Although things look less grim compared to the start of the year, there is still some uncertainty on whether it would be wise or even safe to hold massive events and trade shows. The organizers of IFA, one of the world’s largest tech expos every year, think it’s OK to do so in September. It seems that Samsung doesn’t exactly agree and has reportedly decided not to participate this year, paving the way for other companies to do the same.
It was admittedly rather surprising to hear last May that IFA would push through in Berlin in September. Of course, it’s still months away and anything can happen between now and then, for better or for worse. It’s definitely a gamble and if the sentiment among potential attendees is any indication, there isn’t much enthusiasm about taking such risks.
Of course, IFA 2020 will be a drastically different expo, with days cut in half down to three. The number of attendees has also been significantly limited and you need to have an invite to even be part of it.
Korean media now report that Samsung has decided not to attend this year’s event out of concern for the safety of its own employees. It will most likely hold its own online-only event in September since it definitely has the capacity to do so. The Unpacked 2020 event in August could be the test of that capacity.
Although Samsung is just one of many potential attendees, it is definitely one of the biggest, and its withdrawal will definitely hurt IFA 2020’s chances of success. That, in turn, could make other companies rethink their own participation and decide it might not be worth the risk. Then again, the German government may have already made that decision for them as it has reportedly banned big events until October. The IFA organization still has to make an announcement regarding that.