Datev eG:
"We at DATEV understand the need to reshape CEBIT. And we are confident that the new tradeshow format will be a success. It's a bold move, but it's a necessary one at this time, because I think it's the only way to ensure a bright future for CEBIT. We intend to make a positive contribution to the transformation process."
Helmut Binder, CEO, Materna GmbH:
"The new CEBIT is based on a powerful vision. It is a much-needed break with the past - a truly new beginning. This will make it that much easier for us to convince our customers to come and see us at the show. In recent years, this had become increasingly difficult because the old format had lost a lot of its pulling power in the eyes of many. This is now being addressed. Well done."
Dr. Matthias Jarke, Director, Fraunhofer Institute of Applied Computer Science:
"The new CEBIT will have a sharper focus on the digital transformation, thanks to a more structured conference program and a stronger festival spirit. This is a big step in the right direction. Opening one of the show days to the general public will make it easier to convey the opportunities of digitalization to a wider audience. For the Fraunhofer Society and its institutes, it's also a unique opportunity to stimulate interest in digital technologies among potential next-generation innovators. We look forward to playing a proactive role in shaping the new CEBIT."