Reinventing CEBIT for the Digital Age


As the countdown begins for a show reinvented as a Business Festival, CEBIT 2018 promises ‘excitement in spades’, to quote the organisers.

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    Europe's Business Festival for Innovation and Digitization.

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Forget everything you know about CeBIT!


The show that once had the global IT industry in thrall has undergone a serious transformation to make it a bit less serious and more fun without compromising its commitment to business and leads. So CEBIT 2018, which will be held from June 11-15, promises to be a business festival rather than a trade fair, beginning with the change of dates to have more pleasant weather (the show was earlier held in March, a month before Hannover Fair) and incorporating many other welcome changes like new theme areas, new in-show events, and an optimised hall layout.


The idea is to make digitisation easy to understand for everyone in order to make business future proof. At CEBIT 2018, the focus will be on the eight keynote themes of digitisation: Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Security, Blockchain, Drones & Unmanned Systems, Future Mobility, and Human Robotics, with the promise of heightened emotional power and freshness that will give this iconic event even greater impact.


The new format is seen as a winning threefold mix of innovation-rich showcases, quality conferences and informal networking opportunities. “The new CEBIT will provide a 360-degree perspective on the digitisation of business, government and society,” said Hubertus von Monschaw, Global Director ICT & Digital Business, Deutsche Messe, addressing the trade media in Mumbai recently. “As well as attracting IT experts, industry professionals and top-level decision-makers from the digital and IT user industries, our aim with the new CEBIT is increasingly to reach the next generation of business decision-makers,” he added.


The new CEBIT format comprises four main sections:

  • d!conomy – The innovations on display in the d!conomy section – software and hardware – give IT professionals and decision-makers from business, trade and the public sector the tools they need to future proof their operations through digitisation

  • d!tec – The d!tec section of the show is all about pioneering developers, cutting-edge innovations and startups

  • d!talk – The d!talk conference platform – the CGC in new avatar but with less number of more focussed conferences – will be home to visionaries, lateral thinkers, experts and creatives from all around the world, and

  • d!campus – The d!campus will be the emotional heart of CEBIT, where everyone can mingle freely and network while chilling to live music and street food.


Thought leaders and IT legends live!

The CeBIT Global Conferences or CGC in the past have attracted eminent speakers like Steve Wozniak, Jimmy Wales, Eugene Kaspersky, Mark Shuttleworth, Neelie Kroes, Sir Nigel Shadbolt, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kevin Turner and Craig Barrett, to name a few. The tradition continues with d!talk and the impressive line up of speakers this time include:

  • Jaron Lanier, the American computer scientist, who works for Microsoft Research and is an absolute legend of the VR scene, not to mention one of the World Wide Web’s fiercest critics, will present the keynote on at the Take-off Monday, June 11

  • Dan Lyons, author of the “Secret Diary of Steve Jobs, who will share his experiences as an employee in what he calls “startup hell”

  • Ranga Yogeshwar, Germany’s best-known science journalist, who will begin with the provocative poser “Who’s programming who?” and share his deepest thoughts on AI and where our relationship with computers is headed

  • Dr Julia Shaw, the “memory hacker” in her presentation promises fascinating insights into the human psyche, and

  • Mikko Hypponen, an internationally renowned cyber security expert and the Chief Research Officer at the Finnish IT security company F-Secure, will explore the biggest risks associated with the booming Internet of Smart Things and explain how companies can protect themselves against cyber attacks.


Besides, Blockchain – a virtual Gold Rush on the Net – will have an entire day at CEBIT devoted to this hot crypto currency ledger technology. Fraunhofer Professor Wolfgang Prinz is scheduled to open CEBIT Blockchain Summit on 14th June.


Opening hours and key events outdoors

The first day of CEBIT, Monday 11 June, is reserved for conference attendees and journalists, with focus on the digital challenges facing Germany and Europe. The Welcome Night, featuring high-ranking political leaders from Germany and abroad, will round out the day’s program.


The next three days exhibition halls will be open from 10 am to 7 pm. The d!campus will stay open till 11 pm and feature a vibrant program of digital culture, street food and live performances by popular artists.


On the “Digital Friday” (15 June), CEBIT will target the digitally-minded general public with an attractive line-up of events plus reduced admission charges. The Friday d!talk and CEBIT!Signals platforms will be central meeting hubs for the international blogger scene. The organisers are also planning to run hackathons for coders and developers, competitions for drone pilots, and recruitment events for students and digital professionals.


This year’s CEBIT will also feature a completely revamped layout: Halls 9 to 13, 14 to 17 and 25 to 27 as well as the central open-air site around the EXPO canopy will be the venues for a whole host of exciting new activities, showcases and networking events.


There is no Partner Country at CEBIT this year, but the start-up segment has gained an added attraction: For the first time, start-ups from the high-tech nation of South Korea will be featuring their revolutionary concepts at the special “scale11” display at CEBIT. Along with Japan and China, South Korea is one of the world’s leading technology hotspots as the country invests more money in R&D as percentage of GDP than almost any other industrialised nation, but up-and-coming Korean companies are reluctant to show their cards to other nations – especially when it comes to promising concepts with the potential to turn these start-ups into future global players. But for this year’s CEBIT, with its lively business festival concept, the Korea Innovation Centre Europe (KIC Europe) is making an exception. Launched last year in Berlin, the initiative is planning to bring seven South Korean start-ups to Hannover to showcase their ideas at the special “scale11” display in Hall 27, featuring pioneering concepts in the fields of artificial intelligence, augmented reality and biotechnology.


Described as Europe’s business festival for innovation and digitisation, CEBIT 2018 will provide a fun and engaging new perspective on B2B networking and showcase digital solutions for everyday life in a way that’s never been done before.



Pix1: Geeta Bisht, Director – International Fairs, Hannover Milano Fairs India and Hubertus von Monschaw, Global Director ICT & Digital Business, Deutsche Messe.


Pix2: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the opening ceremony of the CeBit 2017, where Japan was the Partner Country.


Pix3: Augmented and Virtual Reality is one of the eight keynote themes of digitisation.


Pix4: CEBIT is new described as Europe’s business festival for innovation and digitisation.