back to article It was a lit CeBIT see, got teeny weeny, world's biggest tech show yearly party... closed its German fest's doors yesterday

Once a juggernaut, CeBIT is no more: 33 years after spinning the tech exhibition out from Hannover Messe, Deutsche Messe has announced that declining visitor numbers have left it no choice but to shutter the show. From a peak of 850,000 visitors, footfall had fallen to around 120,000 in 2018. The Hannover show scheduled for …

  1. Valeyard


    It was a lit CeBIT see, got teeny weeny, world's biggest tech show yearly party... closed its German fest's doors yesterday

    I'm sorry but what? some of these titles are just so try-hard they move into complete nonsense

    1. James 51 Silver badge

      Re: English..

      @Valeyard I can only assume that you are too young to recognise the reference to the chart success of the baka mallet wielding children’s entertainer.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: English..

        He's obviously not a member of the wide awake club.

        1. Valeyard

          Re: English..

          hey I was all up for wackaday at the time!!! I get it now, but without being told about it I would never have made that connection, it just doesn't read like that

          1. Stevie Silver badge

            Re: English..

            I'm with Valeyard. I understood immediately what the headline was trying to do, but I couldn't make the scansion work after five minutes of trying.

            I must be pronouncing the words incorrectly.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: English..

              The got got you too.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: English..

        " are too young to recognise the reference to the chart success of the baka mallet wielding children’s entertainer."

        What is a baka mallet?

        I suspect that I might be too old to recognise wtf this gibberish is all about.

        1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

          Re: English..

          You only wish you're too old. Timmy Mallett. You may have managed to forget them after years of intense therapy.

          They also charted once with 'It was an itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini (That she wore for the first time today. oh yeah)'

          1. The Nazz Silver badge

            Re: English..

            re releasing "Itsy Teeny Weeny etc"

            So did Brian Hyland ( and probably many others ) back in the early 60's.

            I'm only vaguely aware of Wackaday, Timmy Mallett and Bombalarina and thankfully no more than that.

          2. MJB7 Bronze badge

            Re: You only wish you're too old

            According to WP Timmy Mallett only started being active in 1982. I graduated two years before that, and had stopped watching children's TV.

            I'm not sure how I managed to avoid him when my son came along (but I did). What I have heard about him has not encouraged me to look more closely.

            ("teeny weeny" immediately made me think of "yellow polka dot bikini" - but I couldn't see how it fitted.)

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I've only one thing to say to that... Ah yeah!

        @James 51; I got the reference personally, but you can't deny that it *was* pretty damn forced!

        I notice that everyone (myself included) defaults to the Timmy Mallett version even though it was a cover! Apparently Brian Hyland did the original in 1960, but you'd have to be approaching my parents age to remember when that came out. The Mallett version is itself 28(!) years old anyway.

        @Aladdin Sane; The Wide Awake Club was the original show. Although he was apparently co-presenter on that, Mallet was more associated with its (later better-known) spin-off "WACaday" where he was the sole presenter.

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Re: I've only one thing to say to that... Ah yeah!

          Yeah, but that was harder to work a joke around.

          Sidenote, Mike Myers appeared on the Wide Awake Club when he was still funny.

    2. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: English..

      @El Reg - I think you need to renew your poetic license.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: English..

        @MyffyW; Their poetic license?

        Bang bang bang bang bang!

        "It's just been revoked."

    3. Hans 1 Silver badge

      Re: English..

    4. pavel.petrman Bronze badge

      Re: English..

      Re " I can only assume that you are too young to..."

      I suspect it serves as an age filter of sorts - if one doesn't understand the title, one will not care much about CeBIT anyway.

  2. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Yeah, but it was dead for years

    Instead of showing you new products and ideas and telling you things you couldn't read in the marketing blurbs, they just had marketing droids telling you things you already knew.

    And now instead of re-focussing on technology, they did the same thing bad companies do to try and gain new employees, make a cargo-cult festival out of it.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Yeah, but it was dead for years

      Well now they've officially unplugged life support, so it is definitively dead.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Yeah, but it was dead for years

      Yep, and the alternative shows, vertically oriented, are only attended by people in the targeted industry or field so the companies exhibiting are only talking to the people they already know. The huge upside of a generic tech show is the wide range of attendees from all sorts of businesses and industry who, if actually shown new and upcoming tech, might see applications that the people at a vertically oriented show can't even imagine.

  3. Salestard

    Free Tat

    Let's face it, the main reason any of us ever go anywhere near trade shows and expos is for the carrier bags of free tat with the occasional useful thing thrown in; Mouse mats, memory sticks, pens, lanyards, and all sorts of other stuff to keep your desk full of semi-useful clutter.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: Free Tat

      Free memory sticks are overpriced

    2. Antonius_Prime

      Re: Free Tat

      Yes, but that is to prove you attended the trade show.*

      For when accounts start to ask questions about your expenses in upmarket eateries and "entertainment" establishments.

      * The BOFH explained all of this some time ago...

    3. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Free Tat

      I went to such show to see presentations of new products and for hand on experience you couldn't get otherwise. Now everything is announced in advance, you can download presentations and even trials...

  4. _LC_ Bronze badge

    Catastrophic mismanagement

    After the CeBIT became a big success (at that time there were still a lot of freaks on the campus), it got captured by "business economists". Since then it went downhill. The numbers were glossed over and every year new success messages got published. Unfortunately the press played along and hardly contradicted them, although they all knew that the fair was being driven against the wall - seeing eye.

    Everyone could grasp immediately, that these "suits" really didn't know anything about anything. Visitors as well as exhibitors searched for their stands until the very end. What you could eat and where, you had to figure out for yourself. They really didn't get anything organized. Even the stupid doors were abysmal (bodybuilding on opening), which had been criticized for decades.

    Neither was the staff properly trained. Every better page has more on it. I still remember well, how a delegation of Japanese was "dispatched" at the entrance. The stupidest mistakes were made, which had about the same effect on the Japanese as if they were being punched in the face. I just thought to myself, "Oh dear, we won't see them again..." - and I guess, we didn't.

    In Trumpish English: HUUUUUUUUUGE F*CK*P!

  5. a well wisher

    And as an exhibitor, it was always a lottery as to where your company would put you up, posh hotel if they booked early, or a local B&B, and anywhere in between, and just how long your morning commute might be to the show ground, sometimes having to stay up to 50 miles away - I'm sure the local economy will miss the opportunity to book out rooms at significant prices at show times.

    One particular year, I remember getting on a show shuttle bus at the hotel bound for the show, which was logo'ed up, sponsored by and fitted out by a Sat Nav manufacturer. We were taken on very, very long mystery journey to the show, at several points on the journey, frustratingly we could see the showground across fields in the distance, but still the driver couldn't get there, all the passengers remonstrated loudly with the driver to use the ***** ing Sat Nav - but he admitted he had no idea how to work it ( of course this was some time before the ubiquity of Google Maps ) - a completely wasted marketing opportunity by the Sat Nav company

    And the weather at the showground could be pretty brutal, stepping outside one of the halls in to horizontal rain or snow delivered by gale force winds was a great way to clear the head after the parties the night before - of which there were many. As a exhibitor, a good portion of the day was devoted to seeking out the best party ticket for the coming evening

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      I'm sure the local economy will miss the opportunity to book out rooms at significant prices at show times.

      I'm sure it will, though it still has the Hannover Messe…. Had to stay out somewhere even further while that was on once. The city of Hannover is a nice enough place but it doesn't really have the capacity for the larger trade shows and it doesn't have enough of those to justify building it out.

  6. hamiltoneuk

    The fat lady must have sung. I went a couple of times in the 90s before internet had really taken off. I remember sitting next to a veternan on the plane going out there. He was fairly dismissive of the thing even back them. It was amazing to see the vast number of vendors and the sheer size of the event. Many of those exhibiting back then have bitten the dust. New vendors have risen up but is there the buzz about the industry that there was back then? Not really. It will take some utterly new marvels to stir up the interest again.

    1. _LC_ Bronze badge

      Not quite

      Oddly enough, other fairs (elsewhere) are doing just fine and are even booming. ;-)

      1. MortyCapp

        Re: Not quite


        Even CES had to switch from 2x a year to 1x a year.

        Even in the UK some local trade shows are suffering massively, such as IPEX.

        On the other hands MWC seems to be doing ok, as well as vendor owned shows (Apple, Hewlett Packard Enterprise's Discover...).

  7. MortyCapp

    33 years ago....

    1985: The Power of Love - Jennifer Rush

    1986: Don't leave me this way - The Communards


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