The news that Lenovo is backing out of CeBIT, Europe's biggest IT trade show, begs the question: Is CeBIT bleeding to death?
Lenovo is the latest major company to pull the plug on the show, to be held in March 2007 in Germany.
It joins Nokia and Motorola who have already announced they would not be at next year's show. BenQ has also cancelled. Sony, E-Plus, and Philips did not attend this year's show, while Dell and HP haven't returned since their retirement from CeBIT a couple of years ago.
Deutsche Messe AG has organised CeBIT in Hannover each spring since 1986, but attendance is dropping, with only 200,000 visitors in 2006. About 850,000 visitors attended CeBIT 2001.
The biggest problem, according to some experts, is that CeBIT wants to please everyone, including manufacturers of consumer electronics, while companies such as Lenovo want to reach a hardcore IT or business audience.
Taiwanese company Shuttle, which had a big booth at this year's show, will also not be present at CeBIT 2007: "We don't reach our audience, by which we mean retailers," marketing director Melanie Liu told Heise Online earlier this month.
However, some exhibitors, including Samsung, remain committed to CeBIT. The organisers maintain CeBIT is still an important trade show for decision-makers. The percentage of visitors with a high degree of decision-making authority went up sharply this year: from 59.9 per cent to 64.3 per cent. ®