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Berlin’s IFA 2021 will be a ‘full-scale return’ for the in-person event this September


In brief: With the Covid vaccine rollout continuing, some big events are returning to an in-person format. One of these is Berlin’s IFA trade show, which plans for a “full-scale return” this September.

Unlike most of last year’s events, IFA 2020 wasn’t entirely online—some people were invited to attend in-person for a “Special Edition” of the show. But it seems organizers expect the 2021 version to be pretty much business as usual; over 80% of the exhibitor space has already been booked out, and it’s expected to reach 100% by the end of May.

“With the world on course to emerge from the pandemic, IFA Berlin is set to take place as a full-scale, real-life event from 3 – 7 September 2021. Huge interest from brands, manufacturers and retailers across all industry sectors to exhibit, network and co-innovate on location in Berlin,” states the IFA website.

The health and safety of attendees remain a priority. Organizers say they will work with health officials to “develop concepts that will ensure the safety of visitors and exhibitors alike.” No specific details were revealed, but the event isn’t expected to set any new attendance records.

Another European trade show returning as an in-person experience is Mobile World Congress (MWC). It takes place in Barcelona between June 28 and July 1, though companies don’t appear as confident in the event’s safety as its organizers. Ericsson, Sony, Nokia, Oracle, and Facebook have all announced they are skipping the show.

The return to normality is a contrast to many US-based events. The ESA has confirmed that E3 2021 will be online-only (and free to all), as will next week’s Google I/O.



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