CeBIT America May Not Be Dead
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A top CeBIT America official denied Tuesday that the 2005 show has been cancelled and said it is likely another announcement on the fate of the trade fair will be made later this week. The third edition of the business-to-business trade show was scheduled for June in New York City.
On Monday, the U.S. subsidiary of Deutsche Messe, the promoters of the widely popular German CeBIT show, issued a statment that the American version of the trade fair was closing down due to disappointing attendance and revenue.
While various media accounts said the show had been cancelled, Mark Dineen, managing director of CeBIT America, contended Tuesday it has only been postponed.
"Germany announced that the show has been postponed and that is correct, as far as it goes," Dineen told internetnews.com. "There's some dealing going on. We hope to have a statement in the next few days." Dineen declined to reveal any further details on a revival of the show, saying only an announcement could come as early as Friday.
He said the American show was "going in the right direction. We weren't making money but we were getting close."
Dineen added that "Germany changed its willingness to invest in the U.S. market. There are some other activities in the U.S. market that may or may not make that happen."
CeBIT America has hosted two shows. After the May event in New York City, Dineen said "Germany was quite pleased" with the attendance. "At the end of the day, we delivered pre-qualified enterprise customers." Nevertheless, the show lost money and Dineen said, "We've been under the gun."
In the Monday Deutsch Messe statement, Joachim Schafer, president of Hanover Fairs USA, said in a statement: "Though regrettable, this is the correct business decision. It is really a reflection of a changing high-tech industry as well as the overall U.S. economy."
The annual March CeBIT event in Germany draws more than a half million visitors. According to one media report, CeBIT America drew less than 3,000 customers in 2003. Attendance numbers for 2004 were unavailable.
The uncertainty surrounding the trade show comes after the once popular Comdex trade show was postponed due to decreased attendance.