Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Embedded World is on despite coronavirus fears

Steve Rogerson
February 19, 2020



The organisers of next week’s Embedded World in Nuremberg have been rocked by a large number of high-profile exhibitors cancelling due to coronavirus fears. However, they say will not go the same way as Mobile World Congress – which announced its cancellation last week – and that this show will go on.
 
“Naturally, we regret the fact that some customers cancelled on short notice to the coronavirus problem,” said Peter Ottoman, joint CEO of Nürnberg Messe, the show venue. “Precisely because we place the highest priority on the health of our customers and employees alike, we carefully weighed the various aspects involved and arrived at the following conclusion, after consultation with our health authorities: Embedded World will open its doors on Tuesday of next week, as planned.”
 
The cancellations so far include Amazon Web Services (AWS), AMD, Avnet, Arm, Arrow Electronics, Cypress, Digi, Intel, Microchip, Mitsubishi, Mouser Electronics, NXP, On Semiconductor, Renesas, Rohm, ST Microelectronics, Telit and Xilinx. There are a lot more.
 
One watcher said privately: “Hall 4a is now basically empty and visitors will likely stay away if they can.”
 
The story from most exhibitors who have pulled out is basically the same. For example, Ron Konezny, president and CEO of Digi International, explained why it had pulled out: “We have been closely following the coronavirus situation. This very difficult decision ultimately prioritises the health and wellbeing of our employees, customers, partners and stakeholders. Embedded World remains one of the annual highlights on the Digi calendar and we have full intention to participate in future shows.”
 
Mobile World Congress was also due to be held next week, in Barcelona, but its organisers – the GSMA – decided to pull the plug after large numbers of exhibitors withdrew. Many were expecting Embedded World to go the same way, but the organisers there, so far, seem determined to carry on.
 
Roland Fleck, the other CEO of Nürnberg Messe, said: “We have already successfully held three world-leading exhibitions with more than 150,000 exhibitors and visitors this year without experiencing any health issues. Thus, our visitors can expect highly professional conditions and valuable experience at Embedded World.”
 
However, in consultation with German health authorities, the show will be introducing the following measures:

  • Heightened cleaning and disinfection measures at all highly frequented places such as catering areas, surfaces, handrails, restrooms, entrances and exits, public touchscreens.
  • Much higher availability of disinfection supplies.
  • Information campaigns (“no-handshake policy”) and information about the authorities people can turn to in case of doubt.
  • Sensitisation and training of all personnel related to standard personal preventive measures such as personal hygiene and frequency of use of disinfectant products.
  • Qualified physicians and paramedics in the first-aid centres have been well prepared for possible cases of infection and are available to answer questions on site, with the assistance of interpreters.
  • If a case of possible infection occurs during the trade fair or event, all spatial and organisational precautions have been taken to ensure immediate remedial measures, both in the Nuremberg Exhibition Centre and in the city of Nuremberg.