IFA 2021’s physical event has been canceled just weeks after promising it would return as an in-person show in Berlin in September. The event’s organizers cited “global health uncertainties” relating to the Covid-19 pandemic for the cancellation, including the emergence of new variants of the virus and concerns about the speed of vaccine rollouts around the world.
This will be the second year IFA has not taken place as normal in Berlin. Last year the show took place in a mostly-virtual format, with companies like Samsung and LG making announcements online coinciding with the dates the show would have normally taken place. IFA is the largest consumer tech show of its kind held in Europe each year.
“Unfortunately, the latest public health developments introduced too much risk into everybody’s planning for the event,” said Kai Hillebrandt, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH. “There simply are now too many uncertainties. Therefore, right now it has become near impossible for anyone to responsibly plan their participation in any trade show.”
These uncertainties are yet to force the cancellation of Europe’s other major tech show, MWC, which is currently due to take place next month. Multiple companies including Samsung, Lenovo, Nokia, Ericsson, Sony, and Oracle have said they won’t be attending the conference in-person.