German technology Expo IFA 2021 has been cancelled this year because of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. “Continued uncertainties about the speed of the rollout of vaccination programs around the world” have been pointed at as the key reasons for the cancellations of the event by Messe Berlin and gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH.
The rapid emergence of COVID-19 variants in South East Asia had also been a major concern ahead of the annual tech expo. All these factors reportedly made companies who were set to participate at the Berlin event think twice about going ahead with the event.
The same case also applies to media personnel and visitors who themselves may not be able to make it to the event by booking tickets at the eleventh hour as travel regulations and restrictions around the world are changing very frequently.
“Ultimately, several key global health metrics did not move as fast in the right direction as had been hoped for,” IFA stated in a press release. “This in turn is adding uncertainty for the companies that were committed or interested in coming to Berlin, as well as media and visitors,” it added.
IFA had announced the green light for the 2021 in-person event just last month, which came of as a big surprise to the tech community. At the time, cases in Germany were near a peak of over 20,000 new infections per day, which was a lot more than the 3,000 new infections that were being detected at the same time in 2020.
IFA 2021 venue is a vaccination centre
Yet another reason as to why IFA 2021 will not go live in Berlin this year is because of its venue. The Messe Berlin venue has been currently turned into a vaccination centre and an emergency hospital facility to treat those affected by the pandemic in the city. The venue is likely to be used as a medical treatment centre throughout September.
IFA is still looking forward to hosting next year’s IFA 2022 event, which is set to be a full-fledged in-person event somewhere between September 2-6 next year in 2022.