IFA 2021: Berlin Show Cancelled Amid Coronavirus Vaccine Worry


IFA consumer trade show to be held in Berlin in September has been cancelled, with organisers citing concern about the vaccine rollout

A stark result of the stuttering Coronavirus vaccine rollout in Europe has seen the organisers of the IFA consumer electronics fair in Berlin cancel this year’s event.

IFA Berlin 2021 was slated to run between 3 and 7 September this year, but the organisers (the gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH) has reportedly plugged the plug.

The Coronavirus pandemic has seen the cancellation of many events over the past year and a half. Mobile World Congress 2020 in Barcelona was perhaps the biggest casualty – just as the Covid-19 pandemic began to gather steam in Europe and the West.


IFA cancelled

But what exactly caused the gfu Consumer & Home Electronics GmbH to cancel a trade show that is still four months away?

Well, Techcrunch reported that the organiser was concerned about the emergence of Covid-19 variants, and concerns around the speed and consistency with which vaccines have been rolled out globally.

Europe and other parts of the world have struggled to match the vaccine rollout success of countries such as Israel, the UK and United States.

“Ultimately, several key global health metrics did not move as fast in the right direction as had been hoped for – from the rapid emergence of new Covid-19 variants, for example in South Asia, to continued uncertainties about the speed of the rollout of vaccination programmes around the world,” the organisation reportedly said 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 – all of whom have to plan well ahead with regards to budgets, investments and travel – not just for IFA, but all similar events around the world,” it said.

MWC in June

Another key factor was the venue, as the Messe Berlin (convention centre) continues to be used as both an emergency medical facility and a vaccination centre.

IFA is set to return on 2 September 2022.

Mobile World Congress 2021 meanwhile is still slated to run in Barcelona in June as both an online and in-person event, but a number of high profile exhibitors have opted not to exhibit in-person.

So far the following companies have opted not to come:

  • Qualcomm
  • Google
  • IBM
  • Nokia
  • Sony
  • Oracle
  • Ericsson
  • Samsung
  • Lenovo.