We all know the saga that was MWC 2020, not knowing until a few days before the trade show was to begin that it was actually canceled due to the rising concern about COVID-19. Now the cascade of brands canceling their trade show booths is about to start once more. This time its the turn of the re-scheduled IFA 2020 expo in Berlin with Samsung reportedly pulling out of the show, and likely being the catalyst to what will no doubt become a stampede of brands taking the out.
According to The Korean Herald, Samsung will take the decision to not take part in this year’s IFA trade show. While Samsung hasn’t made any statements on the topic, the reports claim that the Korean company has re-evaluated its plans in light of the ongoing pandemic that doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.
The dithering in February on whether to cancel MWC 2020 in Barcelona was understandable (-ish) when you consider that the coronavirus pandemic was in its first stages over here in the west, but IFA 2020 in September is a different kettle of fish. With increased rates of infections in countries that eased the lockdown prematurely, it’s unlikely that inter-continental travel is going to return to normal any time soon.
Personally, as someone who would no doubt bd traipsing around Messe Berlin during IFA 2020, the prospect of traveling to the trade show in a couple of months time doesn’t fill me with happiness, and from the conversations that I’ve had with other tech journalists and what I’ve seen posted on Twitter, I’m not alone in feeling a sense of dread.
In my opinion, IFA should cancel the trade show and cut its losses, maintaining the goodwill of exhibitors and journalists alike. The virus looks like it’s going to be part of 2020 and beyond, so the trade show organizers should make the hard decision now and move on because other brands will follow Samsung’s lead in the coming days and weeks.