Formerly recognised as one of the world’s largest IT exhibitions, Cebit had been considered to be dying out. Visitor and exhibitor numbers have been shrinking faced with competition from other tech conferences, however, this year – 2018 – was a huge success.

Discussions on stage ranged from digital transformation and cyber security to digital healthcare and future mobility, customer centricity and women in digital business. We share below some of the ways one of the most long-standing IT exhibitions and conferences has reinvented itself.

The future of table football

Some of highlights included the virtual reality table football which set all-new standards for an all-time classic bar game and a sky dining venue 20 metres above the ground. Another highlight for us was the keynote by Robert LoCascio, CEO and Founder of adel & link client LivePerson, who talked about how the way we communicate with mostly female-voiced AI and home assistants might influence children and society and lead to a world of narrow-minded bots.

From artificial Intelligence to the internet of things

AI was everywhere during this year’s Cebit. Moshe Rappoport, Executive Technology Advocate at IBM Research, claimed that we can power just as much with AI as we like, be it data analysis, texting or creating new kinds of systems. Kareem Yusuf, General Manager Watson IoT at IBM, connected AI with the possibilities of industrial IoT, showing opportunities that arise when you take advantage of recent breakthroughs in IoT and AI.

A new digital festival without influencers? No way!

Another new addition was a conference focusing on Influencer Marketing, Social Media and Networking. Attendees could listen to 50 speakers and participate in expert workshops on best practices, trends and challenges in Influencer Marketing.

Instagram and YouTube and what we can learn from the US

In many of the speeches, Germany was compared to the US and how the mentality in the two countries differs. In the US, a “money mentality” is prevalent and it is accepted that content is sponsored or that the content creator is paid for a video. In Germany, this is still something many people look down on, even though “influencers are not kids filming videos in their basement”, as Robin Blase, YouTuber & CEO at Richtig Cool GmbH said.

An interesting fact mentioned in one of the speeches was that the biggest revenue from sponsored content is generated on Instagram and YouTube, even though more influencers are present on Facebook than on YouTube. Did you know that 80% of active Instagram users live outside the US? That over 25 million businesses are active on the platform and that 80% of the accounts follow a business? And that 51% of them discover businesses and brands on Instagram?

The bottom line? Cebit is not dying, but evolving. Here’s to Cebit 2019!