Come March 2014, all roads in the world of ICT will lead to CeBIT Hannover (10 – 14 March, 2014). At the very onset of spring, when the snow begins to melt and the birds wake up from their long winter slumber, you can see a flurry of activity at the massive Messagelande — the grounds where the CeBIT Hannover trade fair is held every year. At its peak during the dot-com era, the exhibition area was 5 million square feet, with a footfall of 850,000 visitors. In March 2013, CeBIT saw 3,34,000 visitors from 100 countries. The percentage of trade visitors at CeBIT 2013 increased to 82 percent; CeBIT claims that every third trade visitor was a top-level manager.
The theme for CeBIT 2014 is Datability — a term coined to denote Big Data in conjunction with the required sustainability and responsibility with regard to its use.
“Datability at CEBIT is all about the ability to use large volumes of data sustainably and responsibly,” said Oliver Frese, the Deutsche Messe Managing Board member at CeBIT. “It’s about businesses intelligently analyzing the existing data to leverage new opportunities in the form of process optimization and resource efficiency.”
In stepping up to meet the demand for solutions for intelligent data analysis and strong data security, the exhibitors at CeBIT have aligned with the CeBIT Datability theme. Many exhibitors and speakers will structure their presentations around this theme.
The organizers of CeBIT have also signed on Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia to speak at the CeBIT conference. Wales, regarded as one of the most influential thinkers in the digital world, will deliver the keynote at the CeBIT Global Conferences on 14th March.
The show will focus on 8 market-oriented topic clusters namely: Enterprise Content Management, ERP & Data Analysis, Web and Mobile Solutions, Research & Innovations, IT infrastructure and Data Centers, Security, Communication & Networks, and IT Services.
There will be 6 special displays in the expo area: Public Sector Parc, Planet Reseller, Global Sourcing Area for devices and accessories, Code_n, TechtoYou, IT Jobs & Careers.
The event will run only on business days from Monday to Friday, with an opening ceremony on Sunday evening. In the past, weekend days were also included.
Indian Participation at CeBIT
Indian companies participate either through the India pavilion or set up independent stalls in the expo area at CeBIT. India was also the partner country at CeBIT Australia 2012. And this partnership was forged at the Prime Ministerial level — between the prime ministers of the two countries.
Yet the number of Indian companies participating at CeBIT Hannover has declined over the years. CeBIT has also faced competition from events such as Mobile World Congress, Barcelona and Consumer Electronics Show, Las Vegas. Many Indian companies have started participating or attending these trade shows.
“We hope to see more companies from India at CeBIT next year, and are working at the state level to rope in more SMEs from India. For instance, through our outreach programs, we have already signed on 20 – 25 companies from the state of Gujarat; similarly, we are reaching out to companies in Kerala,” said Mehul Lanvers-Shah, Managing Director, Hannover Milano Fairs India.
CeBIT has partnered with ESC (Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council) to build interest at the national level, and it is also working closely with the BCIE (Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce). CeBIT officials in India inform that ESC has been organizing the India Pavilion at CeBIT for many years, and grants subsidies to Indian companies participating through them at CeBIT.
The UK has been designated as partner country for CeBIT 2014, and the organizers feel that this partnership will offer value for Indian ICT companies that want to do business with clients in the UK.
“This (partnership with the UK) is sure to bring more focus from India to CeBIT,” said Shah. “We are keen to change the image of India from IT services provider to product developer and marketer.”
And are there any chances of CeBIT coming to India? While CeBIT officials did not give us a definite response, we think it is quite possible in the near future. CeBIT Hannover has been growing steadily and the fair has extended to countries such as China, Australia, Brazil and Turkey. There was also a CeBIT America conducted in 2003 & 2004, but it was subsequently discontinued in 2005. Last year, the PMO (prime minister’s office) was involved with the partnership with CeBIT (for Australia).
And all this makes us believe that it won’t be long before we see a CeBIT in India. Until then, we hope to see you at Hannover!
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